Promoting Gardening for Improved Mental Health, Food and Income Security

Johnson and Johnson Company Ltd. is supporting BasicNeeds-Ghana to implement a sustainable livelihoods project titled "BasicNeeds promoting gardening for improved mental health, food and income security". This project is one of the initiatives of BasicNeeds-Ghana to increase productivity and wellbeing of women and men and youth with mental illness or epilepsy and their primary carers and families through acquisition of of skills in vegetable gardening which they otherwise would find difficult to access normally.

 

The goal of this project is “to enhance secure livelihoods and reduce vulnerabilities of women, men and youth with mental illness or epilepsy through enabling people with to take up vegetable gardening as a trade”. The project will make it possible for 50 new beneficiaries to train in organic vegetable gardening to serve as a pool of trainers for mental health service users and primary carers.This will be by a Training of Trainers (TOT) programme where 50 beneficiaries will be trained by a volunteer gardener in vegetable gardening to in turn support another 250 stabilised service users and primary carers to engage in production of vegetable for household use and as a form of generating income.

By so doing BasicNeeds-Ghana significantly contributes to securing the livelihoods of the beneficiaries, reduce stigma and enhance socio-economic wellbeing of individuals and households affected by mental illness or epilepsy. With increased confidence and incomes complete recovery is enhanced. This also contributes to strengthen capacity of poor, marginalised and vulnerable people living with mental illness or epilepsy and their primary carers to better understand their needs and rights and to actively participate in development processes that guarantee their rights.

This project is a new initiative that will complement ongoing efforts to economically empower individuals affected by mental illness or epilepsy and their households. This grant will significantly support a new batch of beneficiaries to enter the world of work through vegetable gardening. It is anticipated that in the long-term this project could lead persons with mental illness or epilepsy grow on to access and benefit from medium scale commercial sources of financing and equipment and logistics expand their agric-based and other related enterprises. The project will support a majority of women, particularly those that are carers of their relatives with mental illness or epilepsy and also women and youth under treatment, whose conditions have stabilised enough to enable the engage in productive activities.

The project will be implemented in Tamale (Northern Region), and Talensi Baare (Upper East Region), Lambussie (Upper West Region)

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