P.H.O.E.B.E. (Promotion of Health, Opportunity, Equality, Benevolence and Empowerment) is a registered Ipswich-based charity founded in 2008, which is committed to fighting violence against women and girls, advocating for women’s rights, and supporting women and girls to improve their quality of life, in both the UK and Zimbabwe. We specifically support women and children who suffer from poverty, mental health issues, inaccessibility to public services, lack of educational opportunities, and gender-based violence. 

The idea was implemented in Zimbabwe in 2016 after research showed that the problem of mental illness is rampant in the country and remains a neglected area and the increase in poverty in the country is a direct cause for the greater risk in gender-based violence and an obstacle for young girls to get an education. PHOEBE Zimbabwe is a registered trust (Reg No. 0001573/2016) and is currently the only organisation which has an accessible specialist programme that provides women and girls a holistic service that maintains their mental well-being and improves their livelihoods in Zimbabwe.

P.H.O.E.B.E’s mission is to eliminate stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem amongst women and girls, and its vision is to empower women and girls to improve their life chances and lead independent lives by reducing inequalities and maintaining a healthy mental well-being through the provision of integrated and holistic service. P.H.O.E.B.E solely focuses on women and girls due to the gender inequality that exists in our society where gender-related social norms and structures strongly influence issues such as gender-based violence. Women are affected by different layers of social stratification that simultaneously come together to disadvantage them. Therefore at P.H.O.E.B.E we adopted the intersectional approach which allows us to visualise the different layers that interact with women’s mental health.