Over 200 children with disabilities from the West, Northwest, and Adamawa Regions have received COVID-19 emergency kits and food items worth 5 million CFA France donated by the Liliane Funds (LF) in collaboration with the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) through the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development Program (EDID) Program. This gesture was extended to 24 Partner Organizations (POs) of the EDID Program in Cameroon with the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Services of the CBCHS being a recipient as one of the POs. The distribution took place in Magba, Banso, Bamenda, Banyo, Nyamboya, Bafoussam, Fombot recently. The CBR used the community stakeholders they work with in the different communities to preside over the distribution ceremony as a strategy to involve them and draw their attention to the needs of children with disabilities.
According to the CBR Supervisor, Mr. Kenchi Joseph said, CBR is ensuring that sustainability measures are put in place by different structures in the community to corroborate the actions of the CBCHS. He explained that the beneficiaries of the items were consulted by the CBR field workers through a need assessment which informed them on the type of items each child needed, a way of ensuring that persons with disabilities actively participate in decision making, he reiterated. At different distribution points, the stakeholders hailed CBCHS for always extending love and care to the Vulnerable population, especially during crises period. The Mayors of
Magba and Fombot in the West Region noted that it is the responsibility of the Councils and Government to take care of the needs of children with disabilities, but often time, there are limited of resources. They can only collaborate with NGOs and Faith Based Organizations like the CBCHS to include the minority group who need greater attention, the Mayors insinuated.
The President of Association for Parents with Disabilities, Liliana Njema and President of Association for Persons with Disabilities in Magba said since the outbreak of the pandemic, it was the first time persons with disabilities in that area were receiving preventive kits. They expressed gratitude to LF and the CBCHS. Cartidri Neris, a mother of a child with Cerebral Palsy explained that she lost her job after the pandemic and was not able to take care of the nutrition of her child as recommended by CBR field workers. Receiving food items that could boost the nutrition of her child, Rejoice, was a big relief to her. Like Neris, many parents of the beneficiaries shared the same story. The items consisted of hand sanitizers, washing buckets, soap, face masks, first aid kits, garri, rice, corn, palm oil, groundnut, milk, and sugar amongst others.