An GH¢11 million grant has been launched under the “Ghana Somubi Dwumadie”(GSD), to support civil society organisations (CSOs) working to reduce stigma and discrimination as well as promoting the rights of marginalised groups in the country.
The GSD, funded by the United Kingdom Government and UKaid , is a four-year disability programme in Ghana, with a specific focus on mental health.
It is being implemented by an Options-led consortium, consisting of BasicNeeds-Ghana, Kings College London, Sightsavers International and Tropical Health, all non-governmental organisations.
Making the announcement at a news conference in Accra yesterday, Team Leader of the GSD, Lyla Adwan-Kamara, explained that the provision of the grant was to “improve the wellbeing of, and empower people with disabilities, including mental health disabilities to reduce stigma and discrimination and to generate evidence through research to inform policy on disability and mental health.”
She said applications were opened to Disabled People Organisations, Self-Help Groups, Women’s Rights Organisations and other Civil Society Organisations working in similar direction across the country.
Research Institutions and media organisations, according to the Team Leader, were also eligible to apply for the grant, however, priority would be given to projects being undertaken in under-served regions, including the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Savana, North East, Bono East, Bono, Volta, Oti and Central regions.
Ms Adwan-Kamara stressed that projects that would qualify for funding must have “evidence and effectiveness for mental health and disability inclusion interventions and ensure that people with disabilities, including people with mental health disabilities, are in the lead on approaches to improve their wellbeing, social and economic outcomes, and rights.”
In welcoming interested groups to apply for the grant, Ms Adwan-Kamara stated that applications were open from December 18,2020 to January 18, 2021 after which selection processes would be done by February 2021 and funds disbursed to successful grantees by April 2021.
An investigator with the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Dr Isaac Annan, expressed the Commission’s commitment to work with CSOs to promote the rights of all Ghanaians especially the vulnerable.
He said CHRAJ was working to deploy a system to track and receive reports of abuses for prompt redress.
Dr Annan urged civil society groups to work closely with CHRAJ to ensure that incidences of abuse are investigated to the latter and addressed.
“Often, CSOs work in silos and do not involve the Commission in their activities, but we are legally mandated to protect human rights and dignity so it allows for culprits to go scot free because cases are not pursued to the latter,” he noted.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH