Help us make an impact in
mental health in rural Nigeria


Donate
V. Rev. Kenneth Nwaubani
Director of Amaudo Itumbauzo
Rt. Rev. Chiemeka Okpara Chukwudi
Board Chairman of Amaudo Itumbauzo
We are Amaudo
Kate Lumley
CEO of Amaudo UK
Amaudo Itumbauzo was founded in 1989 by Rosalind Colwill in response to growing numbers of mentally ill people roaming the streets of southeast Nigeria. A combination of negative cultural beliefs and a lack of information and resources mean that these most vulnerable people are often left with nowhere to go.  

Amaudo provides residential and community-based services as well as challenging stigma and discrimination. We work with local communities to raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge the government to ensure basic human rights. ​Amaudo UK was established as a UK charity in 2000 to support the work of Amaudo Itumbauzo.
Rosalind Colwill MBE
Founder of Amaudo Itumbauzo

"Human rights abuses and poor care are rooted in stigma, ignorance and lack of human rights-based mental health laws. We provide education and awareness and promote human rights to positively impact on the lives of people with mental illness"

V. Rev. Kenneth Nwaubani, Director of Amaudo Itumbauzo

Communities & Projects

Amaudo Okopedi
Amaudo Okopedi can accommodate 60 with a team of 25 health care practitioners and support staff. Rehabilitation takes place whilst residents and staff live, work, eat and worship together. This involves counseling, medication and training.​ Ultimately we aim to reunite residents with families and resettle in communities.
Amaudo Ntalakwu
Amaudo Ntalakwu was established in 1993​ for residents who are unable to be resettled because of learning disabilities, complex care requirements, or problems in tracing families. It is a place where individuals' needs can be supported and life skills, training and education are continuously available.​
Project Comfort
Project Comfort is a community-based service for children with learning and physical impairments, providing specialist care and teaching relatives how to provide support. Fieldworkers run awareness training in villages, support groups for parents and advise teachers so that children can attend school with peers.
Community Mental Health Programme
A network of 70+ clinics in 4 states in southeast Nigeria in a pioneering collaboration with State Governments. Nurse-led clinics provide accessible and affordable care to people in their own communities. Amaudo now provides hundreds of placements each year to student community psychiatric nurses from across the region. 
We also raise awareness, promote good mental health and support a growing network of Self Help Groups.
Ama•udo • 'Village of Peace' in Igbo
Education & Enterprise
Our biggest initiative is the Helping Hands School in Mbukwa, very close to Amaudo Okopedi. The school provides primary education for 100 local children. We regularly contribute towards teacher salaries and also provide training and resources. 

We also sponsor a number of individuals, primarily children of residents, to ensure ongoing access to education at every level. 

We are currently piloting a new initiative where we provide selected individuals with microfinance and ongoing mentoring and advice for small local start-up businesses.
Our initial priority will be to assist members of our self help groups.

In addition to our core mental health programmes, we also provide education and enterprise support to local communities, staff, residents and their families. 

We need your support

We're a small charity with big ambitions.
One-off and monthly donations can be made via the MyDonate button below. 
If you'd like to leave us a legacy, please email us.

Donate

Recent projects

Water project
Thanks to a generous legacy, in 2016 we replaced all water and sanitation systems at both of the Amaudo centres.
Transportation
Project Comfort field workers have been equipped with new motorbikes so that they can visit even the most remote villages.
Training
Here's how your donations have helped
We have recently completed training for teachers, social media training for staff and human rights training for all stakeholders.
As a small charity, your donations can have a huge and immediate impact. We have minimal overheads so more of your money goes directly to those who need it. 
Chibuzo's Story
In March 2015 Chibuzo was picked up from the streets of Umuahia unkempt and almost naked. She was very confused but came willingly with the Amaudo staff members who promised her food, shelter and safety. Mentally ill women are particularly vulnerable on the streets and frequently experience sexual abuse.
 
