It’s May — also known as Mental Health Month in the United States — and a great time for us to share that we’re big believers in:

  • more mental wellness, which would transform our world and make it a far better place.
  • greater access to affordable mental healthcare, one of the Civil Rights issues of our time.
  • the vital importance of ending the stigmas of mental illness. They are cruelties.
  • the power of individuals, organizations and companies like ours to reject the societal dynamics — including those promoted and exacerbated by media — that compromise mental health all around the world.

So, we at Media Salad have taken a step toward living up to our beliefs with a charitable donation to The Slum Child Foundation, which each year serves more than 400 children primarily ages 7-15 living in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. The foundation’s volunteer and paid staff provide mental health counseling, support for addiction treatment, health education and general mentorship in warm, welcoming settings designed to nourish the soul.

We have chosen to support The Slum Child Foundation for several reasons. Chief among them is the organization’s highly experienced and compassionate board of directors and group leaders — all locally based Kenyans — and their careful stewardship of limited, financial resources. As a market-research and communications services firm, we are especially concerned by what we have learned from our new friends in Kenya about how the children they serve are highly influenced by media with dark messages — much of it coming from the United States in the forms of music; movies; television; and, increasingly, websites pushing drug use.

George_Slum_Child_FoundationFoundation workers meet children in their homes, on the streets and in a classroom set aside for the organization at Ngunyumu Primary School, located at the center of Nairobi’s Korogocho slums. On Saturdays, they also lead dozens of children who attend two-hour sessions filled with games, arts and crafts and plenty of other fun activities. All of the foundation’s work aims to help youth living in one of the world’s poorest communities acquire the knowledge and skills they need to avoid and overcome social problems that often rob people of their sense of self-worth, potential and value to the world.

Media Salad’s gift has covered the foundation’s administrative office lease for more than a year and the expenses of some learning materials. Our friends at The Slum Child Foundation have shared this list of resources they also would appreciate receiving:

  • Inspirational posters and other wall-hangings to decorate their classroom.
  • Crayons, pencils, pens, paper, modeling clays — and any other supplies that aid learning and the production of arts and crafts.
  • Non-perishable foods (think snacks kids would like).
  • New and gently used clothing and shoes.
  • If you would like to make a contribution to The Slum Child Foundation, please contact us.