Disability Inclusion: After 13 years partnership with CBM, CBCHS-SEEPD launches phase two CBID Project

By Bakah Derick 

The Socio-economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) has ended 13 years of partnership with Christian Blind Mission (CBM). A project closure event to celebrate 13 years of promoting disability inclusion held in Bamenda on Thursday 16 February 2023. 
The event attended by mainly stakeholders of the program was an opportunity for the Director of CBCHS Prof Tih Pius Muffih to appreciate government services, local government agencies including Councils and the media for accompanying his institution in the last 13 years in the promotion of disability inclusion. He extensively expressed gratitude to CBM for being an outstanding partner throughout the years. 
Speaking for the CBM delegation, the Regional Quality Programs Manager Mue Peter noted with satisfaction the commitment of CBCHS particularly the workers and government services for the unmatched engagement in promoting disability inclusion. 

Awards and Recognition 

In recognition for their commitment, the CBCHS awarded meritorious councils for promoting disability inclusion in the areas of Healthcare, Education, Safeguarding and Empowerment and Social Inclusion.

According to the results, Nkambe Council won the overall best prize while the Wum, Jakiri, Santa and Magba Councils won in the Health, Education Social Inclusion and Safeguarding categories respectively. Other councils recognized were the Bamenda III, Bafut, Bamenda I and II, Fundong and Tubah for their outstanding contributions in promoting disability inclusion. 
Mayor of Nkambe Musa Shey display award 

"We did everything for our people living with disability without expecting anything and so we are happy with this recognition. We invested time in providing our people a source of livelihood through our farm, gave them support and then went further to prevention of disability by educating our people on excess speeding for commercial motorcycle riders and those living with diabetes." Mayor Musa Shey Nfor told www.hilltopvoices.com 

The event was also used to recognize and award stakeholders in the different program components amongst them the delegations of secondary and basic education, social affairs, women Empowerment and the family, the GCE board, association of persons with disabilities, health institutions and staff of the program. 

Launch of the Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) 

While clarifying that the SEEPD program was not coming to an end, the programs Manager explained that it was only the end of partnership with CBM and the next phase was going to take a more engaging community based approach. Awa Jacque Chirac detailed that the CBID will be more people centered and community driven with the objective of addressing the challenges to equitable and inclusive communities faced by persons with disabilities and their families. 
SEEPD program manager Awa Jacque Chirac Speaking 

According to him, the work will cut across health, economic empowerment, more stakeholder engagement to ensure that persons with disabilities are respected and included in their communities on an equal basis in all areas of life. This he added will give an opportunity for the consolidation of the work done in the last 13 years. 

Reacting to the new direction though in their absence, the CBM regional quality programs manager Peter Mue has challenged the councils and individual to get more engaged in accompanying the CBCHS and the SEEPD program in seeking ways to provide meaningful livelihood to all especially those with disabilities. 
Rev Dr Nditemeh Charlemagne CBC Executive President speaking 

The Executive President of the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) saluted the foresightedness of the leadership of the CBC Health Services for maintaining the high standards being celebrated. He expressed satisfaction leading a religious organization that takes a front seat in matters of disability inclusion. 

Started in 1975, the CBCHS is today the second highest provider of Healthcare services in Cameroon. The CBCHS in 2009 started the SEEPD program with the hope of promoting disability inclusion thus improving access to education, Healthcare, meaningful livelihood for persons with disabilities. 

Photo credits: CBCHS Communication Unit, Kiki News and Disability Forum