2008 Cameroon BRPID Projects

 Cameroon BRPID Projects 

Cameroon: Promoting Self Esteem and Economic Independence for Physically Handicapped Girls

Cameroon Association of University Women

CAMAUW continues to advocate for the improvement of the status of girls and women, and with this project concentrated on improving the lives of physically handicapped girls.

In Cameroon the physically handicapped, particularly women and girls, suffer great discrimination especially in rural areas. Children born with disabilities are often abandoned and many disabled children live in institutions. This project based at a centre for handicapped children (CEFED – Centre for the Education of Females with Disabilities), aimed to encourage teenage girls to undertake a programme of skills training in order to improve their self-esteem and to allow them to re-integrate into community life and be economically independent. The project also tried to educate and sensitize the local population and to encourage greater respect, care and concern for the disabled. It also attempted to “de-congest” the centre by educating parents to face up to their responsibilities and not to abandon handicapped children. Parents were encouraged to take their handicapped children back into the home for at least 3 months of the year. Project leaders worked with community leaders to re-integrate some of the disabled girls back into their family homes, leaving place in the centre for those with more serious problems. CAMAUW also worked to urge female politicians and parliamentarians to renew efforts to change and enforce laws protecting the disabled population.

During 2008 CAMAUW members oversaw the training programme and encouraging the skills development component for eventual self-employment and sustainability for the centre. They donated educational materials, (text books, exercise books, pens, pencils) creative materials (scissors, glue, paper) and skills development materials (sewing fabric, embroidery thread, and sewing patterns). On the practical level, CAMAUW members also supplied 3 mattresses and a hundred kilo bag of rice.

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