Once she settled down to the routines at Amaudo her rehabilitation, although challenging at times, progressed astonishingly quickly. Within just six months her mental health stabilised and her family were successfully traced. As part of the repatriation programme she went to stay with her family for a two week trial period. Her family were so pleased to have her back especially as they could see how well she was. They also greatly appreciated the support that Amaudo staff were able to offer them as they were able to learn about mental health issues and how best to support Chibuzo once she came home permanently. Due to her fast recovery she was discharged on December 6th 2015 along with 29 other residents.
“Mentally ill women are particularly vulnerable on the streets and frequently experience sexual abuse.”
 
Chidi's Story
Chidi fell sick and left home before her youngest child had started school. She wandered the streets of Umuahia until she ended up on the corner by the world bank where she lived for two months.  People regularly threw rubbish at her and hurled verbal abuse in her direction. She felt 'banished and very scared'. Sometimes people gave her small amounts of money which enabled her to survive. 

The Amaudo team picked her from the streets in September and she came to the Centre at Okopedi. After only 3 months she has recovered enough to go home.  She has learnt hairdressing skills which she plans to use when she leaves to earn some money.  Living at Amaudo made her feel 'secure and relaxed'. She was really excited to be going home to her children and husband in time for Christmas.
“Living at Amaudo made her feel secure and relaxed”

 
John's Story
John was picked from the street in April 2014, where he had converted a bus stop into a house with rubbish. He wore rags and on his fingers were iron nuts and rings which had caused poor bloodflow, making his fingers swell. Some had started to decay.

Once he reached Amaudo he was cleaned up and during the physical assessment it was discovered that the rings couldn't be removed. It was also discovered that he couldn't speak. He was not literate so couldn’t write his name or his state of origin. Nevertheless, we focused on his fingers and referred him to a local hospital. The doctors managed to remove 2 rings but 4 remained and he was recommended for orthopaedic surgery to remove the affected fingers. He was in hospital for 14 days.

Back at Amaudo John gradually healed and became mentally stable. Though he could not speak he distinguished himself as a great sportsman. During games he showed great interest in football and played very well, leading to him becoming a popular member of the community.

The challenge we faced, when John became well, was where to discharge him to. Then one day a young man visited Amaudo. He introduced himself saying that he had been informed by someone that they had seen his mentally ill brother roaming the streets of Umuahia. He spent 4 days looking but didn't find him. On the fourth day a man advised him to visit Amaudo and search for him there.

The young man mentioned some of his brothers' characteristics, including that he couldn't talk. In fact he was the one who confirmed that his brother had been silent since childhood and that this disability had been a major setback for him during his early school years. He had been unable to continue his education and couldn't read or write.

When asked if he and his brother could recognize each other, he said ‘yes, of course’. As soon as John saw his brother he jumped up and exclaimed ‘hooray!’. They embraced each other. It was amazing and  unbelievable. It was then that his brother called his name, 'John'. The same day he travelled home with his brother for a 1 month home visit. John was finally discharged from Amaudo and reintegrated with his family in December 2014.
“The challenge we faced,
when John became well,
was where to discharge him to.”
​ 
Joseph's Story
It all started in April 1994. As a promising student, I specialised in electrical engineering. Before graduation we were sent on an industrial internship. It was during this period that one day in my sleep, I saw a man I knew in real life from my village. He was forcing me to eat dried faeces. I refused, so we started struggling. He was bent on forcing me and in the struggle I fell from my bed in real life. From that very moment I lost my mental coordination as a human being. I was heavily stigmatised by everybody in my community, except my immediate family, who did their best to help.

First I was taken to hospital. From there I went to various doctors and clinics (including native doctors) but my problems persisted. My aged mother kept vigil for me for days on end. Then I ran away into the bush. Whilst asleep one night, a man appeared in my dream and gave me a description of where I should go and get my healing. Later, through a brother I was taken to that place, which turned out to be the home of Mr John Idam Idume, coordinator of community mental health services at Amaudo. As soon as I came under his care, I started recovering until I got well enough to support myself.

