Economic Empowerment is a MUST during this pandemic

Regina Afanwi Young
Posted June 15, 2020 from Cameroon

Women with disabilities suffer a double Vulnerability as a whole and worst still in our African society were there is still a lot of Myth surrounding disability. They like all other women have to cater for their homes in most cases, The corona pandemic has come to increase the burden, GBV is on the rise partly  because the men are loosing their jobs and expecting the women to completely shoulder responsibilities of feeding the house including them. Most homes relie on women to supply kits for preventing covid 19 such as santisers, hand washing buckets,  mask and soap. That really surprises me. How will these women with disabilities carry all this burdens,  heart breaking isn't it. 

The North West Association of women with disabilities a network brainstormed on this and thought we find a solution to this. Therefore we organised an economic empowerment training for some women with disabilities in three areas in Bamenda.  Bamenda 1,2,3 .  The training package included :

Covid 19  with emphasis on prevention , group dynamics, Gender based violence and basic book keeping and then a training on income generating activities ( groundnut Candy production,  soap making and production of body lotions.)  It's so amazing to know that the training on groundnut candy production was done by a man. He shared his experience and strategies  on marketing this all this years . We were really glad this was coming from a man. 

My role in this was that I was in charge of organising the training. I also presented on covid19 including demonstration on hand washing and proper hand sanitising. I was also a sign language interpreter as women with hearing impairment were part of the training.  

At the end of it all some humanitarian support was given in the form of food items (rice,  Maggie cube,  soap, ground oil) 

We are hoping and looking forward to be able to reinforced them financially by creating a revolving fund within  the groups so these women could actually practice all what they have learnt. We were able to do so only with Bamenda 1. At least if they engage in this economic activity  they will be able to provide basic needs for the prevention of covid 19 for their households in addition to reducing GBV due to lack of economic empowerment. I was particularly moved that girls with hearing impairment were actively involved.

My sincere thanks to the My World pulse family who through their stories and experiences I have been reading have opened my mind mire on the need to take calculative steps towards generation equality.  I am committed to fight to change the situation of women  as a while and more particularly women with disabilities. I am even more motivated by the mentorship I get from my World pulse family.  I end by pleading that I am open to learning and also open to opportunities that will help me build my capacity on humanitarian work.  I love you all. 

 

 

 

 

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

Comments 11

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Jill Langhus
Jun 15
Jun 15

Hello Regina Love,

Thanks for sharing your update. When did your training take place? Or, is it ongoing? How many women benefited from it? I'm very glad to hear about your initiative. You surely have made a big difference in those families lives. I wish the financial burden would be a shared one, along with all the household ones for that matter, but I'm glad that they're receiving training to become financially independent.

Hope you and your family are well and that you have a good, safe week.

Regina Afanwi Young
Jun 16
Jun 16

Thanks so much Jill dear for those words of encouragement. The trainings were on 3 different days:
Bamenda 1: May 22 for 30women
Bamenda 2: 3rd of June for 20 wonen
Bamenda 3: 5 of June for 25 women
In all 78 women benefited from the training and the revolving fund was started only for the 30women in Bamenda 1 due to limited financial resources. We hope the groups can come up with a thrift and loan scheme were they will be able to loan out money to carry out their activities. .
Yes am doing great with the family. You to stay safe. Thanks for the love Jill

Jill Langhus
Jun 17
Jun 17

You're very welcome, dear:-)

Oh, okay. Thanks for clarifying. That's quite a lot.

That's great that that many women benefited from the training and from finances, too. Please keep us updated on how they fare with their new empowerment tools:-)

I'm glad you're all safe and well.

You're very welcome. XX

rebecca.tang
Jun 15
Jun 15

Thank you for sharing. You work is very meaningful and can help a lot of people.
Please keep the great work on.
Stay Safe and take care! May Almighty God bless you all!

Regina Afanwi Young
Jun 16
Jun 16

Thanks my darling sister Rebecca. Tang for your kind words. You too stay safe dear

Beth Lacey
Jun 16
Jun 16

Good luck with your work

Regina Afanwi Young
Jun 16
Jun 16

Thanks a million Beth dear. Stay safe

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hello Regina Love,
Thank you so much for sharing your post with us. It is very true that we need to be empowered and also empower those in our communities during this very tough time. Thank you so much for empowering those in your community. Keep us posted on your work and the people you have impacted with your training.
Please stay safe and have a blessed day.

Chi8629
Jun 17
Jun 17

Hello Beautiful,
Thank you for sharing.
Please stay safe out there.

Regina Afanwi Young
Jun 17
Jun 17

Hello dear, thanks and please stay safe

Mohinder NGO Founder

Dear Regina, thank you for your inspiring story of offering training in your community. I am writing a report on how COVID 19 is impacting the lives of young girls and women including those with disabilities. The report will be used for advocacy purposes to help ensure that girls and women are kept at the centre of any post-COVID 19 recovery process. I would like to use your story if you agree, as an inspiring example of how women and girls are rising to the challenges the pandemic has brought. Could you please contact me Mohinder Watson, Founder Action on Child, Early and Forced Marriage at my NGO email address: [email protected] Many thanks Mohinder