Rethinking Mental Health: Improving Comunity Wellbeing (Socio-economic Interface for violence Elimination).

Rethinking Mental Health: Improving Comunity Wellbeing (Socio-economic Interface for violence Elimination).

Uganda
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

 A dysfunctional family breeds future poor mental health and the disturbed mind originates from some form of violence. To improve community wellbeing we must end domestic violence. But domestic violence cannot be eradicated without placing men at the forefront of protecting women from violence since men are its main perpetrators.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The main problem concerns is the elusive nature of domestic violence.Men return from prison sentences and continue to re-offend. Exposure of children to domestic violence creates future violent youth and adults.We wish to free society from this endless cycle of violence begetting violence. The world has not appreciated the power of peaceful non-violent forms of conflict resolution.We want to see an end to the death penalty, to ineffective punitive approaches to psychologically based problems. In many parts of africa, the use of the cane in schools is still encouraged. where it is illegal, there are no measures to stop it completely.The effects of exposure to violence are little understood. Drug addicts, alcoholics,sex addicts, violent persons, all end up behind bars with little chances of true indepth healing.We question the current manner in which the roots of societal mental health are dealt with.Domestic violence happens in the most basic unit of society, the family, and is not different from a mini war.
About You
Organization:
SEIVE
Section 1: About You
First Name

FR. PAUL

Last Name

OKOTH

Website URL

http://Under construction

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

SEIVE

Organization Phone

line+256-(0)45-447-9099 mob: +256(0)774764772

Organization Address

Socio-Economic Interfave for Violence Elimination (SEIVE), Plot 8, Budaka Close, Namakwekwe, Mbale. P.o.Box 2474 Mbale, Uganda

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

Several innovations exist in my idea.Firstly, it does not consider gender issues to be the commonly accepted concept:a women's issue.It is about men taking responsibility for their actions rather than women fighting for their rights.
Secondly,I (and my organization) hold that domestic violence is a behavior internalized in early childhood by the exposure of children to violence in a domestic context.We think that its removal in men requires psycho-social therapeutic approaches such as counselling and behavioral change methods rather than the currently predominant punitive measures alone.
Thirdly, the outcome of this approach is unitive rather than divisive for a couple.Male perpetrators of domestic violence do not return from prison angry and vengeful.Instead they get to understand their circumstances develop a true loving non-violent relationship with their spouses.
In addition men and women have found themselves closer to each other than ever before.Perhaps the most important novelty here is that many faces of domestic violence are addressed simultaneously. Hidden and less obvious forms of domestic violence, such as denial of sex and withdrawal of monetary support are confronted.It is an in-depth healing approach.
Because it is hard to attract men to join non-economic pursuits,the men end up in cooperatives, get socially integrated and are at the same time relevantly rehabilitated in their natural social environment rather than in correctional institutions that have little bearing to the sitz-in-leben in which they live.It is a new holistic methodology.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Yes

Impact
What impact have you had?

From a little known counselling program we are now overwhelmed by the public demand.We did not expect that we would receive so many clients a day; hundreds of phone calls.We did not know that our clientele would expand to cover all kinds of people with all kinds of problems: The childless couple,men living in dire poverty, the woman seeking help for her alcoholic husband,the couple that is looking for an answer to what makes them always fight, the sexually addicted husband,people who claim their homes are haunted by demons; the list is endless.when all was said is done,we encounter the everyday problems of families and communities at the very roots of community mental health.
Over the years we have from experience and study developed a workable and popular way of dealing with family issues by counselling.
Our work has gone beyond the borders of the country and continues to spread spontaneously from mouth to mouth.
More and more victims of domestic violence opt to come to us hoping to find a solution that will not force them to hand their violent husbands to the prisons. they do not want a divorce, they want a change in their spouses.
A wide section of the population is now involved: schools, faithbased groups,correctional institutions,women's organizations, human rights organizations,law enforcement and policy makers,Government and village comunities.Men are finally becoming part of the gender issues platform and taking their responsibility at all levels.

