Mothers Unite – founded in 2007 in a mother’s home – is a kind of safe haven in Lavender Hill. Three afternoons a week, in an infrastructure village in the grounds of the city’s Seawinds Multipurpose Centre, 120 children between the ages of 3 and 15 are exposed to storytelling, computer literacy, food garden training, art therapy, sports and play – as an alternative to the gangsterism, drugs and violence they’re witness to on the streets. Built with donated shipping containers, the village is made up of a library, kitchen, office, sheltered area, playground and food garden. The Mothers Unite project addresses the family unit and encourages family participation and a shared commitment to community development, providing a support base for the family and a safe place for children to play, explore and develop. This amazing organisation has recently received the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award for resourceful citizens who bring creative solutions to the challenges facing today’s city dwellers.
Descriptions of urban issues often tend to be accompanied by beliefs of the multi-faceted underlying problems within a society. Intuitively endless solutions to these problems are suggested without exploring local successful strategies that are already practiced. Solutions to problems germinate in the communities themselves – how often are these homegrown solutions explored? In urban acupuncture small grassroots initiatives provide a platform and space for people to change their own realities – does society trust the process?