BMF awareness programme is gaining momentum - new initiatives are being implemented in and around Durban.
Radio - Izwi Lomzansi 98.0FM
With radio Izwi Lomzansi BMF has reached areas far outside Durban. Zethu Makatini has talked about dementia, its symptoms and impact on families and the community, on a number of shows.
Clients and carers have been on the show. Listeners, hearing people with dementia talking on radio, were encouraged to pick up the phone and call for help. Calls now come from Northern Zululand and Eastern Cape.
The host of this Sunday evening show is Bhuti Maswidi. He takes on difficult social issues during live dabates on the show. The station is at Durban Railway Station.
BMF is training dementia champions in Lamontville. They work in the wards raising dementia awareness. They also visit the clinics, SASSA offices and other areas where people gather.
The champions are also re-visiting as many churches as possible.
Ward 75 Sukuma Sakhe has started holding meetings again and it is hoped that this they will provide another platform for raising awareness amongst other stakeholders’.
Umlazi and the AFCI
As a result of the radio Izwi Lomzansi show, BMF is now working with families from Umlazi with assistance from the Ark Fellowship Centre International, a church in Umlazi.
With AFCI we hope to establish a centre in Umlazi so that people are seen closer to their homes.
The church has embarked on a health initiative for its congregation, looking after both body and sooul.
Youth and Schools programmes
We work with youth organizations such as Deprived Youth and the Volunteer Social Crime Prevention Project. We hold free workshops on dementia. It is important to get the youth to understand what dementia is if we are to build dementia friendly communities.Today's youth are tomorrow's adults.
BMF is working with Lamontville High School and Gijima Primary School on our Schools Dementia Awareness Programme. The drama class at Lamontville High, under Mrs Nzimande, is currently working on a play around dementia. This will be performed at various venues and community events and gives the drama class exposure to the outside world.
Our outreach team seeks to visit as many churches as possible to give talks on dementia. A number of our referrals have come from pastors seeking to help their parishioners.
BMF and the councillor for Ward 17 are working together to establish a programme for raising dementia awareness in Klaarwater and Savannah Park. The councillor has linked BMF and Ward 17 Sukuma Sakhe who have well organised initiatives for the ward. Integration of BMF into these programmes will add an extra dimension to them as well as provide a wider platform for us to raise dementia awareness. Our dementia champions for the area are under training and they will soon go out into the community.
In June of 2018, 15 Municipality Community Care Givers, CCG's, were given basic dementia training by BMF. The training included identifying the basic symptoms and referring the clients to BMF for further assessement. The CCG's are on an ongoing training to improve their skills on working with people with dementia and mental illness. This has vastly expanded their range of work resulting in more people receiving help where there was dispair.