Actions

We researched on why men are the main perpetrators of domestic violence.Results showed that most perpetrators had been exposed to domestic violence in their childhood. Local leaders help identify afflicted families and we offer marital counselling to both perpetrators and survivors.We rented an office,advertise in the media,get access to perpetrators in prison,get the police to identify more perpetrators and have lobbied the district Justice for counselling as a component of sentencing perpetrators.With the permission of the education office we address institutions on domestic violence.
We keep and study records of cases and counselling methods that worked or didnt work in specific cases.Our volunteers form peer pressure groups and work together in economically viable investments. Part of their profits help their victims and maintain our office and work. With a music band we march in streets and make peaceful demonstrations against brideprice during the 16 days of activism.We make referals of survivors and perpetrators to suitable programs and train men's counselors.

Results

More survivors are reporting abuse to our office and men in communities are becoming more sensitive to domestic violence.The presence of anti-violence groups of men incommunities keeps potential perpetrators in check.Women are feeling safer in the communities where we are present.We are receiving referals from all sectors of society, even by wives who fear court proceedings and dont want a divorce or loss of custody over their children.Men's cooperatives are springing up and poverty in families being alleviated. there is a clear decrease in the statistics of domestic violence.Ex-prisoners find easy to reach and attractive rehabilitation programs.We help re-integrate ex-perpetrators into new and productive lifestyles.Women's rights groups are finding it helpful to work with men.Gender issues are no longer solely a women's thing.There are now platforms for men and women to work together.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

In the first year,men's cooperatives will have to be economically viable to enable volunteers to work against domestic violenc while simultaneously sustaining their families.Part of the profits from their common income generating activities is essential for the self-sustenace of the project, our office and work.Investment funds for such common enterprises would have to come from the volunteers themselves as well as donations from goodwill and well wishers.Through awareness seminars financial appeals can be made from the communities themselves.
Such funds would be spent on social education, awareness and sensitisation on issues of domestic violence at all levels of society; seminars for schools,law enforcement,political and civil administrators,faith-based groups,cultural institutions, social organizations, legal and economic systems.The support of law enforcement, political and civil administration is vital for the change of attitudes towards and policies on domestic violence.
In the second year,with adequate funds, violent and abusive cultural,political and traditional systems would have to be challenged through social campaigns.Mens groups would have to actively support and complement womens' groups that work against domestic violence.
In the third year society would have to be involved in comprehensively rejecting all forms of exposure to violence in general(such as capial punishment and war) and domestic violence in particular. At the grass roots and national levels, legal systems that do not take the nature of male perpetrated violence into account would have to be denounced and ammended.Active change would need to occur at all levels of social and political structure.Laws would need to be enacted against any exposure of children to violence and especially domestic violence. The nature, causes and effects of domestic violence in relation to community mental health would need to be taught as a mundatory subject in schools,universities and other institutions of learning and government would have to include in her budget funding for psycho-socio economic enterprises such as counselling and recovery centers for violent people, sex and drug addicts, alcoholics, refugees and other victims of her own violence-sustaining and regenerating culture.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The quality, number and availability of domestic violence counselors determines the quality and degree of impact on mens attitudes. We would not succeed if we failed to fund the initial training of key personel. we would also fail if we did not penetrate the higher levels of social hierarchy since these effect changes in policy and laws and can use their financial and administrative advantage against us.
We would fail if we did not have income generating activities as these are essential for sustaining the commitment and involvement of men who will normally prioritise their need to earn a living for their families.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Mifumi Project

