IGNITE Youth Organisation is a non-profit organisation and thus we depend upon the generous gifts and donations from organisations, companies, churches and individuals to continue the work we are doing with young people. We accept both monetary and in-kind gifts and donations. You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with details about your gift and donation, and the Program you want to support.
For cash donations, once you send us an email with the details of the amount you would like to donate, we will send you our bank details. We are currently still working on our online payment system for donations.
For in-kind gifts, we can always use:
- good quality used clothes for babies/children/teenagers/young adults (male and female)
- items of sports equipment (deflated footballs, volleyballs, cricket bats, football shirts)
- toiletries for young women (soap, deodorant, body lotion, sanitary towels, toothbrushes)
- items of office stationary (paper, pens, exercise books/notebooks, staplers, computers, chairs, desks)
- items of band equipment (mics, cables, speakers, music instruments)
Thank you very much! We look forward to receiving your email! Your gift and donation will go a long way in helping us reach more youth, and impact more communities and societies.
I remember how they slapped the daylight out of my sister's face, claiming she was possessed by a demon that did not even exist at all. I lost a friend when she left home in a bad state. One of my friends hid behind the 'I'm on a diet' statement, too ashamed of what she had going on. She even found a job, hoping it'd keep her mind off things but instead, the rate at which she overthought things increased rapidly.
Failure to maintain a healthy mental lifestyle is an issue that is affecting 70% to 80% of the youth. It is sad how the rate of suicide death tolls are rising in our country.
I approached a group of young people and brought up a question, which then sparked a debate, on why men should open up. The debate took a turn and someone said everybody is mentally ill. To be honest, some did not take that well. They said,"Ungati munhu wese anopenga here iwe, ah, hatipenge (how can you say everyone is mad, we are not mad)." This is how most people in Zimbabwe perceive mental illness. It is called "kurasika njere" that is losing your mind. I wore the coat and told them at some point in my life I had had mental health concerns. One asked me how I found out and who had told me. I told her that after careful research I found out on my own, what I deemed normal and just a "passing phase" was something more than just a phase. She said and I quote, "Saka wakaona zvakakodzera kuzviudza kuti ini pano ndava kutorasa njere?" In other words, she was challenging me in ‘accepting’ the fact that I was losing my mind. To be honest it was not easy to explain everything to them but eventually I had the upper hand. What is mental health? Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is "functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment". Mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
Then there is the term “mental illness” or “mental health disorders”, what does it mean? It refers to when one cannot cope with their daily life activities; it affects one's mood, thinking and behavior. Mental health disorders include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.
Everyone has mental health concerns from time to time, but it is when we ignore them that they develop into a disorder. Despite knowing that mental health disorders exist, we judge those who come clean and mock them time after time because we live in a society where it is believed that our generation has eroded the African culture and has embraced the Western way of life. The youth have been chided for having a Eurocentric view to life and abandoning the Afrocentric one, and so this has seen an extension to illnesses as well. Apparently, depression and such other mental ailments are “for the white people”. Newsflash! Mental health disorders are like any other health disorders and they affect people of all color regardless of race, religion or culture.
You may ask yourself, “How do we know if a person is showing symptoms of having a mental health disorder?” They vary due to the type of disorder and here are a few pointers to guide you:
Feeling sad or down
Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
Withdrawal from friends and activities
Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people.
Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder manifest as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains. All the same, it is important that such symptoms are picked up at early stages of showing. Failure to attend to these symptoms has far reaching consequences.
There is a great need to build a society where we recognize mental health disorders and not stigmatize them. I am happy to say that at least a number of youth are raising their voices so that we may be heard and attended to in as far as mental health disorders are concerned. However, the fact that 90% of youth in Zimbabwe living with mental health disorders are stigmatized by their own parents, is saddening.
I stand and voice on behalf of my generation, parents please hear us out. We misbehave from time to time and test your patience but sometimes, if not most, we are trying to cover up what you cannot accept for something you can tolerate. As much as we act stubborn and big headed, we still need your guidance and that requires dialogue; and dialogue can only be effective if initiated from a place of understanding.
To everyone, the youth especially, let us make it a habit to open up to our friends and family. Let us be there for each other and strive to minimize mental health disorders affecting us. We are our brothers and sisters keepers and together we can make a difference.
PS: There is a trending statement all over social media, “Check on your friend, depression is real." I want to add a little more to it, "Check on your friend, brother, sister, parent, daughter or son, mental health disorders exist!"