By Fru Rita Ngum
The Director of CBC Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih alongside some Development stakeholders of the Northwest Region have launched the maiden edition of the CBCHS-SEEPD Program’s Council Excellence in Inclusion Award (CEIA) for 11 partner Councils; ten in the Northwest Region and one in the West Region. The ceremony took place on October 29, 2021 at the Baptist Center Nkwen Bamenda
Opening the ceremony, Prof Tih noted that the 4th phase of the SEEPD Program which is titled, “Enhancing Capabilities and Participation of Persons with Disabilities: Building Communities for Everyone,” hinges on the awareness Councils have on the importance of inclusive development. It focuses on supporting Councils to acquire the relevant capacity to achieve inclusive development in their municipalities. The Director revealed that the award is introduced by the CBC Health Services in partnership with Australian Aid and CBM in recognition of the Councils’ efforts in improving the involvement and participation of people with disabilities in community development.
In a presentation by the SEEPD Program Officer, categories for the 2022 maiden edition of the CBC Health Services Council Excellence in Inclusion Award (CEIA) will feature but not limited to health, education, livelihood, social inclusion, Gender and Child Protection, Inclusive Communication and Universe designs. The Councils of Bamenda I, II, II, Bafut, Fundong, Jakiri, Magba, Nkambe, Santa, Tubah and Wum Councils are eligible to participate in the award given that they have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CBC Health Services on this phase of the SEEPD program and have developed and approved their Councils Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) plans.
The award will take on a periodic assessment approach to measure Council efforts across the key areas of community based inclusive development. As part of the process, Councils have done base line assessment which will be followed by quarterly and end line assessment with the award ceremony scheduled for November 2022. The evaluation process will run in three phases.
Representative from FEICOM, Ministry of Decentralization and Local Development, Social Affairs, Urban Development, National School of Local Administration (NASLA), Leaders of Organization of Persons with Disabilities present at the event lauded the initiative of the CBC Health Services which falls in line with national and international strives to promote inclusion.
According to the Coordinator of the Coordination Unit of Association of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) Northwest Region, Chick Sama, “It is no news that the CBC Health Services is bringing people together to talk on disability related issues but what makes news is the fact that the CBC Health Services is not only leading in disability inclusion, but getting other stakeholders to promote inclusion in their actions”. He applauded CBM and Australian Aid for supporting CBC Health Services in encouraging Councils promote inclusion.
Appraising the initiative, the Inclusive Local Governance Adviser of the CBC Health Services, Mr. Bunyuy Emmanuel said, all the actions taken by the Councils in their strive to win the award will not only benefit persons with disabilities, but also, it will improve on the livelihood of everyone in the municipality. To him, awards like this is a right step in the right direction to promote meaningful development.
The launching came on the heels of a one-day workshop with Council Secretary Generals, Council Development Officers and Council Disability Focal Persons, as well as leaders of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities in the NW region. They were drilled on the criteria and expectations of the award given that they are going to play a vital role in the general conduct of the awards.
The SEEPD Program acknowledges the support of the Austrian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).