Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town

2011 - 2013

Introducing a world first in socio-economic and environmental rehabilitation.

This legacy project utilises permaculture design principles that will engender ‘environ-mental’ regeneration by bridging the divide between a mental health institution and its deeply scarred surrounding community.

In essence the concept of Spring is brought to life through healing people and the environment.

“Our task is to rediscover ourselves in nature,” Dr Ian McCallum

Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town

2011 - 2013

Introducing a world first in socio-economic and environmental rehabilitation.

This legacy project utilises permaculture design principles that will engender ‘environ-mental’ regeneration by bridging the divide between a mental health institution and its deeply scarred surrounding community.

In essence the concept of Spring is brought to life through healing people and the environment.

“Our task is to rediscover ourselves in nature,” Dr Ian McCallum

The social and economic context of Lentegeur Hospital

  • Lentegeur is in Mitchells Plain, outside of Cape Town, an area plagued by poverty, gangsterism and drugs.
  • With over 750 beds and serving an estimated population of over 1,8 million, Lentegeur is one of only three psychiatric hospitals in the Western Cape.
  • The social ills that began during apartheid and its policy of forced removals are driving an epidemic of mental illness within an area that is already degraded socially and environmentally.
  • More than one in three South Africans will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetimes, yet few receive help. The impact on their surrounding community is never full quantified.
  • Food insecurity in some areas served by the hospital affects up to 89% of households.
  • Climate change will affect poor communities most severely, driving food price inflation and social instability.
  • In order to overcome these challenges there is a desperate need for mental health centres that are part of the community and that promote healing at the individual, social and environmental levels, that reconnect people to the healing power of the earth.
Globally, the model of large institutions, to which the “insane” are removed, has become redundant


Lentegeur Healing a community and its environment

The Lentegeur Spring Project will re-establish the hospital as the symbol of hope and regeneration that is reflected in its name. This will be achieved through a hospital greening and social development program that involves:

  • Measuring and minimising carbon, water and other ecological footprints
  • A radical transformation of the hospital’s current degraded landscape into a place of functional beautyPsycho-social rehabilitation and outreach programmes to enable food gardening, recycling and other initiatives that develop social and environmental skills
  • Psycho-social rehabilitation and outreach programmes to enable food gardening, recycling and other initiatives that develop social and environmental skills
  • A program of cultural and social revival will re-establish a sense of community and connection to the soil
  • The legacy will be to transform the current negative perceptions of mental illness (surrounded by environmental degradation) into an understanding and functional appreciation of the healing role an entire community and its surroundings can play in socio-economic and environmental rehabilitation.


Managing partnerFood & Trees for Africa

FTFA is a Section 21 social enterprise established in 1990 and registered with the Department of Welfare and the Public Benefits Department. FTFA has exemption from taxes and duties as approved in terms of Section 18A.

Started in 1990, FTFA is a South African social enterprise whose objectives are:

  • To contribute to greening, climate change action, sustainable natural resource management, permaculture food security and organic farming
  • To create awareness of the benefits of environmentalimprovementactivities amongst all communities of southern Africa
  • To contribute to local economic enterprise, sustainable development, enhanced environments, capacity building and skills development.

FTFA has distributed 4.2 million trees, planted 140 hectares of bamboo and facilitated the creation of thousands of permaculture food gardens and some organic farms for the poorest. FTFA introduced permaculture, launched the first South African carbon calculator and the Carbon Protocol.

FTFA now runs six programmes: Trees for All, Trees for Homes, Food Gardens for Africa, Bamboo for Africa, EduPlant and FEED Africa. These lead to healthier lives for impoverished communities, more sustainable green environments and increased awareness of how human beings impact the planet and what can be done to mitigate this.

The Lentegeur project will encompass all FTFAs programmes both on site and as outreach into the surrounding community.

For a complete list of FTFA’s history, development partners, board members, patrons, employees, projects, products, media, financial statements and more, please see the award winning website: www.trees.co.za

Current Project Partners

  • The Lentegeur Hospital Facilities Board
  • Food & Trees for Africa
  • Riso Africa
  • Balance Design –Sandra Rippon Environmental Consultant
  • Bluegreen Consulting
  • BEN Bikes
  • Fixerfilm
  • The Afristar Foundation
  • The City of Cape Town
  • The Western Cape Premier’s 110% Green Campaign
  • The Western Cape Dept of Health (A Flagship Project)
  • PETCO
  • The Green Office
  • Thrive Magazine
  • Cape Nature –The False Bay Nature Reserve
  • BallStraathof
  • Kelpac
  • Greenpop
  • Media partner Life in Balance

  • Change Agent
  • Sustain Our Africa
  • Birdlife SA
  • Dr Ian McCallum
  • The University of Cape Town
  • SANBI
  • FENTHUMS@COTTONART
  • Jon Lijnes –Civil Engineer
  • World of Books
  • 49M
  • The Mitchells Plain Festival
  • The Department of Environmental Affairs -Working for Water Program
  • The Western Cape Provincial dept of Agriculture
  • Landfill Consult
  • Cape Contours Landscape Solutions
  • Porky Hefer
  • Oscar Peterson

Conclusion

We hope that you will support a phase of this project. For more information contact JeunessePark on jpark@trees.org.za

This highly visible project will revolutionise mental health care delivery by turning a place of rejection and despair into an emblem of beauty and hope. Lentegeur will also drive transformation in those communities most affected by the legacy of apartheid and build resilience and self-reliance in the face of climate change.

“Helping nature to heal the past so that the future can shine!”