By Njodzeka Danhatu
The United States Embassy in Cameroon and the Hope Social Union for the Visually Impaired, HSUVI have unveiled a project dubbed TamTam Leadership Development Program, aimed at empowering Cameroonian youth with disabilities, aged between 18 and 25 years.
The Project is to make the youth developmental agents in their various communities who will effectively mainstream the plight of Persons with Disabilities, PWDs.
The agenda of the program which is funded by the US Embassy in Cameroon was made public during its launch on Saturday, February 12 in Buea, Southwest Cameroon.
According to the Project Coordinator, Kesah Princely, the program offers a platform for persons with disabilities to trumpet their plights by themselves.
To him, there is a feeling among persons with disabilities that they are exploited by some Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs claiming to advocate for their rights. This, he justifies, is owing to the fact that, projects aimed at improving the vulnerable conditions of PWDs amidst armed conflicts and health challenges end up benefitting their managers.
With this program, Kesah expressed delight that at least persons with disabilities will now handle their issues rather than some NGOs which make PWDs passive participants in their own projects.
“We want to take our destiny into our hands,” Kesah Princely said, adding: “it will empower persons with disabilities to champion disability inclusion in their various communities.”
The program which targets over 130 PWDs across 10 regions of Cameroon will expose youth leaders with disabilities to resources and opportunities that will equip them to be true ambassadors of persons with disabilities and demystify the myth that Cameroonians have especially about persons with visual impairment like Kesah.
Also, it will drill the young leaders with disabilities to understand that they are the future of PWDs in Cameroon, while ensuring they have what it takes to champion the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all spheres of life.
The TamTam Leadership Development Program, according to the Coordinator, will be facilitated by persons with disabilities in Cameroon who are successful in leadership.
It will take place in two phases, with the first having two youth leaders from each of Cameroon’s ten regions converge in Buea, in April 2022, for training.
The Buea training will spill to other regions whereby the attendees will ditch out what they learned to their comrades at their regional level.
The Coordinator stated clearly that the regional representatives will be empowered financially and knowledge-wise to be able to do the same when they return from Buea. The aim is to effectively train the over 130 community leaders.
During the press briefing which marked the launch of the project, a committee of three leaders was formed to receive and review applications from the southwest. A similar exercise was conducted the same Saturday in Bamenda, and will be done in the headquarters of the remaining 8 regions in the following weeks.
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