Chronicles from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Of high level advocacy and scaling mental health + 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'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 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 

You Might Also Like


  1. whilst there may be several advancements in the method of treating mental Circumstances on the past 50 years, there exists still an certain stigma surrounding your own views at mental illness. Many people still mistakenly believe The item an individual having a mental illness will be simply lazy or maybe they will area blame towards parents whether or not ones patient can be a child.Kevin Perelman

  2. When it comes to sickness, recovering from it does not necessarily mean total recovery from the mental health problem, just like you would recover from any physical ailment.