By Fru Rita Ngum
The SEEPD Program Manager has announced an award from her funding partner, Ausaid to the best Council promoting Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID). Awa Jacques Chirac disclosed this during a 2-day workshop organized by the SEEPD Program for partner Councils in the Northwest Region. The workshop, which took place at Mondial Hotel in Bamenda had as objective to provide participants with specific tools and skills required to introduce context- specific measures required to translate their CBID strategies into action. CBM Ausaid sponsored the workshop. In 2020, a training workshop (CBID) was organized for 13 Councils to build their capacities to mainstream disability in local development plans and practices. Beyond the workshop, further support was provided to specific Councils to develop and adopt CBID strategies in their municipalities. The workshop in Mondial Hotel was thus focused on providing further support to the Councils trained last year to enable them to mainstream disability in their policies and practices.
According to the Inclusive Local Governance Advisor of the SEEPD Program, the central focus of the workshop was to move from strategies to practice and policy that will influence CBID in the Councils. He noted that not long from now, the SEEPD Program will be visiting the different Councils to assess policies that have been put in place in the areas of Health, Education, Livelihood, Gender, and Inclusion. The Inclusive Local Governance Advisor expressed optimism that the participants selected for the workshop are the right target given their influence in their Councils. As a former Mayor of Ndu Council, the Inclusive Local Governance Advisor of the SEEPD Program, Mr. Mbunyui Emmanuel said, he knows exactly how Council activities are structured and how to provide advice to them to foster CBID.
The workshop brought together participants consisting of Secretary Generals, Civil Status Registrars, and Education and Social Committee Chairpersons from 11 Councils. Quizzed in an interview, the Civil Status Registry from Bafut Council, Ngum Abongnwi noted that the Civil Status is a central office in the Council which offers services in the area of birth, marriage, death certificates etc. Inclusion is very important to them because the services they offer are supposed to be used by everyone. Thus, policy on inclusion in the Council will be very useful and beneficial to all in the municipality, she concluded. “Inclusion is not expensive but rather it is goodwill for those in place to be able to practice it,” Vities Gilbert, chairperson of the Social and Education Committee for Tubah Council noted. He explained that the knowledge of the workshop is timely for him because he is still at the beginning of his mandate and for the next four years that he has he will be able to ensure that they will move from strategies to practice and to policies in the area of education and health in the municipality.
The workshop had as resource persons the SEEPD Program Officer, Community Project Officer, and SEEPD Program Manager who commended participants for their enthusiasm demonstrated in CBID. Awa Jacques Chirac disclosed to the participants that one of the outcomes of the workshop was to create a community of practice that will enable them to share best practices. The workshop rose on the pious hope that knowledge acquired will not remain on paper but will be translated into policies to ensure the implementation of CBID at all levels.