Menschen ohne Ketten e.V.
Hilfe für psychisch Kranke in Afrika
c/o Sodeik-Zecha, Im Bogert 25
Contact person: Frau Dr. Eva Sodeik-Zecha
- Aid for developing countries
- Aid organization
- Social policy/disabled persons
- Volunteers are welcome.
Was lange währt, wird endlich Realität:
Wir haben einen neuen Namen und einen neuen (Internet-)Auftritt!
Seit Anfang 2023 heißt unser Verein nun "Menschen ohne Ketten e.V." - dies ist uns wichtig, um nicht so sehr das (ursprüngliche) Problem, sondern v.a. unsere Zielsetzung deutlich zu machen.
Dabei meint 'Ketten' nicht nur die realen phyischen Ketten (die es gottseidank immer seltener gibt im Umfeld unserer Partnerorganisationen, dank guter Aufklärung!), sondern auch die Ketten im übertragenen Sinn: die Einschränkungen durch eine psychische Erkrankung, aber auch das Leiden durch Nebenwirkungen von Medikamenten und durch Stigmatisierung...
All das soll auch auf unserer ganz neu gestalteten Homepage verdeutlicht werden: www.menschenohneketten.de
Wir freuen uns auf Rückmeldungen und neue Kontakte!
The non-profit organization "Menschen ohne Ketten e.V." has been supporting private aid organizations that take care of people with severe mental illnesses for nearly 20 years. It all started in 2003 with the shock and sadness of founding member Wolfgang Bauer, a journalist with "Zeit", who was doing a report in Ivory Coast when he encountered for the first time the phenomenon of people who were shackled because of mental disorders: They were locked up in huts or chained to tree roots. Most were suffering from schizophrenia, psychosis and similar serious mental illnesses. The people are afraid of them, partly because they believe the sick are possessed by demons.
Some, mostly Christian-motivated local initiatives try to alleviate the suffering by taking the sick into specially formed therapy centres. The Association, then "Circle of Friend of St. Camille", which was officially founded in 2005, wanted to support this initiative through financial support for the procurement of the necessary medicines, but also by improving the spatial conditions and staffing. As far as possible they worked towards enabling patients to return to their villages.
Currently three private psychiatric centres in Ivory Coast are regularly supported: in Bouaké, in Bondoukou and in Korhogo. In Burkina Faso, too, several mostly church-based initiatives have recognized the major task of providing appropriate care for the mentally ill and have set up their own treatment centres or contact points. They mainly take care of homeless sick people who live on the streets in every city in West Africa and are exposed to a variety of dangers and violence there. All these institutions work with a high level of personal commitment, mostly on a voluntary basis and under difficult financial and practical conditions.
We are now the largest specialized aid organization that looks after the mentally ill in West Africa from Germany. Nine partner organizations are currently being funded: in addition to the three centres in Ivory Coast, six initiatives in Burkina Faso are supported, which stretch from Bobo-Dioulasso in the west to Piéla in the east, two centres are in the capital Ouagadougou and one in Ouahigouya in the north of the country.
In our cooperation with these initiatives it is important for us to take into account the specific orientation of the partner organization and the jointly identified needs in our support measures. For larger projects, we were able to obtain external funding from German foundations or government grants. The range of measures has continued to expand in order to meet the immense backlog of need in the field of mental health in West Africa. Since 2019, we have also focused on the professional qualification of all partner centres in order to make their employees fit for their challenging work - for the benefit of the patients being cared for.
• We provide support with psychotropic drugs in selected partner centres that provide treatment by psychiatric professionals - effective help is usually not possible without these drugs.
• We promote and organize medical and therapeutic training for professionals and volunteers in the partner centres.
• We finance urgently needed specialist staff, e.g. psychiatrists, (specialist) nurses or everyday companions.
• We help to set up or repair the necessary infrastructure.
• We enable the purchase of medical and therapeutic equipment.
• We advise and support the establishment of rehabilitation centres and other social reintegration measures for those affected
• We accompany the partner organizations in the further development of therapies on offer and institutional consolidation
Dr Eva Sodeik-Zecha is the managing director of Menschen ohne Ketten e.V.
We can provide advice on mental health issues in West Africa for other network participants and arrange contacts with institutions that work in the field of mental health.