WISDOM BESSIE-DENTE (PATRON & TRUSTEES CHAIR)

SOCIAL WORKER & EX HM FORCES

PROFILE: Wisdom was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa; where he began his professional career as a teacher. With a teacher’s certificate ‘A’ and a diploma in General Agriculture from the University of Ghana, Legon, he taught basic science and agriculture science at junior secondary school level for six years. On relocating to the UK, Wisdom joined the British Army in 2002, and served with the Royal Logistics Corp; with dedication and an ‘exemplary’ conduct - the highest within the British Army grading system. In 2006, Wisdom left the military, enrolled at Oxford Brookes University where he graduated with a BA (Hons) in social work, an MA in Development and Emergency Practice (lnternational Development and Disaster Management) from the same university,

and subsequently a postgraduate diploma in ‘Disability Studies- Inclusive Theory  and Research’ from the University of Bristol.


Wisdom’s interest in disability issues actually began in 2007. During his first social work placement at Brookes, he was actively involved in setting up Mates ‘n’ Dates- a dating agency for adults with learning difficulties in Oxfordshire, England. Since then, Wisdom continues to interact and work with persons with disabilities (PWD), their families/carers and other stakeholders within the health and social care industry. He has served in various capacities and within different directorates to redress social inequality- working with
PWD’s to attain a degree of independence and wellbeing. This work has included internships, front-line care and qualified social work roles with statutory, private and voluntary organisations in England.

Inspired by this invaluable experience Wisdom has gained in the UK, he undertook a self-funded fieldwork in Ghana in 2011, where he explored the 'livelihoods of poor disabled urban dwellers' for his master’s dissertation. This unpublished dissertation is by no
means an empirical study; but nonetheless, it is serving as a resource material for a network of PWD and NGOs in Ghana.

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