By Clementina Njang Yong
A 2-day Child Safeguarding workshop geared towards the building of the capacities of Focal Persons within Partner Organizations (POs), Stakeholders, and Service Providers of the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development (EDID) Program of the CBC Health Services has taken place in Bafoussam. The training that ran from September 2-3, 2021, aimed at ensuring the availability of Focal Persons in these institutions who can intervene or report all forms of child abuse and render needed assistance to the vulnerable groups of children who are abused in any form. Thanks to the implementation of the Disability Inclusive Child Protection Initiative, there is a continuous endeavor to have communities in the West Region of Cameroon free from all forms of violations. Identifying abuse and making informed decisions that will help victims were the expected outcomes of this training. Opening the training, the West Regional Delegate for Social Affairs, Mr. Njie Fidelis highlighted the importance for all stakeholders to put hands on deck for the respect of children’s rights and the protection and promotion of their rights, as well as understanding child safeguarding and upholding its values. According to the Delegate, a lot of efforts have been put in place by the Government and other stakeholders to stamp out child abuse, but each reports of abuse and violence against children are still being reported every day. He noted that this situation has been compounded by the influx of children into the Western Region from crisis-stricken regions. The children suffer abuse because they are internally displaced due to the socio-political crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon, and most of them find themselves in abusive homes. The Regional Delegate observed that taking care of socially vulnerable persons has also been made difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. He made a clarion call for everyone involved to do all they can to contribute to the enhancement of society in order to leave a legacy of improving the livelihood of the population. “Protecting children today is avoiding protecting ourselves against them tomorrow”, he cautioned. It is a prime concern for everyone to take action. The times may be hard and the challenges enormous, but “Yet, we Can’, he ascertained. While representing the Program Manager of the EDID program, the Administrator of Bafoussam Baptist Hospital, Mr. Fambombi Dickson reaffirmed the position of the CBC Health Services in collaborating with the country as they join the international community to meet Standards of Operation within the context of child protection, child abuse, and all aspects within this context. Mr. Fambombi used the occasion to challenge all the stakeholders on board to benefit from the training and continue to stand up for all children whose rights are abused.
The training challenged participants to make little effort in their respective corners and be change-makers in their communities.