Celebrating World Health Day with 7 need to know projects


Red Bull Amaphiko offers a stage for social change projects and the people and stories behind them. The Amaphiko community explores initiatives from all over the planet and supports positive social innovation. Amaphiko believe in one change, one contribution, and one great project at a time.

With World Health Day right round the corner, here are 7 phenomenal projects from around the globe that are helping people get in shape, eat right and live healthier, happier lives.

1. MindBody Fitness Revolution, Johannesburg

Seven out of 10 women and four out of 10 men in South Africa are overweight – the highest obesity rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Seeing how regular exercise transformed her life as a depressed high-school student, Johannesburg’s Cleopatra Simelane started her brand MindBody Fitness Revolution to instil similar habits in other South African youths. She now presents a regular workout slot on national TV.

Look out for: Simelane’s other project, the Recess Youth Movement apprenticeship magazine distributed in 103 high schools in Gauteng.

Find out more: amaphiko.redbull.com/en/projects/recess-magazine

2. Saladorama, Rio

Rates of hypertension, diabetes and obesity rise rapidly among the poor – but can be nipped in the bud by a balanced diet. Saladorama are aiming to democratise access to affordable fresh produce and educate people about the need for it, by setting up salad kitchens within local communities. Their first was in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro; there are now two others in the city, and another in Recife.

Look out for: a Saladorama in every Brazilian state by 2018.

Find out more: saladorama.com

3. Fresh Corner Café, Detroit

36% of Detroit citizens live below the poverty line – the highest rate in any US city surveyed. Fresh Corner Café aim to make sure every Detroiter eats nutritiously regardless. Selling at popup locations, through their catering service or providing a pre-stocked workplace refrigerator, they’re keeping fresh, locally sourced food easily accessible in this sprawling city.

Look out for: their pre-packaged snacks being made available in Detroit schools.

Find out more: freshcornercafe.com


4. SkatePAL, Ramallah

Sporting opportunities and facilities are limited for young people in Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip – where over 50% of the population are under 21. With SkatePAL, the UK’s Charlie Davis introduced the territory to skateboarding, and helped fund and build skateparks in Ramallah, Zebabdeh and Asira al-Shamliya. Not only is skateboarding a fun outlet, but gives Palestinian young people membership of a worldwide fraternity.

Look out for: locals fully taking over the management of the skate-parks.

Find out more: skatepal.co.uk

5. Raízs, Brazil

There’s often a gulf between urban and rural culture, making business difficult for independent farmers and locally sourced produce harder for consumers to come by than it should be. Raízs’s e-commerce platform connects 92 farms selling 160 organic products to urban outlets and anyone wanting to improve their diet. To help incentivise all the hard work at the other end of the food chain, the site details how much the farmers receive for each item.

Look out for: the beta site going fully operational very soon.

Find out more: raizs.com.br

6. Ibala Organics, Durban

Fruit juice is a great source of vitamins, but it’s expensive. By sourcing the raw ingredients from often overlooked trees in the backyards of Umlazi township – closer to organic markets in Durban than conventional farms – Ibala Organics hopes to shrink the supply chain. That’ll bring costs down and provide a vital second income for green-fingered Umlazi residents, too.

Look out for: Ibala branching out into vegetables in April.

Find out more: amaphiko.redbull.com/en/projects/sanqa-organics


7. Centro de Escalada Urbana, Rio

When US climber Asa Firestone was warned off tackling the Brazil’s Dois Irmãos peaks because of the favela gang wars taking place on them, it gave him an idea: giving underprivileged youngsters a focus by starting an urban climbing centre in Rio de Janeiro. The city’s biggest favela Rocinha – next to the impressive Irmão Maior formation – is where he and pro instructor Andrew Lenz have set up shop, helping locals develop their muscles and mental strength.

Look out for: the centre getting funding for an indoor training wall.

Find out more: escaladaurbana.com