“I Found Hope when I came in Contact with the SEEPD Program” – PWD
Written by Fru Rita Ngum
Edited by Njoka D. Ngwang
Princely Nchamukong, a 40-year person with a disability (PWD), living with mobility impairment almost burst into tears of joy when the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) field worker of the CBC Health Services for Mezam Division, Mr. Njego Clarence made his entrance with a tricycle into his residence.
For many years, Princely has gone through thick and thin with difficulties of movement to do his business and to other social gatherings given his disability status and the lack of a means of transportation. Reports say he used to spent a lot of money on transportation and sometimes encounter many difficulties going to where he wants. This has just become a thing of the past given the newly donated tricycle by the SEEPD Program.
Princely who resides at Mile 4 Nkwen in Bamenda, explained in an interview that his disability began at the age of 7 years when he suddenly could not walk. All efforts made by his parents to reverse the situation were in vain. Accepting his situation, Princely grew up with his disability. After acquiring his First School Living Certificate (FSLC), he enrolled in a trade which helped him to build a career in artwork and shoe mending.
Princely laments that the inaccessibility of the environment and infrastructures in Cameroon makes movement very challenging for him. He said this has affected his quality of life given that his movements are limited. He says without a paraphernalia to facilitate his movement, he is very dependent on his wife and neighbors to buy his basic materials for his workshop and other necessities. With his disability, transporting himself from one part of town to another is expensive as he can pay as much as 700fcfa from Mile 4 to Commercial Avenue.
The mobility impaired Princely expressed relief that he found hope when he got in contact with the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) Program. Through its Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Field worker, SEEPD made an assessment of his needs and developed a rehabilitation plan. He notes that during his meeting with the CBR Supervisor, Mr. Kenchi Joseph had an understanding of his future plans concerning his business given that he owns a workshop where he does artwork and shoe mending.
In line with the objectives of the SEEPD Program which is to improve the quality of life for persons with disability, the CBR Supervisor sourced for a tricycle to facilitate movement for Princely. Also, the program will progressively work on improving on other aspects of his life.
Friday 11, 2018 was a turning point for Princely as he watched with tears of joy the CBR field supervisor carry the tricycle into his residence, a gesture which Princely says he had never dreamt of. After explaining to him the objective of the SEEPD Program, Mr. Njego Clarence said it is the wish of the SEEPD Program to create an enabling environment for people with disability so that they can be independent like others in the society, the reason why the program was quick in its response to his movement challenges. Mr. Njego gave him orientation on how he will use the tricycle in order to avoid other disabilities like back pain.
Short of words of appreciations, Princely showered the blessings of God on the SEEPD Program and its funders stating that his quality of life will greatly improve. He explains that with the tricycle, he will now be able to go and buy materials for his shop, go to church, meetings, and socialize in the society without depending on anyone in the community. Like Oliver Twist, he wishes that the SEEPD Program will improve on other aspects of his life. He concluded that the tricycle will indirectly also be helpful to his wife and two children who will now go on to do their own things than caring for him throughout.
It should be noted that Princely is just one amongst many others that the SEEPD Program has put smiles on their faces and given them hope.