I applied for a job and rose to the position of Marketer at Uburu Service Centre, Ohaozara L.G.A. I am now happily married to my adorable first lady Mrs Victoria Azu – Oko, a staff member of UBEB Afikpo. By God’s grace I was able to build a 3-bedroom bungalow in my village. Amaudo helped me regain my sanity, which I lost for many years. In life, any challenge can destroy our destiny, but don’t give up, especially if it relates to mental illness. Utilize good treatment facilities like Amaudo, for all forms of mental problems, instead of seeking spiritual solutions which don’t normally work well for treating mental problems.
"I am now happily married ...
and was able to build a 3-bedroom bungalow in my village"
Godwin's Story
My mental illness started in June 1987 when I was 15. On that fateful evening as I was taking supper with my younger brother Emmanuel, I suddenly started to hear strange voices inside my head. Before I could reason what was happening, I had lost my memory and controlling my mental faculties became impossible. What started like a joke became a full blown mental illness that lasted many years.

My immediate family were all there for me. I was taken to different places for treatment but to no avail. On occasion my father would bring men who would bundle me to a native doctors’ home for treatment in chains. It was a horrifying experience – I saw myself in a constant state of internal disintegration and external shame. Each time I tried to recover my senses, I relapsed farther. One evening my father came back from the farm and saw my terrible condition. He broke down in tears cursing any man that would do that to me. Soon after, he violently took me to another, supposedly more powerful native doctor. After administering his medications, I regained my faculty for some weeks, only to relapse again. My family then tried to restore my sanity by talking to a man called “The Final Bus Stop” (“Eje Chie Ogwu” in my dialect). He was a homeopath based in Ebonyi State. After another relapse they gave up on me, it was 1999.

Meanwhile, whenever able I rushed back to school to push my academic dream forward. I completed my secondary school education amidst public stigmatisation of a mentally unstable man. One particular incident that I will never forget is when I was shot almost dead by village vigilantes, whilst wandering late at night, not knowing where I was. They mistook me for a thief and open fired – sustaining bullet injuries in both legs. I was taken that night to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital.

After this incident, my father transported me home, dumping me to my fate in one of our family house rooms in the village. It was at this peak of my ill health that Mr John Idam Idume, coordinator of community psychiatry health services at Amaudo (who I later learned was related to my father) came into my life. The very day my father was taking me to dump me and forget about me, a voice shoutied my name. It was Mr John Idam Idume, beckoning us to turn back. When we eventually did, he took me to his house. From that moment my story started changing for good. Today I am forever freed from the shackles of the devil and the agonies of mental deformity.

After I got well, I got my BSC in Biology. I also married my lovely wife Mrs Lilian Ekemma Eni and our union is blessed with two beautiful girls. I am presently staff of Akanu Ibiam Federal polytechnic Afikpo.

Mental disorder is just like any other sickness - like a headache, it has 100% orthodox treatment - like that Amaudo is famous for all over Nigeria. The downfall of a man is not the end of his life, don’t just give up because you are mentally challenged. Without Amaudo and the psychiatric nurse that handled my case maybe I would be dead by now.
"Mental disorder is just like
any other illness. Like a headache 
it has 100% orthodox treatment
- like that Amaudo is famous for all over Nigeria"

Keep up to date

Read about our most recent visits to Amaudo in Dec 2016 and Jan 2017:
Download
Download
You can download our latest annual reports here:
Download
Download
Our Mission Statement can be seen here:
Download
Contact Us
You can reach us at the following:
Amaudo Itumbauzo:
P.M.B. 1020, Bende, Abia State, Nigeria
+234 807 4771781
Amaudo UK:
Forest Hill Methodist Church & Centre, Normanton St, London SE23 2DS, UK +44 (0) 20 8699 0594
Write us a message
If you've got any questions, please do not hesitate to send us a message
FULL NAME
EMAIL
PHONE
YOUR MESSAGE
Subscribe to our newsletter
Submit