Strengthening Systems (Councils) to Foster Inclusion in Development Strategies
Mayors and representatives at the workshop

Strengthening Systems (Councils) to Foster Inclusion in Development Strategies

By Fotabong Cynthia

Within the framework of committing councils to inclusive development in Cameroon, the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs organized a two-day workshop to strengthen the capacities of over 25 Mayors and representatives to effectively implement inclusive development and to foster disability inclusion in 25 partner councils. The workshop was held at the CBC Health Services’ Resource Center of Excellence, Yaoundé, in the presence of the representatives of FEICOM, United councils and cities of Cameroon (UCC), and the Ministry of decentralization and local development, (MINDEVEL). To ensure that Children, Youths, and Adults with disabilities are not left behind in all development endeavors, the Program Manager of the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development (EDID) program, Mrs. Agho Glory stressed that “the workshop is aimed at building the capacity of those responsible for defining development agenda at the grass-root level to know how they can include Children and Youths with Disability so that no one is left behind, as indicated in the 2030 sustainable development goal”.

With the current decentralization drive in the country, the Director of the Department of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Mme. Ambe Angelica reiterates that the grassroots authorities are better placed to boost the inclusive development project: “It’s good we start with the councils because if we target those who are on the field, we will have better results”. The Mayor of Balikumbat council, Fon Doh Gahnyamnyin III said “With skills acquired in the training, we will go back and strengthen the implementation of inclusive development in our councils to ensure that we do more than what we are doing already”. However, the stumbling blocks are still very much present in the various councils. According to Fon Gahnyamnyin III, the majority of the population in his council are labeled handicapped however, the resources at his disposal are quite minimal to cater for their needs” The CBC Health Services has remained committed to supporting councils to upgrade their existing plans and strategies to become more inclusive especially for Persons with Disabilities. The support is provided by their strategic partners the Lilliane Foundation and the Christian Bling Mission (CBM).