Community Projects

Skills For Life

Skills for Life, is a project of Skillful Hands with the objective to introduce a mental health programme directed at youth from Grade 1 throughout their schooling careers.

Based on the following Official Studies:

Mental Health Matters in Elementary School: First grade screenings predict fourth grade achievement test scores.

(2004 – European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.)

Mental Health Predicts Better Academic Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study of Elementary School Students in Chile.

(2004 – Springer Science & Business Media New York.)

Evidence of Effectiveness of a National based Mental Health programme in Chile.

(2015 – Journal of American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.)

These studies revealed that students, suffering from mental health issues ranging from the mild to the pathological conditions on average perform significantly worse than other students, not only this but as the conditions go untreated and persist, these students progressively not only perform worse, but lose the interest and motivation for learning required to excel.

This was drawn parallel to the evidence of how Chiles national based mental health programme provides significant improvements in both student performance but the consistency of such performance . That programme is in fact the programme you are reading about now Skills for Life (SFL)

Skills for Life is a programme created in Chile, has been implemented by the Government on a national level and has already proven to have nationwide  success  achieving its goals in  over the 15 years it has been in operation.

A large and growing body of research from the USA, UK, EU and the rest of the world have shown has demonstrated a significant relationship between mental health and academic performance in children and academics.  The results have shown that  children who experience mental health problems are more likely to have unfavourable educational outcomes, poor grades, delays in reading, grade repetition and school drop-out ideation.

Skillful Hands aim to introduce this programme into schools, on a smaller scale, up scaling as the program proves itself more and more effective.  We hope to reach students from a younger age providing them with the support , knowledge and treatment they need as early as possible in order to reduce any chances of mental health affecting their learning, their ability to do so effectively, and a value for education as a whole.

Water Provision  Project

The WPP has been formulated as a response to the dire circumstances of The City of Cape Town’s current drought. With a lack of effective responses from government, the cities lower classes, within rural and informal settlements have been most affected by the crisis.

The first phase of the WPP involves the installation of Borehole Pumps at key locations within poverty stricken communities within the city in order to ease and assist with the challenges  the water crisis adds additional strain to.

First key locations where the water crisis has hit worst will be identified, as these areas will be where the first installations will take place.

The local community will be educated on the Installation process, familiarized with the equipment and educated on how to maintain the systems once installed. This is to create a sustainable chain of knowledge and respect for the project and its components.

Access to the tanks will have to regulated in order to prevent abuse, community leaders will be tasked with being knowledgeable and able to ration out the water amongst the community. Skillful Hands will provide assistance along the way of course.

Once the Borehole Installation phase is over the next step in the project will be to provide basic plumbing /hygiene necessities such  as toilets and sinks in the form of communal access facilities within the same areas.

Agriculture: Hanging Gardens

Our Agriculture project is the result of a formulated solution to assist informal communities in producing their own fresh produce as well as providing an excellent alternative to watering these crops within the context of Cape Towns current water crisis .

By capitalising on a method of crop farming that incorporates the recycling of water through a raised system that keeps the water in constant movement throughout the crops, which are planted on elevated platforms, which allows the farming of these crops anywhere there is a structure, regardless  of the soil content and quality of the surrounding land. Providing a sustainable and

affordable method of self sustenance.

Goals

The overall goal of this project is to create a sustainable method of farming that is both affordable and easy to adapt.

This is in an effort to provide informal communities in Cape Town with the ability to farm and produce their own crops without having to own large plots of land or be forced to allow their crops to dry out due to the water shortage.

The system once learned is able to be taught amongst peers in order to pass on the knowledge to future generations, able to be easily repaired and maintained once the knowledge is learned.