Zainab Kader’s proudest moment says a lot about who she is. She was working in an impoverished area helping children with externalising behaviour such as aggression and focusing on family intervention. She had worked with fathers but soon realised that mothers were being neglected, so she organised a “mother’s day”. She arranged a breakfast at Spur, a day on Table Mountain and some psychoeducation about self-care. It was a day the mothers had only dreamed and she saw their happiness, peace and tears of joy.
Kader works to destigmatise mental health, strengthen families and address social ills. “Even though the world may be full of suffering, my work allows me to brighten someone’s day by providing hope, meaning and insight.” Over the years, she has gained confidence through short courses, experiential learning and feedback from management and staff. She’s learned to take on opportunities and prioritise learning by doing even when it feels difficult.
“I would like to see more youth following their dreams by persevering, asking for help and being willing to take the chance. For this to happen more opportunities need to be created, mentorship and emotional support should also be available to increase resilience when experiencing adversity. I would like to see a society where women and children feel protected and safe. They would be empowered and encouraged to access support immediately when their sense of safety is compromised. I want people and girls in particular to be independent, successful and assertive.”