The Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (GSD), a four-year disability programme focused on mental health, has received a one million Ghana cedis grant to five disability and women’s rights organisations in the country.
The “Sustainability and Legacy” grant is to strengthen the capacity of these organisations to bring about positive change in the lives of people with disability or mental health conditions, mainly women.
The beneficiaries include the Ghana Blind Union (GBU), Ghana National
Association of the Deaf (GAND), Duapa Mothers Union and the Women with
Disability Development and Advocacy Organisation.
The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) would serve as the main coordinating partner on the project, which is expected to last for 12 months.
Team Leader of the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, Lyla Adwan-Kamara, who made the announcement at a news conference in Accra yesterday, said the grant was the third round of funding support under the programme’s focus area.
“Building on lessons of the previous two grants, the COVID-19 Psychosocial Resilience and Evidence and Effectiveness grants, this is in line with Ghanaian calls for a better disability inclusion and greater investment into mental health,” she said.
Ms Adwan-Kamara added that by strengthening the institutional and technical capacity of disabled and women’s rights organisations, “we hope to enable them to employ user-led approaches to advocate for their rights and improve the well-being of people with disabilities and mental health conditions, especially women.”
According to the Team Leader, women having disabilities or suffering from mental illness often faced harsher maltreatment from the public, which was why this grant round was focused on them.
“Issues of stigma, discrimination among others, are significant barriers that prevent women with disabilities from accessing services and support in society at all levels, and we hope that through this grant, we help to change the narrative,” she stated.
In a keynote address, Madam Margaret Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Rainbow Consult, lauded the Ghana Somubie Dwumadie for its continuous support to empowering people with disabilities and mental health conditions.
In her view, the new grant round was crucial to enabling disability groups to mobilise their collective power in advocating social inclusion.
“It is always more important for us to amplify the voices and experiences of those with disabilities rather than presume knowledge.
That is why it is so important that instead of prescribing ready-made solutions, interventions like GSD’s current grant are supported to enable those who have lived these experiences to push their case for inclusion,” she said.