The Treatment not Chains campaign is raising money to support the work of the Saint Camille de Lellis Association which is an African charity founded by Gregory Ahongbonon to provide treatment to the mentally ill.
Gregory’s work was profiled in the New York Times in October 2015. Several of us in the U.S. were compelled to support this work but found there was no way to make a tax deductible donation. As a result, we came together to form Treatment not Chains.
What the Campaign is Funding
Treatment not Chains is a campaign to support a newly opened treatment center in Togo to replicate the success that has been achieved in Benin and the Ivory Coast where treatment centers have virtually eliminate the practice of chaining mentally ill people to trees in prayer centers.
In Togo, St. Camille was given a piece of land in the town of Kpalimé and opened the new center in November, 2016. When fully operational, the center will provide an estimated 1,200 people with inpatient treatment each year and an additional 3,000-4,000 with psychotropic medications on an outpatient basis through dispensaries across the region. Treatment Not Chains will be funding medication and operations during the center's first year to ensure a successful launch.
Treatment not Chains is coordinating closely with a Canadian non-profit, Les Amis de la Saint-Camille (Friends of St. Camille) run by a dedicated group of volunteers inspired by Gregory’s work. The Treatment Not Chains campaign is run under the umbrella of a nonprofit fiscal sponsor, Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs.