The UK Prime Minister`s Special Envoys for Girls Education — Helen Grant, and the Special Envoy for Gender Equality, Alicia Herbert, visited Ghana to discuss issues relating to girls’ education and gender equality. Some other organisations who were present at the visits include: FCDO officials, a representative from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the programme lead of Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, the Executive Director of BasicNeeds- Ghana, the CEO of Mental Health Authority, the Focal person for mental Health at Ghana Health Service and Executive Secretary of the Mental Health Society of Ghana
While in Ghana, the two envoys visited the Akuma Jen Self Help Group (SHG) of people with mental illness and epilepsy on Tuesday 18th May 2021, where they interacted with three (3) individuals who had been supported by BasicNeeds-Ghana with UK aid. The beneficiaries shared their experiences of mental illness and their journey to recovery with the envoys.
The beneficiaries also told the envoys of the support they received from BasicNeeds Ghana engage in petty trading and to learn bead and soap making. Millicent Otoo, one of the SHG members who met the envoys, said “I always wanted to go into bead making. BasicNeeds Ghana supported me to learn the craft. Since then, I have polished my skills in the art which has helped me to produce beautiful bead products for sale.”
Florence Amoo, another one of the beneficiaries said who met the envoys, shared that “because of the business I’m now engaged in, my family and friends don’t stigmatize against me anymore, I’m planning to build a container where I can sell more to make more money to feed my three children.”
Later in the day, there was a round table discussion with focus on key themes including: Affirmative Action Bill, Ghana’s demographic dividend, Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) as well the new Mental Health Policy and access to social protection for people with mental health conditions. The Round table even was hosted at the Residency of the British High commissioner, for key players in the Disability, Gender and mental health front in Ghana.