Zimbabwe’s grandmothers are providing mental health support in their communities through a remarkable program called “The Friendship Bench”. Since 2006, over 400 Zimbabwean grandmothers have been trained in talk therapy, which they deliver for free in more than 70 communities across Zimbabwe.
Grandmother Chinhoyi, who has been with the Friendship Bench program for over ten years, helps others on an almost daily basis. She regularly meets with HIV-positive individuals, drug addicts, people suffering from poverty and hunger, unhappy married couples, lonely older people, and pregnant unmarried young women. Regardless of their background or circumstances, she begins her sessions the same way: “I introduce myself and I say, ‘What is your problem? Tell me everything, and let me help you with my words."
You can read more about the work of Zimbabwe’s counsellor-grandmothers and how this remarkable program began by clicking here.