I am so happy to be part of this group and wish to seize this opportunity to laud this initiative.
As a child I have always loved to help those in need. I was even told about this poor woman who usually visited our home when I was just a toddler. Seeing her with torn cloths I will inquire why she is putting on such old clothes, then she would say it is because she does not have money to buy new ones, I will then go to my mom’s handbag, retrieve all the coins and give to her and collect all the notes and throw in the trash wondering why my mom was storing papers in her purse.
Well, when I became a Journalist and started practicing in 1996, I later became Co-founder and Editor In Chief of a 28 page journal – New Forum in 1997. With the motto ‘ignorance to knowledge’ our intentions was to strive to contribute to the on-going efforts of the State and Private sector to re-awaken in Cameroonians the need to be more creative, action-oriented and interested in the development of resourceful activities as such the Journal covered social issues in general.
We also strived towards promoting and encouraging comprehensive community development towards progressive business culture, thereby rendering Cameroonians economically independent and financially autonomous. We uphold these are positive steps towards a viable and dependable economy. In this regard, we dedicated our interest more on the less privileged.
Realizing that most Cameroonians are ignorant of their civic and human right especially since the Cameroonian constitution is not common, I created a section – Know Your Civic Rights and Duties where I published some of the decrees I could lay my hands on. I started off with decree No. 90/1516 of 26 Nov. 1990 which lays down the conditions for implementation of law No. 88/13 of July 1993, relating to the protection of disabled persons.
I endeavored to meet and discuss with Orphans, Juvenile Delinquents and the Disabled/Handicaps and also Services and Organizations that oversee their needs to disseminate their operational network. I also succeeded in getting some assistance for some in need.
How ever, in 2007 I started hosting a one hour call-in radio program ‘Social Forum’ with the Christian Broadcasting Service (CBS) Buea and had an audience of about 5 million. As Producer and Editor, I invited Guest and Resource persons. Most of the program I aired for the eleven months I hosted this program before leaving the country had to do with human rights especially the rights of children and women, how the State cater for the disabled. I had Guest from different Public services, and Activists from Philanthropic Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations.
In May 2007 prior to May 15 celebrated as The International Day of the Family I had an interesting panel. The 2007 theme was – Families and Persons with Disabilities. The panel consisted of – The Sub-divisional Delegate of Women Empowerment and the Family, Buea, the Provincial Chief of Statistics and Communication of the South West Provincial Delegation of Social Affairs, Buea an Albino, A mother of a deaf/mute child of 8 years, a Visually Impaired man but works for the Cameroon Telecommunication Service – CAMTEL, married with four kids, he is also the President of the Visually impaired in the South West Province and finally a man born without legs but have diverse activities - he was then a final year Mass Communication Student at the University of Buea, Cameroon, a Pastor, a husband and a father of three kids and also a Businessman having about four call booths.
The Personnel from the public services talked on the opportunities of their Services, how they relate with the public and how the population can benefit from these services.
My Disabled Guest had very interesting stories which I will share in my next post including other stories about people living with disabilities in Cameroon. I will also give an insight on how effective the State of Cameroon cater for the Disabled, are they inline with the decree put in place?
Best Wishes to you all