The Samuel Wellington Botwey (SWEB) Foundation is a coordinating disability-focused Non-Governmental Organization in Ghana committed to promoting the rights and inclusive development of all disabled persons in partnership with local organizations and state institutions. SWEB is located at 117 Haatso Video Club, off the Haatso – Atomic Energy Road, Accra, Ghana.
The Foundation was founded by its Executive Director, David Norden Botwey, in March, 2009 and incorporated in July, 2010. The name was chosen in honour and memory of Samuel Wellington Botwey, his father, who taught as the first teacher with blindness at the Wa School for the Blind from October 1961 to July 1977, where he died while in active service.
The Foundation begun as a small implementing organization from an office located in the private home of the Executive Director at House no. 8, Caprice Street, Kpehee, Accra. Eight children with disabilities identified in Tema, Kasoa and Achimota were the first beneficiaries of SWEB’s home-based rehabilitation service. A team of ten (10) student volunteers from the Department of Special Education (CBR Unit) of University of Education, Winneba were the first personnel.
In January 2012, SWEB entered into an agreement with the Liliane Foundation (LF) of The Netherlands to become the Strategic Partner Organization (SPO) in for Ghana. The agreement enabled SWEB to transform from the implementing status to a Coordinating Organization with 33 local partner organizations (POs). The POs had been implementing the then LF supported Direct Child Assistant (DCA) programme in the country since 1982. The DCA was later changed to Child Empowerment (CE), which is made up of Child Development and Enabling Environment.
The period between 2012 and 2016 saw major challenges confronting SWEB’s coordinating role. There was the challenge of SWEB’s low capacity to coordinate a nation-wide network of 33 local partners. There was the challenge of the DCA programme being 100% donor-driven and funded. Disability programming and the concept of Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) were alien to the partners. The transformational processes of turning around the situation was daunting.
Amidst extremely hard work and dedication of Council members, staff and volunteers over the period, SWEB has been able to wheel round the situations towards the adoption of Community-based Rehabilitation as the core programme orientation of SWEB and our partner. The introduction of the CBR strategy from 2015, saw seventeen (17) POs out of the 33, dropping out for lack of requisite capacity. Four new partnerships were established with district Assemblies, bringing the current partners that constitute the POs’ to twenty.
In December 2015, Liliane Foundation served notice of exit funding the core CE programme from in December 2018. This led to SWEB developing an exit strategy, which informed the re-shaping the future of SWEB to assume total ownership of the CE programme and to adopt the Community-based Inclusive Development (CBID) concept with its partners.