The BasicNeeds project would be almost impossible to carry out if not for the efforts of the Community Based Volunteers (CBVs). They take time out of their daily activities to enrol users (those living with mental illnesses and epilepsy) and this is no easy task. Sometimes they have to walk long distances to find users, other times they encounter hostile users yet they continue.
Elisha is one of the volunteers from Mararaba. He volunteers in his community in matters such as security, health issues (polio, HIV and now mental health), numbering of houses in the community and much more.
Gede Foundation recruited him for the BasicNeeds project in April earlier this year. He has this to say about the project and Gede Foundation and mental health intervention in his community-
“Gede Foundation is genuine and wants to help the people. They have not asked for money from community members and have delivered on what they promised so far. From this project, I am learning that there are so many mental disorders and people really need help. I have also learned that some disorders can be avoided although not easily, such as drug and substance abuse. The people out there need to be educated so that those suffering from mental illnesses can feel safe and secure and not be rejected. It is good that Gede has come to do the Mental Health Camp, because people are now aware of it and more of them have come out. I like to help people and being part of this is good. I have been able to reach many many people and for this I am happy. It is good that Gede is doing what they have promised.”
Elisha is a hard worker and with his strong work ethic and involvement in the community, there are more good things to come with respect to the project.