So many international days for women celebrated in cameroon, very little impact.
I will never stop wondering!
Let's get the list:
-International Women's Day
-International Day of the Family
-International Day of the Widows
-Pan African Women's Day
-World Rural Women's Day
-Day of the African Woman
On June 23rd, Cameroon joined the International community to celebrate the International Day of the Widows.Being a part of this celebration in the North West Region of Cameroon, I felt so sorry for the poor widows on that day. I watched closely on how the events unfolded there at Nsongwa, a village community in Mezam division. Representatives of the Government Ministry concerned were there, NGOs working for widows were there as well. Journalists of some private media also answered present.
What interest me the most was a poem delivered by a daughter of a widow, which i will not be able to recount in her own words. In her poem, she was calling on widows to beware of fake organizations who will come to deceive them in the name of helping them. She said a thousand conferences and workshops will be organized, all in the name of helping the widows, but in reality, it is meant for the organizers to help themselves. She told the women that it is common to see non-widows being heads of widows' organizations, all in a bid to satisfy their selfish desires. The poor widows then will be ignorantly happy that someone is fighting for their sake, not knowing this person is fighting for her/his own sake. I really feel sorry for widows who find themselves in such situations.
Cameroonians are aware of what women go through as widows; the harmful widowhood rites, the stigmatization, the poverty, the loss of family property, the list is long. Why then would some woman/man come in to increase the pain of these group of women. Let's search our consciences and act like humans that we are.
What angered me most was the poor organization of the conference. The conference which started at 10:00 in the morning closed around 4:00pm. Nothing was provided as meal/drink to the poor widows who gathered at the beautiful Nsongwa Conference Hall, not even 25FCFA to buy the cheapest pack of cookies. I wonder what the organizers were thinking. However, in the end, each widow was given 1 laundry soap, and 1 cup of salt, amounting to about 400FCFA (less than 1 dollar). Thank you Government Ministry concerned/organizers, and NGO partner for this wonderful provision. The widows of Nsongwa (who made up the majority), and other villages, as humble as they are appreciated the gifts. The struggling widows of Nsongwa, on their part, provided boiled corn and groundnuts to everybody present. Participants swallowed the corn in under minutes, showing how hungry everybody was. Thank you very much, my Mamas" from Nsongwa, you are all true mothers, mothers who understand families must feed.
The question is, what was the impact of this celebration? Was it to come and show the poor widows all the beautiful cars/dresses owned by the officials present? I still cannot understand the logic behind such celebrations.
I wasn't present at the celebration in Momo Division - North West. I heard an NGO named IVFCam did a wonderful job there. I hear the widows were well taken care of there by IVFCam. Thank you so much for that in that part of the region.
The bottom-line is, we should give these days the significance that they deserve.
This has been my worry.