Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon have saluted the work of the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development (EDID) program of the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services for standing by and creating the enabling environment for them to access humanitarian assistance amidst the Anglophone Crisis.
Armelle Nogning, a person with mobility impairment voiced her appreciation in Bamenda last December 20, 2019, at the Coordinating Unit of Association of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) while receiving equipment on behalf of her household to set up a poultry farm.
“Words are not enough to express my [our] appreciation for this donation. The proceeds from the poultry will go a long way to boost the income level of my family. I want to thank all the organizations that mobilized resources to make this donation to get to PWDs.” she said.
The Coordinating Unit of Association of Persons with Disabilities is a network of associations of PWDs and other stakeholders that have come together to form a platform to address the issues of inclusion of PWDs into mainstream society. The Unit has a goal to improve the quality of life of PWDs and enhancing inclusion. Thanks to the work of the Unit, coordinated actions are now being taken towards PWDs.
Edwin Nsah, a person with visual impairment says, “I feel like a boat floating on the Nile after receiving this equipment that will enable me to engage poultry farming to generate income. I must state here that the current crisis in the region has stifled our living standards a great deal. As of now, I can’t say I have a steady income. As such this donation will help for economic sustainability.” He added that “I have people who depend on me, so this will not only go a long way to support me but my entire household.”
According to Samuel Nyincho, General Coordinator of the Coordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities, “The EDID program has provided support relief assistance to PWDs in the region, as well advocate for the inclusion of PWDs in humanitarian interventions by other stakeholders. So far we’ve provided basic needs to over 330 PWDs and 25 others trained on income-generating activities with 12 of them provided basic capital of less than 25000 FCFA,” Nyincho revealed.
Besides providing relief assistance to Internally Displaced PWDs, Nyincho said, “At the Coordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities we have adopted an approach of sensitizing the community on the plight of PWDs in the advent of the armed conflict. The crisis caught us off-guard given that we did not know about humanitarian work and response in crises. However, thanks to the resources provided by the EDID program, we have been able to engage United Nations (UN) agencies through which we have had a series of trainings on humanitarian work to reach out to PWDs,” he added.
In line with the success recorded as a result of the CUAPWD’s advocacy to humanitarian organizations, Mr. Nyincho Samuel says, “The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has adopted and instituted a policy that 10 percent of their beneficiaries will be PWDs, thanks to our advocacy work. We have equally had 63 PWDs trained by FAO on home gardening and poultry farming.”
It is worth stating that before the advocacy by the Coordinating Unit of Association of Persons with Disabilities many PWDs were left out during humanitarian assistance due to the lack of information. However, many PWDs now have access to aid with the help of the coordinating unit where every message is tailored based on the specificities of the disability in question.