Initiative Update

Masks and Hand Sanitizers Outreach in Yaounde.

ARREY- ECHI
Posted August 3, 2020 from Cameroon
Yaounde Masks and Hand Sanitizers Outreach
A Collage of some of the pictures taken during our outreach on July 18th, 2020

On July 18th, 2020, we carried out the third phase of our "Provide Masks and Hand Sanitizers For Sickle Cell Warriors" in Yaounde.

After diligent planning behind the scenes with those who make up my A Team Dr Michael Budzi and Ms Olivia Acha Morfaw, our D- day arrived.

To be able to reach our target number of 150 persons with sickle cell in Yaounde, especially as we could not make open publicity to invite warriors due to the ongoing COVID 19 and the need to avoid over crowded places,  we collaborated with another warrior who came with some warriors she works with.

We started at 8am with about 50 warriors and their parents. Initially, it was easier to maintain the social distancing requirement in place. However, the warriors started trickling in and by the time we ended at about 10am, we were looking at about 150 warriors.

Thankfully, we were prepared for the possible number but it was tricky to maintain the social distancing. Fortunately, those to talk were well prepared and did their parts briefly but meaningfully.

Dr Budzi, the Dr in charge of the Sickle Cell Clinic at the Etougebe Baptist Hospital, Yaounde, welcomed everyone and emphasized on the COVID 19 and what warriors need to do to continue to  keep safe, stressing the need to remain vigilant even if others are not because of the risk group we are in.

After his welcome, there was a word of prayer from the audience and then Dr Therese, Chief Medical Officer of the Etougebe Baptist Hospital Yaounde, officially opened the prorgam.She also laid emphasis on the need to stay safe, practice basic hygiene and be vigilant. 

Dr Budzi continued with  a  demonstration on the proper way to wash our hands and apply hand sanitizers. 

We next listened to the Chief Pharmacist, Mr Gideon who did a step- by- step explanation on how to make simple, alcohol based hand sanitizers at home. This knowledge was helpful because so many warriors find it challenging to afford drugs. Buying hand sanitizers regularly too would be an added challenge. We are hopeful this step- by- step explanation would help when possible, to offset the cost of buying regularly for those who find it difficult to do so, so that, they always have it handy.

Also, a warrior Ms Frida Bessem was called up to share her story so as to inspire others. She did an excellent job talking about her life and what she does to stay healthy and positive, encouraging warriors to be proactive in their care and not let society limit or put them in a box.

One of our partners The Babila-Boye Arise4Africa Foundation had her representative present who spoke about being happy to collaborate with us and some of the things they do to help the vulnerable and needy across Africa.

Yours truly said a few words on why we are doing what we do and encouraging warriors to stay joyful and happy as they continue to endure, emphasising the need to stay vigilant and continue to practice basic hygiene and the other points against COVID 19. Also, thanked our partners and donors whose support made things possible.

At the end, light refreshments and water were distributed. Gift bags containing masks and hand sanitizers were also distributed. By 10am, everything was over and the warriors left. Those who were regulars at the clinic, had their monthly follow up. We stepped in to pay for the medications of two warriors that day who had difficulties meeting up their needs.

We had an interpreter present who interpreted for the French speaking people. Our sign language intepreter unfortunately, came in very late.

Everyone left happy from the feedbacks I received later.. Yaounde made the third town we are having our outreach since we kicked start it in Douala on World Sickle Cell Day June 19th.  Bamenda was the next  town we went to, bringing us to a combined total of 304 persons reached in three towns.

It was a truly fulfilling day. I was so happy that I did a spin which was well captured by someone taking pictures. I ended up liking the picture.

Truly, nothing beats the joy of making others feel happy and that is why we are a #Joy2Endure.

#COVID19 #SickleCell #MasksAndHandSanitizers

How many people have you impacted since your last update?

