Wits Health HUBB
As a young adult, Dr Lisa Ware painfully watched as her brother, who had just come into adulthood, went into a downward spiral after losing his job. Coming from a working class background, the family had limited information on what to do with the hopelessness that engulfed him.
With her training in nutrition and health psychology, her research has focused on the prevention of chronic disease. When she came to work in Soweto and heard the stories from youth of how unemployment created major barriers to a healthier life, the experience had a profound impact.
While taking part in the Wits Health Consortium Great Leap Forward (GLF) programme to foster entrepreneurial spirit in academics, Ware a Senior Researcher at the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, with co-founders Lethu Kapueja and Dr Delan Naidoo approached the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The proposal for a new type of health intervention in Soweto. One that employed youth that were not in employment, education or training (NEET), that provided financial support, health education (NQF3 Health Promotion), positioned youth as advocates for health, and located them within their communities as health agents for change. This innovative health-social-economic development project in Soweto called the Wits Health HUBB opened its virtual doors to NEET Sowetan youth in mid-2020 with support from GLF and DBSA.