By Sam Parker

#WomenInPhilanthropy: An Extended Interview

Women.ng Interview excerpt from their online magazine with Jennifer Douglas Abubakar

TEN YEARS FROM NOW WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE FOUNDATION TO HAVE ACCOMPLISHED?

The list of under-served and stigmatized health burdens is lengthy – depression, alcohol abuse, obesity, teenage suicide, sexually transmitted infections and even domestic violence – the list goes on. However, they all suffer from the same problems – a lack of information about their prevalence and impact; no community based care and support networks; little government recognition of their importance, and consequently few resources allocated for stigma reduction, treatment and care; equally limited recognition by development donors and agencies that a problem even exists.

People suffering from stigmatized health burdens therefore feel a sense of stigmatization, isolation, despondency and loneliness – which often make their conditions worse. Ten years from now, I want tens of thousands of such people and their carers to have worked with Gede to find their voice and to convincingly advocate for changes which bring their under-served and stigmatized health burdens out of the shadows in ways which make real and practical changes to the care and support they receive at the community level.

I would like to quote Gede’s Director of Administration, Jeremy Bogolosa, that Gede Foundation is an advocate for the “underdogs” of social/health issues. We encourage the marginalized population directly affected by mental health disorders (or other stigmatized and under-served health burdens that we will identify in the future) to show that they care and influence the rest of the world to listen and find that reason why they should care. For it is only when people care that they act responsibly.

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