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Databank Foundation dedicates 20yrs to mental health awareness

Databank Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Databank Group, on Friday October 20, held an event to mark its 20th anniversary.

Databank Foundation was created as an intentional way to actively engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the Databank group. The Foundation works to promote education, leadership development and mental health care programmes and has a long- term commitment to identifying and addressing the needs of vulnerable groups in our society.

 

Commencing in 1997 with their social work at the children’s ward of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital (Child Mental Health Programme), the Foundation has initiated sustainable CSR programmes such as the Young Leaders Mentorship Programme (YLMP), the Leadership and Excellence Awards (LEA), the African Leadership Initiative – West Africa (ALIWA) and the Read Aid Literacy Programme.

The aim of the celebration was to recognize partners, students and volunteers of the Databank Foundation, underscore the importance of contributing towards a better society through CSR activities and most importantly promote mental health awareness and campaign to end stigmatization of persons with mental illnesses.

Kojo Addae-Mensah, Group CEO of Databank, could not hide his joy and pride at what the Foundation has been able to achieve over the last 20 years and also how that had impacted on the Databank brand as a whole. Mrs Samira Bawumia, the Second Lady of Ghana, who was the Special Guest of honour, highlighted the need for Ghanaians to take an interest in helping people with mental health challenges.

She expressed her delight at Databank Foundation’s decision to use its 20th anniversary celebration to create awareness and raise funds towards supporting mental health in Ghana. She also launched a new project, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre called the Butterfly Trust which will be run in partnership with the Multikids Foundation.

On his part, the Board Chairman of the Foundation, Keli Gadzekpo, expressed his joy at what the Foundation had grown into and the numerous projects the Foundation had undertaken in the last 20 years. He also assured that the Foundation will continue to play its role in making the society a better place.

Dr. Pinnaman Appau, Director of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital expressed gratitude to Databank Foundation for their continuous support over the last 20 years. She also used the opportunity to encourage Ghanaians to treat people with mental health challenges with dignity.

Guests at the event were entertained by poetry recitals by some beneficiaries of the Read Aid programme, as well as a short drama by beneficiaries of the Young Leaders Mentorship Programme.

The Head of Programmes at Databank Foundation, Ms. Pebbles Parkes, thanked everyone who has been part of the success story and emphasised the need to support children with mental illness.

Among the numerous dignitaries at the event were Her Excellency Sun Boahong, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta and his wife Professor Angela Ofori-Atta, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection and Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior.