Some partner Councils of the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program of the CBC Health Services in Mezam Division have been schooled on strategies to ensure the promotion of campaign on the inclusive response to COVID-19. The Australian Aid sponsored the one day workshop that held recently at the Baptist Center Nkwen, Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon.
The SEEPD program partnered with the Coordinating Unit of Association of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) to organize the workshop as a way of strengthening systems to promote inclusion.
During the workshop, one of the main facilitators and Coordinator of the CUAPWD, Mr. Nyincho Samuel led a session during which participants identified challenges that persons with disabilities face during the COVID-19 pandemic such as non-access to information, and limited access to humanitarian aids amongst others. As someone who wears the shoes by living with visual impairment, Mr. Nyincho Samuel called on Councils to mainstream disability in their COVID-19 response adding that the Councils have a great responsibility to play. Participants also had the opportunity to refresh their memories on Disability and Inclusive Development.
The workshop provided opportunity for CUAPWD to strengthen its partnership with the Councils. Strategies such as awareness raising on the prevention to COVID-19 were mapped out amongst other measures to be implemented in the different Council areas. The Council stakeholders present appreciated the organizers for drawing their attention to the needs of persons with disabilities which have often been missed out.
At the close of the workshop, the SEEPD Program Manager, Awa Jacques Chirac commended the Councils for their availability in collaborating with the CBC Health Services to mainstream disabilities in their municipalities.
The workshop was preceded by a Press Conference organized by CUAPWD in partnership with the SEEPD program which took place at the CUAPWD office. The event brought together over 10 media practitioners from private and community media organs. CUAPWD President, Chick Sama, Coordinator, Nyincho Samuel and Program Manager, Ndi Veronica and a representative of the SEEPD program granted an hour press conference. They decried the fact that persons with disabilities do not have access to information which makes them vulnerable to the deadly Coronavirus, and the fact that humanitarian interventions are not extended to many of them amongst others.
According to Chick Sama, the CBC Health Services has stood with persons with disabilities during the pandemic by making information accessible to them, and donating kits amongst other inclusive actions. The media men and women were thus called upon to use their pens and microphones to draw the attention of stakeholders and the public to the needs of persons with disabilities, especially during this time of the pandemic.