Access to quality education and healthcare services throughout the world are fundamental human rights.
But these crucial inalienable rights are still regarded by many in Cameroon as a luxury reserved for a privileged few.
The situation is further compounded by the high rate of unemployment, poverty and misery that have made most families unable to either pay their medical bills or children school fees.
As if that is not enough, to orphans and other underprivileged children in Cameroon, quality education and healthcare services are just far-fetch dreams that are not meant for their lots.
After observing such stark inequality in society and living the plights of the underprivileged on daily basis, Naomi Etombi Moussa, set up the Etombi Foundation with the aim of providing quality and sustainable healthcare and education to the underprivileged in society.
The Foundation’s vision is to build a society where everyone has access to quality healthcare and good education, irrespective of status.
The CEO and Founder of the Foundation said: “Growing up, I watched my mom help so many people. I saw her give her time, her talent and her resources to hundreds of people most of whom she didn’t even know. Since I was a child, I knew this was something I was purposed to do.”
Naomi Etombi Moussa, who is also a student of the US Law School said: “I am passionate about helping the needy and underprivileged because I was raised by a single mother, a strong woman, who is a force to reckon with. All that I am today is because of the values she has instilled in me. I love to pay kindness forward and I believe giving to these people is my own little way of repaying the love and kindness I’ve received.”
Etombi Foundation’s Education And Health Strides
Despite the Foundation’s relatively short period of existence, it has already recorded giant feats in the education and health spheres.
On May 16, 2020, the Foundation provided assistance to some Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Limbe, who were hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 50 beneficiaries of the Foundation’s assistance were mostly those whose socio-economic activities were paralysed because of the pandemic and were forced to move.
Before handing over the gifts to the beneficiaries, the Foundation brought in medics to educate the people on how to avoid contracting COVID-19.
Facemasks, hand sanitizers, sanitary items and food packs were distributed to the beneficiaries and FCFA 10,000 each was handed over to the 50 IDPs.
On May 18, 2020, the Foundation extended a hand of fellowship to inmates in detention facilities in Limbe, who were practically neglected in the heat of the health crisis.
The Etombi Foundation donated facemasks, disinfectants, soap, hand sanitizers and food to the detainees.
Meanwhile, on October 9, 2020, the Foundation donated didactic materials to the Rhema Grace Orphanage in Ombe, to assist the pupils and students to effectively resume classes.
Rhema Grace Orphanage Ombe was the first orphanage to benefit from the Foundation’s extensive programme to provide assistance to orphans across the Southwest Region of Cameroon.
During the donation at Rhema Grace Orphanage, Etombi Foundation’s Representative in Cameroon, Mrs. Lois Ikome, asserted that education is the foundation for a brighter future.
She handed over cartons of books, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, erasers, chalk and other items like rice, laundry soap and FCFA 100,000 to the orphanage officials.
Another orphanage that has benefitted from the largess of the Etombi Foundation is the God First Orphanage Mile 4-Limbe.
On October 31, 2020, the Foundation donated exercise books, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, rice, spaghetti, palm oil, vegetable oil, sugar, milk, chocolate, a carton of canned tomatoes, laundry soaps, bathing soaps to ensure a successful back to school for the orphans and a safe and healthy environment.
The Foundation also made a cash donation of FCFA 125,000 to the orphanage.
One of the mega projects of the Etombi Foundation, which started in October dubbed “Operation Educate an Orphan or Internally Displaced Person (IDP)” from the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon, has been greatly hailed.
Under the project, full-tuition scholarships were awarded to 30 orphans and IDPs from the Anglophone Regions, who are currently schooling in Yaounde and 20 others in Limbe.
Some of the beneficiaries of the scholarship are GCE examination candidates.
Apart from their fees, the Foundation has also paid their GCE registration fee in full. The Foundation is encouraging all Cameroonians of goodwill to support this mega project so that the 900,000 young people from the two crisis-hit Anglophone Regions, who have been deprived of education for the past four years, can safely return to school.
In the area of health, the Foundation is currently footing the bills of a pregnant IDP woman, who has nothing to cater for her pregnancy.
The woman has received emergency assistance of free consultation, antenatal, provision for emergency items for delivery, baby clothes, foodstuff, mineral water and medication to enhance her health.
By Barbara Hallepie Senge