By Akem Olives Nkwain
The Centre for Clinical Pastoral Education and Social Services (CECPES) has graduated forty students to join the social workforce in Cameroon. The purely academic ceremony on May 7, 2021, saw some three graduands reflect on their training.
Bangha Randy, graduate says the “social work training was a great moment of deep reflection and life transformation. The curriculum is comprehensive in scope, preventive by design and developmental; focusing on contemporary needs of the society.” On that note I can confidently saying CECPES has given us all we need to function as social workers, he bragged.
Yvette Jimah, on her part, said the training has been an eye-opener. I have been able to identify my weaknesses, which has transformed me to operate as a broken professional, apt to meet the needs of the vulnerable. “The training equipped me with principles to work on daily inter-alia humanity, neutrality, impartiality and confidentiality,” she added.
Speaking to the graduates in a litany of greetings, Kwende Clif, Mezam Divisional Delegate of Social Affairs applauded CECPES and the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services for such training.
“Social work is a noble profession which requires that those who practice it be equipped with technical, moral and spiritual elements to be able to assist individuals, families, and communities in their quest for solutions to various challenges. I am sure you have acquired this because you will need it,” he said.
Calvin Hohn, CBC Director of Co-operating Missions remarked that unlike in the past where there was limited awareness about social work and workers, today, times and societies have changed. When I see the number of graduates here today it makes me say that there is a need as well as understanding about social work.
“The needs in our society are more challenging and are greater than ever. Also, awareness to meet those needs has increased. I thank you for taking up the challenge. You have chosen a very difficult profession. Working with broken and hurting people is very difficult. There I urge you to use the knowledge you have acquired and above all rely on God as you begin meeting the needs of the people,” he advised.
Mr. Warri Denis, Chief of Administration and Finance (CAF) of the CBC Health Services, on his part, saluted Rev. Dr. Ndongndeh Godlove, Director of CECPES, and faculty for taking out time to transform the students into social work professionals. “Social services are an essential component of the CBC Health Services’ mission of providing compassionate quality care to all. To this effect, the training of social workers is just one the strategies of reaching out with care to people in the communities holistically.” Therefore, be ambassadors of the CBC Health Services and CECPES as you work, the CAF encouraged.
In response, Kenneth Talikong on behalf of the graduates, reminisced that they came to CECPES with different personality disorders but after months of molding they are leaving the place transformed. “We testify that we went through CECPES and CECPES has gone through us.” I want to thank the CECPES faculty for the much they have contributed to our lives, he said.
It is worth mentioning that Rev. Nseh Clearance represented the Executive President of the CBC at the graduation. During his address to the graduates, Rev Nseh entreated them to stay true to the values of the organization. “As you go to serve the community, know that you are coming from a highly spiritual and morally compelling institution. You should not at any moment robe the name of God and the institution in mud. But you provide relevant services to the community for a better tomorrow,” he cautioned.
The current graduation constituted the 8th batch of social workers.