COVID-19 Vs Disability in Humanitarian Crisis Cameroon

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Posted July 18, 2020 from Cameroon
Young women benefiting from COVID-19 items from CAVP,Bamenda

I am living with a disability and since 2016 when the Anglophone crisis started,my life with a disability has been one challenge to another. I experience gun shoots, massive and indiscriminate killings of women,children and girls.Killing of unarmed persons with disabilities and perpetration of different forms of violence.

As time evolves the crisis gets worse and lifestyle become more dangerous,expensive and very uncertain.Children dropout of school,people loss businesses,jobs and sources of livelihood.We are forced into displacement and most of the time live in very crowded rooms mixed with men. SGBV at this point is at its pick and we can only watch and pray. Little girls have become sex tools and teenage motherhood is talk of the day.

When we have not even manage the shock of the humanitarian crisis, another kind of crisis appears called the Coronavirus. I call it "Queen Corona" because of its powerful influence on the world that caused the whole world to experience a lock down. At first it was only my region in Cameroon which can experience the lock down due to the humanitarian crisis.But now I know that COVID-19 is stronger because the whole world is facing lock downs.

During this pandemic,women and girls with disabilities have faced challenges practicing the preventive measures put in place by WHO and the government of Cameroon. As persons with disabilities we have a lifestyle of touching or gripping places or persons to gain stability.How then can we maintain social distancing?.We live on low income, how can we afford soap,sanitizers and mask all the time. Due to strict measures of transport movement,we are bound to stay at home and by implication start developing new health hazards due to over weight. 

            "COVID-19 is worse than a humanitarian crisis"

With all the challenges women and girls with disabilities face in the pandemic,I have been working with partners to meet their needs.These women/girls with disabilities have been sensitized on preventive measures such as

      - Maintain one personal assistant most of the time

      - Have enough sanitizer to apply even on your assistive devices like crutches and white canes

      -Wash your more often than using sanitizers

      -They have been trained on skills to produce liquid soap,hand sanitizer and bars of soap. This is more cost effective and sustainable and community members are sensitized on daily basis to be disability friendly. 

And this women/girls have been assisted with reusable sanitary pads,bars of soap,detergents and disinfectants, accessible information on covid-19,face masks,liquid soap and sanitizers.These items have help them be able to have sanitizers in their purses wherever they are going. I fear has reduced and we look forward to continue supporting and empowering women/girls in communities.

In sisterhood

Veronica Ngum

CEO/Founder @ Community Association for Vulnerable Persons

CAVP-Bamenda,Cameroon

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 29

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Mohinder NGO Founder

Dear Veronica, thank you for sharing your personal story. I am sorry to hear of your hardships but admire your courage and determination to help others. For my part, I am trying to find out how COVID 19 has affected vulnerable women and girls and would like to use your story in a report I am writing, if you agree. Could you please contact me Mohinder Watson, at my NGO email address which is: [email protected]
Many thanks, Mohinder Watson, PhD MPH, Founder Action on Child, Early and Forced Marriage.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Many thanks Mohinder for the encouraging words.I love to contact you.See you on the email.
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

Jill Langhus
Jul 18
Jul 18

Hello Veronica Dear,

How have you been doing lately? I can't imagine the stress that you're undergoing:-( I'm glad that you're persevering, though, and helping others, too. May much better days come soon, dear! Let me know if I can help. XX

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Jill
Thanks for encouraging me.I will continue to do my best to assist other women/girls with disabilities.I will need some help.That I will let you know.
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

Jill Langhus
Jul 31
Jul 31

You're very welcome, dear. I know you do your best!

Hope you have a good, safe weekend, dear.

XX

Paulina Nayra
Jul 18
Jul 18

Dear Veronica,
It takes a strong woman to be able to hold on and survive in an unkind environment especially for people with disabilities. Your initiatives to train those with disabilities to make hygiene products is commendable. I hope this will provide income to them. Good luck and please take care.
Huggs from the Philippines.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Paulina
Many thanks for the encouraging words.With sisters like you,I will continue be strong and support other women/girls with disabilities.
Thanks
In Sisterhood
Veronica Ngum

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 18
Jul 18

Dear Veronica,
If we are to learn one thing as a global humanity through this, it must be to recognize and find solutions first for those who are most affected. You have shown where and why people living in poverty and people with disabilities need to be priorities, and with the particular needs of women and girls, facing escalated violence and needing pads, and materials for giving birth. The right to form what is being termed as "bubbles", small groups who can associate with each other, is so necessary for people who because of disabilities, rely on touch. All this in a country in which such a horrible war is raging.
Best wishes for the trainings you are making possible, and for staying safe through this harrowing situation.
Sending love,
Tam

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Mama Tam
Your words are so encouraging.Thank you very much and we will continue to empower this vulnerable population to gain full potentials
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

Regina Afanwi Young
Jul 18
Jul 18

Dear sister Veronica. Thanks for the write up. I can feel your plight especially as I live and work with persons with disabilities in this crisis area. Thanks for the good works my dear.
Stay safe and have a great weekend

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Sister Regina
You have been a wonderful colleague all the way.We are in this together.Thanks for the encouraging words
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

Honorine Ngenwi
Jul 18
Jul 18

Dear veronica, thanks for sharing your heart felt story. I love your encouragement on this part and no matter the challenges you face you keep going ahead.