304

Comments 13

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Tamarack Verrall
Aug 03
Aug 03

Dear Arrey,
Big congratulations on this important and so successful event! It is clear that a lot of care, love and wisdom were interwoven into the day. What a difference this must have made to so many people who attended, and no doubt to those who got the news after, from attendees. This is why I love you: "Truly, nothing beats the joy of making others feel happy". I can imagine the fun you created with your spin.

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 03
Aug 03

Dear Mama Tam,
Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. You are right. We needed to excercise a lot of care while planning. In as much as we wanted to make sure the know the basic needs to stay safe and protected, we also didn't want to expose them to any threats. So, a lot was done behind the scene to make sure things fall in place as neatly as possible. Working with a collaborative team with the same goals made it a whole lot easier.

Yes, many were happy. Some even said they couldn't afford the masks and hand sanitizers so, it was worth it making them smile and help in keeping them safe.

LOL Yes. I was indeed a fun and happy spin.
Thank you. I hope you are doing well.
Much love from rainy Yaounde today.

Jill Langhus
Aug 03
Aug 03

Hello Arrey Love,

How are you doing, dear? Wow! That was a powerful, and succinct event there. Great job orchestrating that.

I'm glad you're safe and well. Hope you have a good week!

XX

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 03
Aug 03

Hello Sis Jill,
I am doing great, thank you. It has indeed been a very fulfilling one month.
I am ok and well. I hope you are too.
Thank you for the kind words.
Wish you a beautiful new week.
Love,

Jill Langhus
Aug 03
Aug 03

Hello Dear,

Great to hear! You're welcome.

Awesome to hear.

Let me know if you need to chat, hon:-)

I'm doing well, thanks.

You're welcome.

Thanks!!

XX

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 03
Aug 03

Thank you Sis Jill,
Happy to know that.
Will be happy to chat, text you in a few hours if that would be ok.
Love and hugs.

Jill Langhus
Aug 03
Aug 03

You're welcome, dear.

Always:-) Okay. I will be on and offline.

Take it easy, dear.

Nini Mappo
Aug 03
Aug 03

Hello Arrey,
What a wonderful report on such a well executed project of care and compassion! Congratulations on your growing impact.
On a side note, I find it incredible that your event was done and dusted by 10 am! That is quite impressive. Good on you and your team.

In sisterhood,
Nini

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 03
Aug 03

Hello Nini,
Thank you so much for the kind words.
That's right. we always try to plan our events max 2 hours.
Living in a country that focuses much on 'black man time' it is not always easy.
However, making the efforts to start on time has impressed on those we invite to also make the effort to be on time.
Keeping the time has been especially important this COVID period because, in situations where maintaining the social distancing may not be that easy, we make sure we do not keep people waiting for long in crowded spaces. So, everyone prepares well in advance and makes sure they speak briefly but meaningfully. That helps to keep to the time and carry out our events within the estimate time slot of 2hrs.

Planning and stressing that everyone be there on time even those to do any catering has been very helpful.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate.
Love and light.

Nini Mappo
Aug 05
Aug 05

Wow Arrey, for shifting time perception and even getting people to speak briefly, I salute you! Your team must be amazing, but even seeing that time commitment from those you are reaching out to is a sign that even 'African timing' is not set on stone. Good on you.

In sisterhood,
Nini

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 06
Aug 06

Absolutely dear Nini.
Perspectives can be changed for the better if people know it impacts them positively. So, it has been helpful. When they saw we always try to keep to time, they made the necessary adjustments.

Love and hugs,

Hello, sister Arrey,

Congratulations to you and your team for organizing this initiative. The Sickle Cell Warriors are so fortunate to have you.

Now I know how you keep your 27-year-old look. It's by making other people happy. It's backed up by research that kindness towards others is the source of genuine happiness. You did well, dear. What an inspiration!

Keep up the amazing work.

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 06
Aug 06

Hello My dear Sis Karen,
Thank you so much for always having encouraging words to share. I think I am the fortunate one, they are helping me find meaning and purpose in life and a place to channel my small widow's mites and as such, happiness.

Thank you. I sure will do that.
Love and hugs always