This past Saturday The Noakes Foundation joined forces with The Humanitarians and Homey Impact to bring lifestyle education to the Beacon Valley community in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. The three like-minded organisations wanted to create a sustainable community intervention model that harnesses the strengths of various non-profit organisations and can be taken to communities around the country, thus the Sustainable Lifestyle Programme was born. Our reigning Mr. South Africa Habib Noorbhai, heads up The Humanitarians and is an Ambassador of The Noakes Foundation, and came up with the idea of bringing together the skills and resources of different organisations and collaborating in a way that brings maximum, lasting impact to a community.
Eat Better South Africa!, the community education branch of the foundation, provides the nutritional education aspect as well as low-carb food donations, Homey Impact identifies and liaises with communities that are in need, setting up the intervention location and ensuring the program draws crowds, and The Humanitarians run and facilitate the event.
The morning began with the community enjoying a cup of tea or coffee together at the community education center situated in the heart of Mitchell’s Plain, one of South Africa’s largest townships where alcoholism and gangsterism is rife and the rate of type 2 diabetes is rapidly rising. The crowd was shocked to find that no sugar was provided – the reason for this was explained when Habib began his coaching on the dangers of excessive sugar and carbohydrate consumption and how our current dietary habits will lead to a number of health problems. The audience was shocked to learn how much sugar was contained in a number of their favourite foods and drinks. The room then engaged in a discussion about how they often lacked energy throughout the day and were always hungry – a common characteristic of a high carbohydrate diet.
We discussed alternatives to the commonly eaten carbohydrate staples like bread and pap, Heba was then introduced to the group. Heba is a low-cost LCHF pap alternative that was co-developed by The Noakes Foundation and Banting Blvd, and is a crucial aspect of our community projects. Each person was given a bag of Heba and shown how to make the various products, they then sampled the Pap and were delighted with how delicious and filling it was.
The morning concluded with a mindfulness presentation by Homey Impact and a summary of how a poor diet can lead to diabetes or obesity by The Noakes Foundation. The crowd hung around at the venue after the session had ended, sharing stories and ideas about how to apply this new found knowledge to their daily lives.
The Sustainable Lifestyle Programme will return to the Beacon Valley community in the next few months to check progress and identify the areas that need further coaching in an attempt to create a happier, healthier nation, one community at a time.