Of high level advocacy, scaling #mentalhealth and disabilities on the regional level

12:32:00 PM


At the Lion of Judah Monument, Addis Ababa - Ethiopia


๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถThere is a land, 

so far far away...it's called addis ababa, 
And the ruler of the land, 

that's so far far away

...his name is King Sellasie ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ 


that's the song my mind turned up when I went to the Lion of Judah monument. The literature I read lied; I admit I secretly expected to find some herb inducing, mega dreadlocked citizens at the monument paying r - i - spect (reggae speak), speaking against babylon and plotting total Liberation for mankind.


It has been an interesting weekend for me...at the beginning of last week if you told me i'd be addressing a group of CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) from all over Africa at the UN in Ethiopia, I'd claim it for my wishlist but it happened. On Friday 14th November, a few minutes after 5p, I had the humbling and honorable opportunity to address participants from around 34 African countries at the UNECA - Addis Ababa.

The gathering (dubbed #TheAfricaWeWant #Beijing20)'s main agenda was to discuss the position of African CSOs to be presented before African governments who were meeting to review steps made after the Beijing Declaration of 1995. The theme for #Beijing20 is empower women, empower humanity...picture it. I borrowed from that theme and gave the story of my life and how by empowering myself as a woman with mental health info, I have been enable to empower humanity (the constitution of persons living with mental health condition/epilepsy and their families with info and support) through my organization, my mind my funk and our products like the FREE SMS line 22214, counseling services and continuous awareness drives. I was humbled to get a standing ovation from the participants.



After intense activity, lobbying, presentations and group work, a paper on the position of African CSOs was drafted and I am proud to say ‪#‎mentalhealth‬ and psychosocial issues/services plus disabilities have been mentioned with recommendations in 4 out of 11 of the issues in the following areas; economy, health, armed conflict and  human rights. It was an intense process and my body misbehaved (got 2 seizures) but the outcomes are amazing and worth being at the UN after dark to make sure its ready for the African governments meeting.
I would like to say a special thank you to Nebila from Femnet and Muchiri for making it all happen.

Download the position paper here 

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