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Networking with NGO's are important for the effective spread and implementation of our methodologies.Our link with organizations that work against domestic violence adds a multiplier effect to our overall impact on society.We are able to share notes on types of cases, improve on our approaches and together have a stronger voice to impact on public policy. we have benefited much from skills specific trainings carried out by partner organizations. It is also important for us to maintain a referal mechanism that takes care of persons who would more suitably be taken care of by other NGO's. Collaborations that lead to wider demonstrations such as occur on the 16 days of activism are critical for our success in impacting on the public.
Because our men generally earn a living for their families we have to be linked with businesses that mutually benefit the organization and the business communities. Economically viable investments need the expertise of businesses that have been involved before us.
Partnerships with government are critical for influencing changes in public policy and amendments of unjust laws. There is need to enforce discipline where perpetrators initially resent us.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Firstly, we need to extensively change men's attitudes towards domestic violence and gender issues by making them responsible for protecting women against violence. This in turn requires widespread use of radio, newspaper articles and community seminars: thorough advertisement and publicity.
Secondly we must first have the men in our camp before we can do anything to them or get them to do anything for themselves. This requires attracting their interest and commitment by setting up attrative income generating projects for and with them, grouping them up in cooperative unions.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I noticed that one mentally disturbed lady spent much of her time apparently "caring for and consoling" another mentally ill lady.The "carer" made quicker progress and soon recovered.And then I experimented with other clients and deliberately got them to attend to people with similar problems. It soon became obvious that here was something important and unrecognized.Now I know it will take former male perpetrators of domestic violence to end domestic violence in other perpetrators. As an alcoholic I was subjected to many years of abuse at the hands of those who did not really understand chemical dependency.(dismisals, expulsions, humiliations,etc). I only began to recover at the hands of recovered alcoholics at the guesthouse, a treatment center in Rochester Mn, USA.Since then I have wanted to see other troubled persons get appropriate therapy and treatment.Punishment alone will not turn the violent perpetrator into a peace activist.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

CURRICULUM VITAE OF FR PAUL OKOTH
• 2006-2009 Assistant pastor, St Austin’s parish, Mbale municipality, Archdiocese of Tororo. Assistant staff, radio Maria, Uganda, Mbale branch. Working on sound track for a film on domestic violence about to be released by Mifumi women’s project, Uganda.
• 2008 Won an Ashoka International fellowship award for placing men at the forefront of ending violence against women.
• 2005-2006 Assistant pastor, Budaka parish, Archdiocese of Tororo. Founded Socio economic Interface for Violence Elimination (SEIVE)
• 2005 Made presentation at Pan African conference on abolition of bride price, Kampala Uganda
• 2004-2005 Diploma in computer repair, Stratford Institute, Washington DC, USA
• 2002-2005 Attended BSC Chemistry lectures and piano pedagogy, Bucknell University, USA. Was Church Organist at sacred Heart parish, Lewisburg, PA, USA.
• 2000-2002 Guesthouse, Rochester Mn, USA, Member of the North American Catholic clerical association for chemical dependency and addiction therapy.
• 1999-2000 Parish priest, Situmi catholic parish, archdiocese of Tororo. Organist at National celebration of martyrs day(3rd June,2000) at Namugongo, Kampala
• 1994-1999 Parish priest, Gangama parish, Mbale municipality
• 1990-1994 O-level science teacher, St Pius X seminary, Nagongera, Tororo, Uganda.
• 1986-1989 BA Theological and Pastoral studies, Ggaba national Major Seminary, affiliated to Pontifical Urban University of Rome. Ordained Roman Catholic Priest. Pastor, sipi Parish, archdiocese of Tororo.
• 1985 pastoral exposure, Budadiri Parish
• 1983-1984 Diploma in theology, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
• 1982-1984 diploma in philosophical and religious studies, Katigondo National Major Seminary.
• 1980, 1981 East African Advanced certificate of Education, Physics, chemistry, math, St Mary’s college Kisubi, Kampala
• 1976-1979 East African Ordinary certificate of Education, St Pius X Seminary, Nagongera, Tororo, Uganda.
• 1974,1975 Primary 6, primary 7 Kisoko Boarding school, Tororo
• 1971-1973 Primary 3, 4, 5 Rock view school, Tororo.
• 1969,1970 Primary 1,2 Elgon view school, Tororo
• 1968 Elgon view Nursery school, Tororo

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Ashoka Global association of Social entrepreneurs (Ashoka)