Eight (8) Councils; seven in the Northwest and one in the West Region have renewed their commitments with the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services to promote disability and inclusive development in their different municipalities. The Memoranda of Understanding was signed on June 12, 2020 at the Baptist Center Nkwen Bamenda after the both parties carefully studied and reviewed the documents.
The signing of the MoU was marked by a 3-day workshop organized by the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program for Mayors and Secretary Generals of Bamenda City, Bamenda I, II, III, Tubah, Fundong, Santa, Jakiri, Magba, Bafut and Nkambe Councils. The workshop took place under the theme, “Leave No-one Behind”.
Mue Peter Ngha, CBM Director for West and Central Africa facilitated the 3-day workshop, which concept was new to many of the participants. This background knowledge necessitated the selected Councils to sign the MoU with an already mapped out implementation strategy from the workshop. Like other documents signed sometimes and kept under the cupboard, the Mayors who signed on behalf of their Councils noted that inclusive development is the only way to go in development given that they have to move along with everyone. They have thus committed themselves to review their action plans to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.
It was on this hopeful note that the Director of CBC Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih pledged the willingness and readiness of the CBC Health Services in supporting the Councils to implement their responsibilities stated on the MoU.
Earlier at the start of the workshop, Prof. Tih applauded the Mayors for partnering with the CBC Health Services in its vision of promoting disability and inclusive development. He drew their attention to the fact that the focus of the SEEPD program has changed over the years and the present phase is seeking ways to enhance capacities of strategy development actors to enable them to build their communities to accommodate everyone.
Speaking at the close of the workshop, the Regional Delegate of Decentralization and Local Governance who presided over the opening of the workshop and the signing ceremony, applauded the Australian Aid and CBM for supporting the Government of Cameroon to implement inclusive development at all levels. Dr. Essimo Sylvia appreciated the CBC Health Services for imparting useful knowledge on the Mayors which will go a long way to boost their development plans. She challenged the Mayors to effectively implement the MoU and provide her with updates on the implementation given that inclusion is part of the strategic focus of her Delegation.
The workshop has come and gone, MoU has been signed, commitments have been made, but all of these will only be evident when persons with disabilities experience inclusion at different development actions in their communities.
It should be noted that the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services was signing the MoU with Councils for the second time, thanks to support from Australian Aid. In the first phase of the SEEPD program, she successfully worked with 21 Councils in the Northwest Region.