The Organization for Gender, Civic Engagement and Youth Development (OGCEYOD) Cameroon in partnership with United Nation International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS) have been actively involved in the National Program for the Care and Support to Orphans and Vulnerable children (OVC)
The goal of this program is to offer support and care to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) in the context of HIV/AIDS, which is in the form of medical, educational and nutritional Assistance.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund were at the forefront of the OVC project which ran from the 30th of August to the 31st of October 2010. This gesture was therefore timely considering the conditions of orphans and vulnerable children in Fako Division as a whole and those of the Limbe I and II municipalities in particular.
A Picture of OGCEYOD, Staff the Delegate and the beneficiaries of the program
It all began at the Holiday Inn Hotel Limbe where a three day workshop was organised to train Civil Society Organisations/Associations on how to conduct home visits in respect to identifying orphans and vulnerable children, identify their needs, and prioritize them amongst other issues. This workshop, it should be noted was organised by the Delegation of Social Affairs for the South West Region with the presence of members of the 4ps and presided at by the Senior Divisional Officer for Fako. Deliberations were geared towards taking care of the plight of OVCs in the whole of Fako Division. At the end of the three day workshop, two civil society organisations OGCEYOD and ARREH were selected to implement the project in Limbe.
OGCEYOD deployed field workers in different neighbourhoods of the Limbe I and II municipalities. Two hundred and thirty six cases were identified within a period of 5 days. Amidst this number, 87 were to benefit from educational support. It is within this framework that ceremonies were organised at the conference hall of the Divisional Delegation of Social Affairs on the 29th of September for Limbe centre; community halls of Mokindi and Batoke for the West Coast zones on the 2nd of October to provide educational assistance to the OVCs. The beneficiaries of Mile 4 received their parcels at their homes. Educational support comprised of exercise books, text books, school uniforms, A Picture of the Delegate of Social Affairs giving speech during donation pens, pencils, sharpeners and the payment of fees to those that were absolutely in need of.
This largesse was not however limited to the provision of educational assistance to OVCs of the Limbe I and II municipalities. 75 children received food items comprising of rice, beans, groundnuts, salt and Soya beans. Prior to the disbursement of these food items, a workshop on nutrition and healthy diets was organised by OGCEYOD to school parents and guardians on diet/health related issues.
Just like with any program that takes care of the underprivileged children, 80 children benefited from medical assistance. It is worth mentioning that these beneficiaries were divided into 20 families, each family having a total of 4 children. The orphans and vulnerable children were registered under the Mutual Health Organisation. They were to benefit from 75 to 100% of their medical bills depending on their HIV status.
The parents and guardians of the OVCs saluted the gesture with delight and expressed their gratitude to OGCEYOD, MINAS and UNICEF authorities. They however called for more impetus to be placed at the level of finances in the different forms of assistance considering their numerous problems. It is worth mentioning that OGCEYOD also provided psychosocial assistance in the form of coaching to the OVCs.
The second phase of the National Program for the Care and Support to orphans and vulnerable children begins in January 2011. This will be a huge opportunity for OGCEYOD to put smile on the faces of OVCs.
The Delegate of Social Affairs giving a pacel to one of the OVC