When I was filing the 2019 annual returns for The Special Mothers Project in the early parts of 2020, I was almost certain that I was done with the project.
I had been frustrated in the year 2020 even though the project wasn’t totally idle in the year 2020. We had stopped any physical meetings with the parents and moved all our activities online.
The Project’s whatsapp platform was however very vibrant and we were adding new members almost every week.
The calls for support from the parents was also increasing, it was a big dilemma for me. To go on with the project or not to
The Special Mothers Project does mainly advocacy.
In addition to our media and social media advocacy programmes which aims at contributing positively to policy formulation around children with cerebral palsy and other special needs we move to support parents and families nurturing children with disabilities in any way that we can.
Therefore, a call from the Executive Secretary of the National Council on Persons with Disability, inviting the Special Mothers Project to a meeting in the early parts of 2021 came as a pleasant surprise.
The Council had selected some NGOs to provide them with technical support, and the Special Mothers Project was one of those.
Even though the Special Mothers Project could not get the needed support due to some technical reasons, the call awakened the senses of the Executive Director that it was not over.
In the year 2021, The Special Mothers Project supported many parents of children with various disabilities in a variety of ways.
Madam Yawa Ankrah _ – Madam Yawa is one of the very notable special needs moms we gave support to in 2021, Madam Yawa is mother to an adolescent with Down syndrome, Madam Yawa got sick with diabetes which left her bedridden and her daughter’s life to chance.
The Special Mother Project highlighted the issue of Madam Yawa, which caught the attention of other media colleagues. Joy News’ Beryl Richter took the issue up and the issue finally got the attention of Ghana’s First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
Madam Yawa was given hospital care, her home renovated and her daughter admitted to the Dzorwulu Special School.
Madam Yawa said her life today is a living testimony. See Madam Yawa’s story here: http://specialmothersproject.blogspot.com/2021/02/blind-crippled-woman-with-special-needs.html
The Special Mothers Project also supported many parents of children with disabilities, raising funds on social media to set some up in small enterprises, we paid for the two years rent advance of one woman who was being abused by her husband because of her child with special needs.
We supported some parents with the payment of hospital bills, the support to the parents were countless and we cannot list them all.
The Special Mothers Project also raised funds to renovate the Special Unit of the Madina Demonstration basic school, separate funds were raised to buy furniture and educational materials.
The Project donated items to the Accra Psychiatric Special School on behalf of Special Mom Eunice Enam Gakogo during her birthday
The project also provided counselling support on a daily basis to many special needs parents who reached out through social media.
Special Mothers Project on Amplified
The Special Mothers Project was also featured on the Ministry of Information’s flagship programme on social media Amplified.
The Amplified programme provided the project with the opportunity to be known by many and helped increased our social media following.
Contribution to Policy
One of the major aims of the Special Mothers Project is to contribute meaningfully to policy formulation around children with cerebral palsy and other special needs in Ghana.
The Special Mothers Project as part of the Amplified programmes presented some policy suggestion to the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
The Project also engaged in some critical policy discussions including the Ghana Early Childhood Care and Development Policy, The Inclusive Education Policy, and other policies bothering on children.
The Special Mothers Project is also part of the Civil Society Platform for Social Protection. A group that came together to push for a social protection law in Ghana
The Special Mothers Project outlined policy suggestions have also been presented to individual Members of Parliament and other high-profile members of society.
The Special Mothers Project also shared some experiences when Ghana hosted the first ever training programme for Rehabilitation professionals across five African countries with the support of Cerebral Palsy Africa
The Special Mothers Project was also awarded by the Patience Awards International for the work they are involved in
The Media in Ghana and beyond has been of tremendous support to the Special Mothers Project since its inception. I risk leaving some of the media houses out if I attempt to mention but all the same, let me mention The Ghana News Agency, Finder Newspaper, ModernGhana.com, HBTV, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Nana Yaa Konadu of Despite Media and Talklife and a host of media personnel and organizations that hosted the Special Mothers Project their on platforms to articulate our concerns as well as educate the public about children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities
The Special Mothers Project crowned the year with an end of year get together where some items were donated to the mothers who attended.
The Special Mothers Project intends to continue the advocacy path for the long haul. Our advocacy will include making meaningful contributions to policy formulation that centres around children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
The project where necessary will raise funding to support a cause that is in line with our advocacy objectives and where necessary continue to support selected parents with skills and small enterprises that will enable them earn an income by themselves
The project will focus on a care-giving advocacy drive to get more people especially the youth interested in taking up care-giving as a viable career option. This programme will help us solve a bit of our unemployment challenges as a country.
The Special Mothers Project intends to with the necessary funding host a once-a-year respite programme to serve as a networking event for families raising children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and also help in supporting the mental wellbeing of especially special needs mothers
Words are not enough to express our gratitude for the overwhelming support we have enjoyed over the years as the Special Mothers Project.
Special mention to Mrs Eunice Enam Gakogo, Mr Kwadwo Boateng Ntim, Special Moms Ellen Berko Akoto, Lydia Afia Owusuaa Ntaah, Patience Puplampu, Salome Okoh, My Child’s wellbeing Project, Ms Gloria Amo Aidoo, Members of the Special Mothers project Whatsapp and Telegram platform and all our followers on social media, the list is endless and I risk offending some should I go on t list all the people that has supported the project this year 2021