John Minto, Managing Director
John Minto is Gede’s Managing Director and, in addition to holding BA (Hons) (Newcastle), MA (Lancaster), MSc (London) and MBA (Wales) degrees, is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Leadership and Management, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. John has over twenty five years of experience managing businesses and major development programmes in Afghanistan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda and Somaliland.
John has been Managing Director of Gede since 2013 and notes that, “the Foundation has always responded to the challenges facing people living with underserved and stigmatized health burdens. Key challenges are often focused on stigma and discrimination, a lack of recognition that their health issues are important, and a concomitant lack of resource allocation by Government and development partners to provide treatment and care at the community level. While, historically, Gede has focused mainly on HIV-AIDS, one of the Foundation’s evolving core competences is developing an ability to address any underserved and stigmatized health burden in time”.
In terms of what the Foundation has achieved in 2016 and 2017, John notes that, “I am proud of the fact that our various written submissions to a number of global organisations contributed to the recognition of mental health within the Sustainable Development Targets. In terms of Nigeria, Gede works closely with Government and we were delighted to see that the National Action Committee for the Control of AIDS formally included mental health in the National HIV-AIDS Strategic Framework 2017-2021. Specifically, the Strategy calls for the integration of mental health into routine HIV-AIDS treatment and care. Gede was a key stakeholder working with NACA as Co Chair of the Technical Working Group which examined key integration issues, while our 2015 Prevalence Study (written with partners, the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria) into depression, alcohol use disorder and suicidality in a sample of people living with HIV added weight to the argument for integration”.
While the next few years will focus on working with Government to deliver community based mental health, John notes other projects. “Gede is already working with partners Catholic Relief Services to address the mental health challenges facing internally displaced persons in the north east of Nigeria and I am equally excited about the work we are also planning with our partners at King’s College London to look at the various challenges facing health systems in low and middle income countries related to the growing number of people over the age of 60. Gede is increasingly well positioned to make a genuinely sustained contribution to the challenges we are working on with partners, including Government”.
Cynthia J. Ticao, Performance Director: Research and Advocacy
As Performance Director: Research and Advocacy, Dr Cynthia Ticao coordinates all activities related to Gede’s 2016-2017 programme: (1) the BasicNeeds franchise project, working with HIV self-help groups to assist mentally ill persons and their carers in selected communities, (2) developing approaches to treatment and care using culturally adapted mental health screening tools which will benefit vulnerable children, and, (3) the writing, publication, and dissemination of Gede’s 2015 Prevalence Study on Depression, Alcohol Use, and Suicidality Among a Sample of the HIV Population in Abuja, FCT. Dr Ticao works with the Senior Management Team to promote Gede’s initiatives and to search for appropriate funding opportunities.
Dr Ticao completed her PhD in Psychology from McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and her MA in Psychology (University of the Philippines). She taught undergraduate and graduate Psychology courses at the University in the Philippines Visayas for 20 years, where she took on other responsibilities Director of the UPV Learning Resource Center, Director of Alumni Relations, and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences. She was a member of research teams focused on Filipino wellbeing, fishing communities, and nutrition and is the author of “Introduction to Psychology”, published by the UP Open University Press (2004).
“It is great to be at the forefront of defining how mental health conditions (particularly, depression, alcohol use, and suicidality) can be integrated into HIV treatment and care, to raise awareness and reduce stigma, and to assist people with mental illness and their carers to become productive members of their communities. The challenges accompanying these goals are many, but I see them as opportunities where we can make a difference in people’s lives”, observes Dr Ticao.
Dr Ticao feels privileged to be part of a dedicated Gede team that ‘dares greatly’ to search for opportunities that will, hopefully, make a small corner of the world a little better than when we first found it.
Jeremy A. Boglosa, Performance Director: Organisational Development and Support Services
Jeremy Boglosa is Gede’s Performance Director for Organisational Development and Support Services (PD:OD/SS). She holds a BA degree in Sociology and Economics and a Master of Management degree in Rural Development from the University of the Philippines-Visayas. She joined Gede as a volunteer in 2006 and was appointed Performance Director in 2014. Her previous experience in the areas of administration, teaching, community development and social research coupled with her decade-long experience at Gede have all enabled her to cope with the demands of her career in the NGO world as an individual.
In line with the Foundation’s new programme focus on Mental Health, Jeremy acknowledges the importance of parallel “movement” of an organization’s systems vis-à-vis change (whether on theme, scope, size) in its programme and activities. In charge of Gede’s Organisational Development and Support Services, she understands that the Foundation’s support services and systems have to change as the programme changes.
Jeremy has this message to share, “The past three years have been a period of changes and adjustment for the whole Foundation. I think the Support Services Team has done its best in making sure that the Foundation’s sail through the seas of change has been well-supported from every angle, albeit overwhelming waves and dangers. Now that we have reached clearer waters in terms of programme review and development, my hope, prayers and efforts are now focused on having sustainable resources, efficient systems, and dependable human resources to promote and implement the Foundation’s projects.”
Godwin Etim, Performance Director: Resource Mobilization and Partnership Management
Godwin Etim is Gede’s Performance Director for Resource Mobilization and Partnership Management and has a Bachelor of Engineering degree, in addition to key skills gained in a long career in project design and management.
Godwin has played a pioneering role in a number of key programmes in Nigeria, including those focused on HIV-AIDS and malaria which contributed greatly to enhancing the national uptake of treatment services as part of Global Fund grants. Throughout his career, Godwin has worked closely with projects supported by locally and internationally renowned partners such as the Addax & Oryx Foundation, FHI-360, the Society for Family Health, PharmAccess Foundation, UNICEM, the National Cancer Institute, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the World Bank.
With a career in underserved and stigmatized health burdens, it is perhaps not surprising that Godwin is passionate about exploring the prevalence and impact of mental illness on a number of existing health burdens. Godwin participation in 2015 Global Mental Health Summer School in London on Research and Action added significantly to his knowledge about mental health research and ways in which ‘partnership’ at all levels is very much ‘the name of the game’ in the national, regional and international contexts.
Godwin considers the relationship between mental health and other diseases as vital and must result in continuous advocacy at all levels of society to ensure genuine government and donor commitment in allocating resources to mental health service delivery. Within this context, Godwin has been advocating, through different opportunities, for inclusion of mental health into HIV treatment, care and support for many reasons—some of which will help address challenges currently associated with poor adherence to medication. Godwin believes that in order to attend UNAID’S vision 90:90:90, a comprehensive treatment package, focusing on more innovative approaches including mental health will be vital. Godwin is happy to see Governments, donors, development partners and the patients’ community beginning to explore the possibilities of integrating mental health into HIV treatment platform.
Ebhohimen Kizito, Program and Monitoring & Evaluation Manager
Kizito Ebhohimen is a passionate development professional, globally certified in project management (PMP and PMDPro) and currently studying for an MBA. His professional experience and network has grown around community development work, focusing on underserved health burdens and vulnerable populations. After several years of working in different organizations to support HIV and OVC programmes funded by the USG – PEPFAR, as well as doing some work on malaria and health system strengthening initiatives, he presently supports mental health programmes as Gede Foundation’s first Programme and Monitoring and Evaluation Manger. More specifically, he works on project design, delivery and improvement in order to ensure high impact results. He directly coordinates Gede Foundation’s flagship project which delivers the BasicNeeds model for mental health and development in Nigeria.