In the year 2021, the board and Management of the Special Mothers Project made a firm decision to focus on Advocacy.
The Special Mothers Project is an advocacy programme that aims at creating awareness, sensitising and changing mindsets about children with Cerebral palsy and by extension children with disabilities and their families.
Our advocacy also aims at influencing policies to favour children with Cerebral palsy and other disabilities as well as their families.
The year 2022 has been yet another year of fruitful advocacy.
Our advocacy is done by highlighting real issues affecting families raising children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
We bring their issues to the fore using social media and mainstream media platforms and court empathy and support to ensure policy changes.
Among the issues the project highlighted were: The case of Edem, a single Special Needs father who struggled to make an income to care for himself and his child because of the lack of efficient support system and services.
Edem’s issue was further highlighted by Joy Prime, a part of the Multimedia Group who joined forces to call for policies and efficient support systems in Ghana for children with Cerebral palsy and their families.
The Special Mothers Project organised and information session on seizures.
Dr Yvonne Brew, a pediatrician at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital was the invited guest who came to educate parents about seizures.
Parents who attended the Information Session on seizures also had the opportunity to register with the National Council on Persons with Disability.
The parents also benefitted from the benevolence of Mrs Salome Okoh, a Special Mom who donated mobility equipment as well as some medical equipment and some toiletries to the parents.
In year 2022. the Special Mothers Project recorded the highest number of deaths of the children with cerebral palsy since the project began in 2015.
Some Parents who lost their children with cerebral palsy were presented with parcels and some amount of money contributed by members of the project as a way to commiserate with them.
The Special Mothers Project also participated in several workshops and training sessions organised by the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations with support from Ghana Somubi Dwumadie.
For most of the workshops and training sessions as well as the meetings that the Special Mothers Project attended, it was also an opportunity to publicise some of the activities within the Disability fraternity on the Project’s blog and social media platforms as well as some mainstream media channels.
It is worth mentioning that Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project who is also the Online Editor at the Ghana News Agency was among 20 fellows who participated in the Media Capacity Building Initiative for Reporting on Disability organized by the Young African Media Center with support from the United States Embassy in Ghana.
The fellowship was an opportunity to share with other media colleagues some of the experiences of parents of children with disabilities and widen her media network
The Special Mothers Project also had the opportunity to educate various groups and stakeholders on Cerebral palsy issues, the latest was being invited to grace the occasion and also share with congregants of the Victory Bible Church, Dominion Sanctuary, a bit about children with Special Needs when they launched a Sunday school facility for children with special needs.
The Project also participated in a brainstorming session organised by Cerebral Palsy Africa through the Salvation Army to come up with a manual that will serve as a guide to healthcare workers in various health facilities
The project worked with the Ghana Education Service through the La Nkwantanang Municipal office to support the Inclusion of children with Cerebral palsy and other special needs in schools.
In year 2022, the Special Mothers Project advocacy also worked towards getting people especially the youth to change their mindsets about Caregiving and to see it as a profession or career path that should be pursued.
That is why, Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project, spoke about respite when given the platform to speak on the Autism GH platform
The project started discussions with the Youth Employment Agency to see how the Government’s Health Care Assistant programme could be tailored to include training the health care assistants to work as caregivers at the household level to support families with children who have special needs.
The Special Mothers Project participated in the Launch of a project by Beautiful Life Foundation which aimed at giving financial aid to selected families with children with Cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
The Special Mothers Project also participated in The Family Day out programme organised by the Down Syndrome Ghana group.
The Special Mothers Project will continue the Advocacy path in 2023
Our Advocacy for 2023 will focus on changing the mindsets of especially the youth about caregiving.
The project will continue to bring to the fore issues that affects individual families and general issues that most families raising children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities grapple with.
The project will continue to give practical policy suggestions to government, policy makers and other stakeholders to ensure the formulation of inclusive policies and programmes that enhances the lives of children with Cerebral palsy or special needs and their families.
The Special Mothers project will also continue to engage stakeholders on especially cerebral palsy issues and largely disability issues with the aim of fostering inclusion at all levels
The Special Mothers Project has decided not to solicit funds for individual families, however we have succeeded in connecting a few individuals’ families to philanthropists who support them directly on a regular basis
The Special Mothers Project is yearning for a consistent and regular media platform, preferably radio or TV to help us engage Ghanaians on a regular and consistent basis issues that affects children with Cerebral palsy and their families. Funding for this has been the major challenge
A consistent and regular advocacy platform, we believe will help people to understand the issues, empathize, help us court support and ultimately drive policy change.
Your support on social media and the individual support has been tremendous, the project couldn’t have been here without your support.
Let me mention a few names, even at the risk of leaving some out or forgetting some people
Dr Eben Afarikumah, Mrs Patience Agyare- Ashie, Kampkpay outfitters and every single individual that has supported the project to this far God bless you abundantly