28-year-old Andreas Banetsi Mphunga is a psychology graduate who was practicing from a small office in Mandela Park, in Khayelitsha.
Mphunga was very aware of the urgent need for registered counsellors and psychologists in Khayelitsha and, pushed by the high cost of renting, decided to let go of his office and make his clinic mobile and more accessible - so, he bought a combi.
Youth in the township, are often marginalised for seeking treatment at surrounding clinics, so Mphunga feels that the combi may help them avoid the stigma that surrounds a clinical environment.
I’ve decided to open up a mobile psychology clinic. I bought a combi and I will be practicing from it. It will work as an initiating tool for therapy. The first two sessions will happen in the combi.— Andreas Banetsi Mphunga, registered psychologist
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He does not intend to hold the therapy sessions in the minibus forever - the minibus will be an “initiating tool for therapy”, where young people can grow accustomed to the sessions, and once they understand and are more comfortable with the idea, the treatment will continue in an office that Mphunga has applied to rent in Khayelitsha.
He hopes to call his clinic Cape Township Children and Parents Counselling Centre, and plans for the mobile operation to begin travelling to schools from August.
Mphunga's vision reaches beyond Khayelitsha, and he intends to do a school roadshow to the small towns of the Western Cape – such as Roberston and Malmesbury – to speak to children and educate teachers on how to identify students who need assistance.
He used his personal savings to pay R28,000 for the combi and an additional R10,000 will be spent on upgrading the interior, tinting the windows to protect his patients’ confidentiality, and on minor mechanical repairs.
This article first appeared on 702 : Khayelitsha graduate takes his psychology practice to the people