Field Pastors of the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) have taken a commitment to create an inclusive society by making their gospel messages, church buildings and activities accessible for persons with disabilities. They equally resolved to involve persons with disabilities in all church activities at all levels. This was a result of a two day workshop dubbed “The role of pastors in disability and inclusive development,” which took place recently at the Baptist Center Nkwen in Bamenda
Opening the workshop, the CBC Director of Evangelism and Missions Board, Rev. Dr. Paul Mokake expressed gratitude to the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) programme for the opportunity given pastors to upgrade their skills on disability related issues. Rev. Mokake revealed that it has been his vision as a pastor to reach out the gospel to everyone irrespective of who they are. According to him, the workshop was very timely and an opportunity for the pastors to gain knowledge on disability so that they can achieve the vision of reaching out to all.
The participants were drilled on topics such as: concept of disability, gender and disability, vicious cycle of disability and poverty. The presenters, SEEPD programme team called on the pastors to mainstream disability and gender in their work given that persons with disabilities are part of their audiences.
During the workshop, participants developed action plans intended to serve as a guide to their work in their respective fields. The action plans would be periodically monitored and progress assessed. Highlights of the action plans included plans to appoint disability focal persons in the church, identify persons with disabilities who attend church services and those in the community who are unable to attend church services due to their disabilities, nominate a child protection focal person, develop a child protection policy, partner with other local development partners and educate the entire church on the need to improve on accessibility.
While appreciating the Field Pastors for their interest in Disability Inclusion, at the closed of the workshop, the SEEPD Program Manager,; Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac encouraged the Men of God to use their positions in authority to ensure that everyone has equal chances to serve God and at all levels.