Fresh Minds Radio Program – Bringing Awareness to Mental Health

by | Jun 11, 2021 | Heartivist Of The Week

When mental health advocate Mercy Mkandawire was invited to discuss mental disorders on a radio show last year, she received overwhelming feedback that people wanted to know more. This hunger for information inspired Mercy to create her own show, dedicated solely to bringing awareness to mental health disorders and explaining how to manage them. 

The Fresh Minds Radio Program, stationed in Blantyre, Malawi, instantly created a support network where listeners could learn and share by offering a variety of resources on different disorders. As the program grew, Mercy and her team were astounded by the number of people who could relate to the stories and struggles shared on the show. 

In both rural and urban areas of Malawi, many people don’t know that mental health disorders exist. Written off by those around them as “mad,” many are forced to struggle in silence, unaware that treatment is available. This is what the Fresh Minds Radio Program aims to solve. Mercy’s biggest goal is to reach as many people as she can, focusing mainly on ages 14 to 29 when mental disorders begin to develop and worsen, to educate them on the details of their conditions and provide the support required to control them at a young age.

The first season of the show includes seven programs that cover issues such as OCD, anxiety, depression, stress management, and more. The show also encourages listeners to interact through Facebook, WhatsApp, and telephone to share their stories, engage with others, and find the community they need. Mercy is currently in the process of collecting funding for season two. 

She shared how inspired she has been by listeners of all ages stepping up to share challenging personal details in order to connect with and help others. The smallest detail of a mental health struggle could resonate with someone and help them feel less alone. Mercy has felt the impact of this bravery and positivity personally and said she is no longer afraid to speak out on the issues she cares about. 

“I’m now more confident. I was really afraid of the limelight, I was afraid of going out and just putting myself out there and presenting my ideas,” she said. “After I got the acceptance from The Pollination Project I thought ‘Okay, somebody really sees something in what I’m doing.’ It was really motivating and I’m still so grateful to this day.” 

Mercy is channeling this newfound confidence into pitching, advocating for, and growing the show. She hopes to continue expanding to educate and empower more young minds.

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It's Volunteer Month! 🌟 🌟 🌟 Today we celebrate our grant advisors working on Economic Development focus area.

By meticulously selecting projects for our seed grants, they're not just funding ideas—they're empowering communities and sparking transformative change. 

Join us in celebrating their invaluable efforts and the positive impact they're creating together!

🔸 Eric Anorrey (Ghana)
🔸 Mariam Nakiryowa (Uganda)
🔸 Jean-Marie Zihalirwa (DRC)
🔸 Emily Logiron Asekon (Kenya)
🔸 Georgia Bernbaum (USA) 
🔸 Herve Tsoala Kuete (Cameroon)
🔸 Jackson Bizimungu (Rwanda)
🔸 Okumu Dickson (Uganda)
🔸 Samuel Litunya (Kenya)

@ericanorrey 
@mayanja_mariam 
@g.bernbaum 

#volunteermonth #volunteer #heartivism #economicdevelopment #change #empoweringcommunities
The Green Earth Initiative (#Cameroon) is a project dedicated to educating and empowering students about climate change, sustainable development, and environmental challenges, that has received a seed grant from The Pollination Project in 2023. With a focus on fostering environmental protection and conservation, the initiative establishes Eco-clubs and Environment Clubs in schools, providing students with the tools to learn, engage, and take action in their communities.

Since receiving the grant from TPP, the Green Earth Initiative has expanded its reach, now encompassing 9 additional schools across two regions/cities, surpassing its initial goal of 5. 
This expansion was made possible by the overwhelming interest from school authorities and the growing number of volunteers and team members.

Through the support of TPP and other partners, the project's environmental education programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives have impacted over 8000 students in two cities of Cameroon. Additionally, the initiative has planted over 600 trees, launched 5 Environment/Eco Clubs, and distributed over 150 adapted waste bins produced from recycled plastics, contributing to proper waste management practices.

The seed grant from The Pollination Project has been instrumental in catalyzing the growth and success of the Green Earth Initiative, enabling it to make a tangible difference in the lives of students and communities, while fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability. 

@isec_cameroon 
#environmentprotection #seedgrant #heartivism #environmentaleducation
It's Volunteer's Month!!! 🌟 Celebrating our family of Grant Advisors 🌟

With 80 grant advisors, all experts in their respective fields and many of them former grantees, The Pollination Project is powered by a wealth of knowledge and experience. Their service is not only precious but also essential, as they bring unique insights and understanding to the application process, ensuring that resources are allocated where they can have the greatest impact. 

🎉 Today we celebrate our incredible grant advisors in the HEALTH & WHOLENESS focus area! 

🔸 Ben Kilama (Uganda) 
🔸 Kosa Jimmy (Uganda) 
🔸 Marina Haque (USA) 
🔸 John Ebong (Nigeria) 
🔸 Nzayisenga Emmanuel (Canada)
🔸 Rodger Mwanza (Zambia) 
🔸 Emmanuel Dushimimana (Rwanda) 
🔸 Nelly Hellen Onditi (Kenya) 
🔸 Daniel Ayodele Femi (Nigeria) 
🔸 Christopher Nwafor (South Africa)

Our heartfelt gratitude to these dedicated individuals for their invaluable contributions 🙏

@jim.kosa.5 @manud05 @duemmanuel @nelly.hellen1 @daniel_ayodele_femi 

#health #wholeness #grantmaking #grantadvisor #volunteermonth #volunteers #grants #heartivism #volunteersweek #nigeria #southafrica #uganda #rwanda #zambia #canada