NGOs urged to enhance institutional collaborations to ensure project continuity

NGOs urged to enhance institutional collaborations to ensure project continuity

Mr Matthias Aneinini, the Grants Advisor, Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, has urged non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to strengthen their collaborations with institutions to ensure continued support and sustainability of projects for greater benefit to society.

“This is important because people’s positions change over time, but institutions last longer and for that matter, building the right relationship with institutions would ensure that projects are sustained, irrespective of those in authority,” he said.

The UK Aid funded Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, a four-year disability programme with a specific focus on mental health, seeks to support efforts to remove barriers that prevented people with disabilities, including mental health conditions, from reaching their full potential.

Mr Aneinini gave the advice at a close-out meeting, organised by Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), to mark the end of the Social Behaviour Change and Stigma Reduction for Mental Health and Disability Inclusion Project.

The project provided psychological support to health workers and PWDs to enhance the relationship between the two for better health outcomes and help reduce stigmatisation against the target group.

Mr Aneinini expressed appreciation to the project champions for their support and efforts towards a successful meeting and commended the leadership of HFFG and Pskyforum, an NGO, for taking up the mantle and executing the grant deliverables with integrity.

He urged them to sustain the gains made by always treating disability and gender issues as cross-cutting to make the needed impact.

Mrs Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director of HFFG, said the programme was run by an Options led consortium, which also consisted of Basic Need-Ghana, Kings College London, Sight Savers International, and Tropical Health.
However, HFFG and PsykForum as a consortium, were awarded the grant from Ghana Somubi Dwumadie to promote mental and disability inclusion in Ghana, she stated.

The grant, which commenced on April 26, 2021, ended on April 28, 2023.
It was to reduce negative and discriminatory attitudes, behaviours, and norms faced by people with disability in Ghana, including people with mental health conditions.

The project was implemented in 18 districts of four regions: Greater Accra, Central, North East, and Savannah.
Mrs Nancy Ansah Cobbah, the Director of Programmes, HFFG, said the project had helped improve behavioural change toward persons with disability.

National data on achievements indicates that a total of 18,336 people, both male and female, have been counselled, engaged through outreach, educated on legal literacy, and inclusion champions sensitised on the subject matter.
Mrs Cobbah called on stakeholders at the national, regional, district, and community levels to take action to reduce stigma and discrimination against PWDs and mental health.

Mr Roger Amandi, an Investigator with the Commission of Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), stated that the disability issue entailed rights and urged HFFG to defend the rights of PWDs.

“The Commission is taking the project to a whole different level even though it has ended by seeking employment opportunities to put smiles on the face of PWDs.”

Mr Ibrahim Anyass Alhassan, the Youth and Gender Advocate Officer, Office of National Chief Imam, expressed the continuous support from the Chief Imam’s Office to the project and appealed to the public not to discriminate against PWDs.

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