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Mr Siapha Kamara, CEO, SEND-ghana
Mr Siapha Kamara, CEO, SEND-ghana

SEND-Ghana make inroads after 20 years of advocacy

The Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND West Africa) will rolled out a week-long programme beginning on the 30th August, 2018, to celebrate 20 years of exceptional contributions to poverty reduction and the promotion of good governance practices in Ghana and other African countries.

The multinational organization was founded in Ghana in 1998, and country programmess in Liberia and Sierra Leone were established in 2004.

SEND Ghana has mentored SEND Liberia and SEND Sierra Leone in accountability, transparency, equity and participation practices over the years, and all three nationally recognized organizations have significantly improved the economic development and governance of the region.

Receiving the outstanding development practitioner of the year award from the National Philanthropy Forum earlier this year, SEND West Africa founder and CEO Siapha Kamara said that for 20 years SEND has been holding the governments of Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone to account.

“If we are to go beyond aid, we at SEND are convinced that we have to have good governance,” Kamara said. “As we celebrate, we will continue to remain the role model that you want us to be, to shine light and to hold power accountable.”

To help celebrate, SEND has hired Dr. Esther Ofei-Aboagye to write the organization’s impact story, which will be published in a commemorative book. SEND will also be making several media appearances during the anniversary week, starting August 30th, and hosting an all-day celebration on the anniversary day, August 30th.

SEND GHANA (A Subsidiary of SEND Foundation of West Africa), In 2010, SEND won the One Africa Award for enabling civil society organizations to hold African governments accountable through its Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) framework.

“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,” stated the One Africa Award Selection Committee. “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.” 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 programmes. SEND Ghana’s school feeding project pressured government to improve targeting and prioritize deprived districts, which has contributed to increases in school enrollment.

SEND’s PM&E report on the school uniform program exposed weaknesses in distribution and compelled the Ghana Education Service to take action so that uniforms that were lying in warehouses are being used by students.

Again, Send’s Capitation Grant programme has also contributed to improved student enrollment. The organization has empowered people with disabilities to register for free national health insurance. Thousands of mothers and pregnant women have been educated on free maternal and under-five health services. And with the support of Zokonis Trust and Christian Aid UK, SEND Ghana built and equipped a modern facility for newborns at the Bawku Hospital.

On the other hand, SEND’s Making the Budget Work for Ghana and People for Health (P4H) projects also increased citizen participation in national and district budgets; each year, citizen budgets are now presented to the Ministry of Finance and district assemblies.

SEND’s livelihood programme has been operational in the resource-poor Eastern Corridor of Ghana since 1998. Projects implemented have promoted food and nutrition security, increased income, and strengthened gender equity.  It community credit unions have been established and have mobilized more than US$3 million to lend to more than 22,000 members, the majority of whom are women. Almost 20,000 rural women gained access to SEND FINGO microfinance services.

Also, through the promotion of soya production and consumption, the rate of stunting among under-fives fell from 35% in 2013 to 22.6% in 2017. Furthermore the rate of under-fives who are underweight fell from 15% to 8.7%.  More than 2,000 gender model families were established to teach husbands and wives to live equitably, and provide equal opportunities to their boy and girl children.

SEND Ghana envisions a Ghana where people’s rights and wellbeing are guaranteed. Its Mission is to promote good governance and the equality of women and men in Ghana.

 

PA News Desk 

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