MUVUNYI FABIENNE
Jul 19
Jul 19

My Veronica,
Deep sympathy my dear Veronica.
Your story is like the one we are living in DRC since 20 years ago. Some areas are very unsafe here in my country.
I do share your sorrow.
Take care my sister

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Fabienne
Thanks for encouraging me.May God continue to protect us all.
Stay safe
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

ARREY- ECHI
Jul 19
Jul 19

Dear Veronica,
I hope you are doing well. I cannot imagine the stress you have been going through for these past four years and especially now.
Still, I admire your drive and positivity. This line on your post: 'As persons with disabilities we have a lifestyle of touching or gripping places or persons to gain stability.How then can we maintain social distancing?', is really a very important question to be answered.
Thank you for all you do.
Keep impacting.
Love and light.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Sister Echi
Thanks for encouraging me.You are one great woman whom I admire so much.God bless you
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 02
Aug 02

Awww thank you so much dear sis.
You are one amazing super woman and I look forward to a day we could do a project together.
Keep impacting.
With love.

Evelyn Fonkem
Jul 20
Jul 20

Thanks for sharing Veronica.I can attest to your work.You are a change agent.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Evelyn
You have been a wonderful mentor.Thanks for your encouraging words
LOve
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

louise.isaac
Jul 20
Jul 20

Dear Veronica, thank you for sharing your story and of your fellow country women.
Thank you for sharing your resourcefulness also and your determination to help the vulnerable people in your community.
Sending you love, prayers and good wishes from Ireland

Louise

Hello, sis Veronica,

I have so much love and respect for you for being a strong woman that you are! Anglophone Crisis plus COVID-19 plus disabilities, that is too for women to handle. But you are a living proof how brave and resilient women can be.

There's nothing you cannot do, sis! You are a survivor and a champion of survivors! I wonder how you do it, dear sister. I pray for strength, grace, and provision for you and your community. You are amazing, sis!

Please keep sharing your stories! We love to receive updates from you.

Hwa Choo
Jul 22
Jul 22

Dear Veronica, thank you for sharing your story. It's inspiring to hear the initiatives you undertake with partners to help those with disabilities with needs. Please take care and stay safe!

Nini Mappo
Jul 23
Jul 23

Dear Veronica,
It is en encouragement to read your story of being a lifeline to vulnerable people in your community even while facing great challenges.
Your story is also educational to others about the challenges faced by those among us living with disabilities so thank you for sharing and for all that you do for others.

Caroline Bokwe
Jul 25
Jul 25

Dear Veronica, your story is one of bravery and endurance. You are such an inspiration to many others. In 2018 I experienced first hand, the crisis in Cameroon when I visited, and I must say that I am still to get over it. You taking it upon yourself to support others while experiencing similar challenges is what I call dedication. Thank you for contributing to change.

Jayne Cravens
Jul 29
Jul 29

Thank you for so well illustrating this very particular challenge for women with disabilities, and giving us perspective from Cameroon.

Nailantei
Jul 29
Jul 29

It is very sad to come into realization of the effects of Covid especially to vulnerable people. thank you for taking a step to support them. keep up the good work

Anne McCaw
Jul 31
Jul 31

Veronica, thank you so much for sharing your story. I was just speaking with a young woman here who is at her wit's end during the pandemic. She can't do many things that would help her be healthy, and she does not have the challenges that you have. Not only do I appreciate you bringing up what you and your sisters have to go through, I am so impressed by all you are doing to assist women with disabilities. Thank you for the work you are doing and please keep sharing about your experience and the incredible work you are doing.

Vanora.Lee
Aug 07
Aug 07

Thanks for your sharing. Though it's sad, you/your team are brave enough to pass through all the challenges and give hope to them especially disabilities. Send hugs to you all. Stay safe!

Sophia Ngugi
Aug 14
Aug 14

Indeed this crisis any crisis affects women and girls living with disabilities more. Thanks for being a voice and a champion. I hope the world becomes more accommodating to persons with different forms of disabilities, physical, mental and all. And make the workd a better place! Receive virtual hugs from Nairobi