Imagine a culturally appropriate mobile phone application to provide much needed support, links for help and survival tips for adult survivors of child abuse and neglect in Africa?

An impossibility? Not quite!

A collaboration between the Women’s College Research Institute (University of Toronto) and Kenya’s leading mental health provider, Oasis Africa, has resulted in a  proposal to the Government of Canada  as part of the Grand Challenges Canada grant (dedicated to supporting bold ideas with big impact in global health) to fund an app that will inform users about the effects of child maltreatment, strategies for coping and provide links to additional information, such as how to access support.

As part of the application, a two-minute video (click on the image below to view it), hosted by Oasis Africa’s Dr Gladys Mwiti, explains the need in Africa for a device to empower Africans struggling with mental health issues.


Poor mental health can result from the stress of war, poverty, death, loss, etc can lead to substance abuse, violence and poor sexual health, affecting families and communities for generations to come.

With mobile penetration at over 70% in some parts of the continent, mobile is the best delivery method for a simple, help tool – the first step in recovery.

The idea for the app is revolutionary and we strongly encourage our readers to watch the video and support the efforts of this approach to Africa’s continual and positive development.

View their video introducing the app, and vote for them (vote closes 1pm EST May 31 2013):

Please note applicants for the Grand Challenges Canada grant will be notified of the results in the summer of 2013.

Disclosure: Also note that Dr Gladys Mwiti is related to the writer of this post, Neva K Mwiti.

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