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Neglect of the Mentally Ill in Africa

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3 2014 0902 basic needs

 

BasicNeeds is an international organization that was founded in 2000 by Chris Underhill. After witnessing the torture, caging, and neglect of the mentally ill in Africa, Underhill decided to become an advocate. Mental Health is a vastly undersourced and undervalued health issue. BasicNeeds works to bring about a lasting change of mentally ill people around the world.

3 2014 0902 basic needs 2The mission of BasicNeeds is to give those with mental illness or epilepsy the opportunity to live and work successfully in their communities through the combination of health, socio-economic, and community oriented solutions with changes in policy, practice, and resource allocation.

China’s sector of BasicNeeds has initiated a photography project called “My World” for people suffering from mental illness and epilepsy. The individuals participating in the project are encouraged to take photographs of their surroundings and use it as a medium to communicate. Most of the participants had never had any prior experience with a camera and the initiative has given them a new sense of freedom and creativity. Besides helping the participants improve their mental health, the project also aims at defying the stigma that has become associated with mental illness.

 

We are professional women 55+.  Most of us were active in the Women’s Movement.  We have traveled extensively in developing countries.  On the ground we’ve seen compelling evidence of the truth of the research, the profound difference it makes to society if mothers have food security for their children and sustainable futures for their families. We’ve been awed by the transformation of women who found opportunities to emerge from poverty and taken control of their own lives.  We’ve walked beside them and heard their stories.  We’ve seen their self-esteem grow, their leadership skills emerge and their voices heard.  We can help change the world for these women for decades to come by investing the same passion we summoned for our own battle for women’s equality.  

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