By Njodzeka Danhatu & Kesah Princely
The Coordinating Unit of the Association of Persons with Disabilities, CUAPWD, in the Southwest region of Cameroon has slammed friends and colleagues who take advantage of their disability, to engage in begging, as a means of making money.
The call was made at Mountain Hotel Buea, during the maiden edition of the inclusive special Christmas celebration under the theme “Come and Experience the Power of Love”.
The President of the Coordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) in the Southwest region, Mr Agbor Valery Orock cautioned persons with disabilities to shun begging on roadsides.
The event had in attendance, the representative of the Nigerian Consulate to the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, Mr B.B Bukar, who compared the two systems and encouraged persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the Southwest region to continue with the initiative.
He explained that those in Nigeria started like their friends in Cameroon, and now the presidency of Nigeria has two persons with disabilities as advisers to the Nigerian President.
Representing the Divisional Officer of Buea, Mr Kome Elvis cautioned PWDs in the Southwest not take advantage of their situation, but work to show society what they can do. ‘‘The government is not actually giving persons with disabilities fish but instead showing them how to catch fish,” he added.
On his part as a high participant, Dr Charles Rimnyuy decried society’s approach to persons with disability. To him, if people’s perception about persons with disabilities is changed, then inclusiveness will be highly respected.
Among the participants was also Nsuh Patrick, popularly known as ‘‘the good old Patrick,’’ who is a person with visual impairment. Mr Nsuh shared the view of others that disability is not inability. He averred that persons with disabilities face challenges in government structures, as some of the buildings are not inclusive.
The president, Mr Agbor called on colleagues to submit their projects early so that they can be transmitted to appropriate quarters for funding.
According to the Personal Private Assistant of the president, Edith M. Sameh, a teacher by profession, the reason behind the celebration was to bring together persons with disabilities to celebrate Christmas, since some might not celebrate on the day proper. She added that the event was the first, furthering that it will definitely continue in future.
The event was coloured by special gospel songs composed by persons with disabilities as an affirmation that disability is not inability.
The Main sponsors of the event, Nexttel Cameroun offered some T-shirts, caps and other items.
Mbuh Lucy, the President of the Association of Persons with Disabilities in the University of Buea said it was an opportunity to spend Christmas together with friends. ‘‘This is also about getting experience, sharing love and networking,” she noted.