…SEND West Africa celebrates 20th anniversary
The Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND West Africa) will be celebrating 20 years of exceptional contributions to poverty reduction and the promotion of good governance practices this year, 2018.
The multinational organization, which was founded in Ghana in 1998 has gone on to establish programmes in Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2004.
SEND Ghana later mentored SEND Liberia and SEND Sierra Leone into recognized national civil society organizations contributing economic development and good governance promotion in their respective countries.
As the organization chalks 20 years of existence, its CEO and Founder, Mr. Siapha Kamara insists SEND West Africa will continue to serve as voice to the thousands of vulnerable groups including women and children in deprived communities across the country.
That feat, he explained would also be continuously replicated in Sierra Leone and Liberia where SEND operates.
Sharing his thoughts and the way forward on the organization’s operations with the Goldstreet Business, Siapha Kamara disclosed that the Liberia office, has been very instrumental in the fight against the ebola menace in 2014 and 2015.
Below are some initiatives and projects that SEND West Africa has pursued with regard to creating capacity in the development of citizens in the three countries.
Citizen Engagement, Education, Training and Advocacy
In 2010, SEND won the One Africa Award for enabling civil society organizations to hold African governments accountable by applying Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) framework.
Through the Grassroots Economic Literacy and Advocacy Program, SEND has implemented projects in the 60 poorest districts in Ghana. These projects increased good governance in the implementation of pro-poor education, health and agriculture programs. Few examples are summarized below.
SEND Ghana has contributed to discussions on the increment in school enrollment and performance of students by consistently campaigning for the improvement and implementation of the Ghana School feeding, Free School Uniform and Capitation Grant programs
Similarly, in the health sector, SEND has over the years empowered persons with disability and other indigenes, who are entitled to free national health insurance, register to utilize the opportunity to improve their access to health care.
Thousands of mothers and pregnant women in deprived communities, who participated in SEND projects have been educated to access the free maternal and under five health services for themselves and their children.
With the support of Zookins Trust and Christian Aid UK, SEND Ghana built and equipped a modern facility for newborns at the Bawku Hospital.
Through the ‘Making the Budget Work for Ghana’ and ‘People for Health Projects’, SEND Ghana also increased citizen participation and inputs in national and district budgets.
Each year, citizen budgets are presented to Ministry of Finance and district assemblies, and leads the campaign and advocacy to create awareness on the need for citizens to make inputs into the budgets.
Increasing Nutrition, Income and Gender Equity
SEND Ghana’s livelihood program has been operational in the resource-poor Northern Eastern Corridor of Ghana since 1998.
Projects implemented have promoted food and nutrition security, increased income, and strengthened gender equity.
Through the recent implementation of the Food Security through Cooperatives in Northern Ghana projects, over;
- 12 community credit unions have been established and have mobilised more than US$3 million to lend to more than 22,000 members, the majority of whom are women.
- 20,000 women gained access to SENDFINGO microfinance services.
- 30 percent inhabitants in that region have successfully benefited from a nutrition programme. Through the promotion of soya production and consumption, the rate of stunting among under-fives fell from 35 percent in 2013 to 22.6 percent in 2017.
The rate of under-fives who are underweight fell from 15 percent to 8.7 percent.
SEND has also championed the establishment of more than 2,000 gender model families to teach husbands and wives to live equitably, to provide equal opportunities to their children.
“SEND stood out as an exceptional organization that educates and empowers citizens to take part in the political process and access the services available to them. What impressed us even more was SEND’s model of citizen engagement, education, training and advocacy which is backed up by policy research. It not only promotes sustainable development but more importantly can also be replicated in different regions and countries.”
— One Africa Award Selection Committee
Join the Celebration
SEND Liberia and SEND Sierra Leone will be joining SEND Ghana in Accra on August 30, to celebrate and share impact stories with the people of Ghana as well as the communities that have benefitted from the organization’s activities over the years.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe