“If persons with disabilities were given access to equal opportunities, the society would have been a better place to live” – Achu Amel Nji, 21-year-old made this summary statement while expressing joy at the end of a one-week internship program with the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) program. He described the brief period spent with the SEEPD program as a rare opportunity for persons with disability given that many employers focus on their disability, instead of their abilities.
Achu Amel Nji is a student of Christian Comprehensive Secondary College Nklmong Etoudi Yaounde who lives with cerebral palsy.
Being the first child in a family of 3, Amel had dreamt of becoming a big marketer in the future which motivated him to focus on marketing and management in high school. Like a mustard seed, Amel says he knows that he has to begin from somewhere as little beginnings are never small contributors to future dreams. Though still in secondary school, he decided to start watering his marketing dreams by getting the practical aspect of marketing. For this reason, he applied to the CBC Health Services for an internship program. “For the first time, I was easily given access to an institution to do my internship program which was a booster to my dreams,” Amel noted with a smile.
At the CBC Health Services, he was assigned to the SEEPD program to gain marketing skills on embosser brail machines, a new venture that the Program is promoting. It was more advantageous to him as he closely worked for one week with the Marketing Officer of the embosser machine under the supervision of the SEEPD Program Manager, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac.
Amel testifies that for his time being at the SEEPD program, he was able to acquire skills in marketing strategies, understanding the marketing challenges and environment especially for persons with disabilities and how he can use his marketing strategies to ensure inclusion. With the skills gained, Amel is working on bringing a new product in to the market called, “Good life Tea”. He fully understands the challenges in the market but is hopeful that as he continues to build his capacity, he will be able to brave through the market.
Amel sees a positive future given that his parents are very supportive of his dreams. His business idea is not a limitation to his education as he is still pursuing his education and hopes to have his Master’s degree.
Amel is just one of the many persons with disabilities that cry for access to employment, capacity building opportunities, and education etc. His testimony tells of the fact that the CBC Health Services SEEPD program is poised to ensuring that persons with disabilities gain access to opportunities to improve their quality of life.