The Center for Clinical Pastoral Education and Social Services (CECPES) under the umbrella of the Cameroon Baptist Health Services (CBCHS) has trained and graduated her 14th batch of 9 students in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and the 7th batch of 26 social workers. These two batches have been code-named, “The COVID-19 batch” by the Director of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS), Prof. Tih Pius Muffih, given the prevailing and challenging circumstances in which the training took place.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic that is almost putting the world on its knees, Prof. Tih said the CECPES program braved the odds by training these students to deal with the existentiality questions which people keep asking.
Before graduation, the CPE students were required to undergo intense practicum sessions and the social workers writing and defending long essays on their experiences in the field.
The fleeting but flamboyant graduation took place on August 6, 2020 at the Nkwen Baptist Children’s Church in Nkwen, Bamenda in the presence of friends, family members and the personages who included among others: the Director of CBCHS, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih, Rev. Ngalla Godlove who representated the CBC Executive President, Rev. Dr. Ncham Godwill, the CBCHS Chief of Administration and Finance, Mr. Warri Denis, and the Director of Cooperating Missions, Mr. Cal Hohn.
The glee with which the class representatives presented their speeches was evident to the fact that the graduating students had been trained for the heart and not only for the head. They took their pledges of confidentiality after receiving their end of course certificates from the hands of the DHS, Prof. Tih who further challenged them to bring more solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the community and the society as a whole.
Adding his voice to the same appeal, Rev. Dr. Ndongnde Godlove, Director of CECPES encouraged the graduates to go out and eradicate the stigma and fear instilled in some of the affected patients and even those who are prone to the infection.
Mrs. Mokake Theresia, one of the graduating students of CPE, expressed her gratitude and vision by saying, “I came into the school wounded and got healed, and I am going out there to heal the wounds of the wounded”.
Minyeng Cynthia, the distinct student of the COVID-19 batch also affirmed that with the knowledge she acquired from the school, as a practicing counselor, she will be able to disseminate the knowledge and skill to her students immediately she gets back to her station.
It is worth noting that CECPES has gained more grounds in training Social Workers and Clinical Pastors as it is now a requirement for students of social work in other institutions of higher learning to come and grab the theories and practicum before graduating.
The representative of the CBC Executive President crowned it all by describing CECPES as, “Mission Driven Leadership and Creativity”. Rev. Ngalla acknowledged in conclusion that “CBCHS CECPES Center is a necessary place to train social workers”.