The Christofell Blinden Mission (CBM) Country Director and the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services’ Chief of Administration and Finance (CAF) have underlined the commitment of CBM and CBC Health Services in ensuring safety and security for staff and implementing partners of the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program. Mr. Fon Julius and Mr. Warri Denis respectively were speaking at the start of a 3-day workshop on safety and security organized by CBM in collaboration with the CBC Health Services Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability program. The workshop took place at the Baptist Center from February 26-28, 2020.
Mr. Warri Denis applauded CBM for being a great funding partner in the previous years and for coming with innovative strategies that are aimed at improving quality services to persons with and without disabilities. He acknowledged that the workshop is the first of its kind that the CBC has ever had. The CAF challenged participants to use the knowledge acquired constructively and pass it on to other staff so that it will be beneficial to the wider public.
According to the CBM Country Director, his organization is committed to standing with its partners in crises moment to ensure their safety in service delivery. Mr. Fon, in his opening remarks, implored the participants to reflect on action plans on safety and security which will be funded by CBM.
The workshop, which brought together some administrators of the CBC Hospitals was characterized by experience sharing on the ordeal that they go through in their different work areas. Different participants shared incidences of kidnapping, ghost towns, destruction of property, blockage of roads to work areas, killings, threats on phone calls to staff, fire incidents amongst others which slow activity implementation and service delivery.
With his rich background on security, safety issues and medical, the Trainer and Risk Advisor from CBM, Dave Chen drilled participants with skills and measures to put in place to mitigate issues of insecurity and to ensure their safety and that of persons with disabilities being the main target of CBM.
The knowledge acquired enabled the close to 30 participants to draw action plans which will be submitted to CBM and the management of CBC Health Services for funding and implementation. At the close of the workshop, the Administrator of Mbingo Baptist Hospital, Mr. Nji Richard, on behalf of the participants, testified that the workshop has been timely given the crisis in the NW and SW Regions. He appreciated CBM for building the capacities of partners which will lead to an increase in service provision.
The workshop was attended amongst others by participants with hearing, visual, and mobility impairments who noted that the effects of the ongoing crisis in the two regions is heavy on them as they don’t have access to useful information on security because of their limitation in hearing or are not able to move when there is an emergency because of their vision or mobility difficulties. Their involvement in the workshop was highly commended as they took active participation in all sessions.
A sign language interpreter was available to interpret for a participant with hearing impairment, while all the materials were in brail for the one with visual impairment. Accessibility of the workshop venue also took into consideration the participant with mobility impairment. All of these inclusive measures were to foster the equality of persons with disabilities, which is a new component introduced in the 4th phase of the SEEPD program.