When I was growing up International women day celebration ( IWD ) celebration was a day every woman looked up to. Women had a match pass carrying plackets of different message , mostly about issues affecting them. So many planning meetings were held before the day proper to make sure the program would be superb .Different educative talks directed towards empowering women about their rights given. Various meeting groups would contribute money, cook a variety of food stuff and on the day proper they would hire somewhere special where they would sit and socialise after the match pass.
Then came the socioeconomic crisis and it became a taboo to talk about women's day. For close to 5years now there has been no celebration of women's day in the North West Region of Cameroon.
Besides women especially those with disabilities and more especially those with hearing impairment have suffered so much from the crisis.. Some of them have lost their homes and source of livelihood and the impact on most of them is a lack of self confidence and low self esteem. Gender based violence in very severe forms is not left out.
When I received the World Pulse spirit award I promised I was going to use part for the orphanage program and part of it to uplift girls/women, no matter how small.
That is why this international women day I choose to spend with some teen mothers with hearing impairment.
We had to carry out the activity on the 7th of March since Mondays is usually a lock down day. There were four deaf girls and a boy who came to represent his wife as she just had a baby. We discussed' on GBV and available services and economic empowerment and it's positive impact. Of cause we talked about World Pulse as a media to get their voice heard and also get empowered. It was so lovely and memorable. At the end of it all some covid19 kits in the form of Soap, sanitisers, face mask and nutritional needs such as rice, beans and milk and other food stuff were shared. Such an emotional and memorable way to celebrate the international women day with these women!!!
Each if them had a story to tell.
Her story is that she is always left out in such distribution because she is hearing impaired. There is no access to information as she can't heat especially with limited sign language interpreters.
Her story is that she has suffered multiple forms of GBV but have limited information on services to access for proper intervention. . Even when she struggles to access them she feels even more hurt as she struggles to communicate. She ends up feeling frustrated from misinterpretation.
Her story is that she has lost her source of livelihood to the war and is internally displaced with almost no source of income.
I want to thank you all on World pulse because thanks to the Spirit award I was able to give some little hope to these teen girls with hearing impairment. I count on your support to he able to train them on a skill that will change the situation for them.
These girls were really happy because they were able to tell their story.