The Project of Clear Mind in Ghana
Present services and facilities:
AA meetings twice weekly
Personal and family coaching of clients.
Detox and Rehab. Facilities
Sheltered work at shop, farm and carwash in Nkoranza and Medina
Sheltered living for clients with addiction related issues and clients with handicap at farm and carwash.
Measured personal support with finding work and reintegration into society.
History of the project
The “Clear Mind” Alcohol-addiction-care project begun in 2011 when two persons with drinking problems succeeded to free themselves of their addiction. They received low dosages Baclophen and personal coaching from the team at that time consisting of InekeBosman and Patricia. The word spread and more people in Nkoranza asked for help. In 2014 the NGO Clear Mind Foundation was founded in Ghana with a supporting foundation in Holland.
Between July 2011 and December 2017 the number of curiosity clients mushroomed, they familiarized themselves with this possibility to one day make the step. During the first 6 years a little over 50 serious clients remained faithful to the program of whom 50% found relief for longer than 12 months. The success stories encouraged the Nkoranza population and stimulated our team to support the clients better.
It became clear that coaching and medication alone was not enough the keep persons away from the drink. Unless there were lasting changes made in their lives, people would fall back. Between 2014 and 2015, while making available a coffeebar, shop and workshop in town to people with problems, where they could stay the day (and night if desired) and work with art, craft, tailoring, weaving and sorting out second hand clothes, we felt we had much more to offer than a coach and a pill alone. The new manager of Clear Mind,Salamata, started a café meant for recovering alcoholics to work in and this became the success in town because of Sala’s great cooking skills. Hospital, PCC and staff from surrounding workplaces lined up at Sala’s kitchen where some recovering alcoholics were also employed. T
Helping recovering addicts back to work facilitated their return into regular society. In 2014 Mr. Baffo joined the foundation and together with Salamatu and Nana Gyamfua (Mr. Ask God) became its treasurer.
In 2015 recovered alcoholic George Paakwasi, a native of Nkoranza and well known as a teacher and son of the former Chief, joined Clear Mind by forming an AA group in Nkoranza. After a difficult start as expected the AA now blossoms with twice a week meetings at the workshop of Clear Mind and frequent home visitation.
Salamata offers daily meals to all those working at Clear Mind and those in process of recovering.
Our facilities opened up to rehabilitate more than ex-addicts alone. Bridget, a woman with cerebral palsy who lives at PCC, was allowed in 2015 to weave in our store and later was made in charge of the second hand clothing. Bridget is now on her way to independent living and begun to construct her own house from her own savings. Kwame Evans, also with cerebral palsy, joined as salesperson in 2016. Joe, Mr.M. and several other recovered addicts worked in second hand clothing till they found their way in their old community. Both Kofi the carpenter and Mr.Fosu the tailor resettled with sewing machines and carpentry tools (geredgereedschap) in their former towns and continue their success stories.
We have rented two recovery rooms behind the shop, where people can stay overnight if needed.
Since 2016 Salamatu is director of the project activities in Ghana; InekeBosman facilitates and sees that enough second hand clothes come her way, because these shipments form the basis of the income needed for salaries, food and rent of buildings.
Bob Maram in 2015 set up a new account system that Bridget handles, as all our other staff is not able to read or write. This is well managed. From 2017 onwards we got additional chartered accountants to audit the books and enable us to annually renew the foundation at the registration office in Accra.
Clear Mind widened the target group for finding work from recovered addicts to other persons with a disability and disadvantage at the workplace. Reason are two: 1) Former addicts do not like to be identified as a group. 2) There is pressing need to help others with a disadvantage, such as those with a physical and mental disability.Bridget Donkor (CP) joined as weaver in July 2015, Kwame Evans (CP) joined as salesman in 2016, Francesca (deaf) joined for manufacturing sheabutter and weaving in 2017.