Hundreds of vulnerable persons in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé have received gifts from the City Council as they prepare for the festive Christmas and New Year season. The items were handed, December 20, 2022, at the esplanade of the Yaoundé City Council, in a ceremony to mark the 13th edition of the Yaoundé Solidarity Day.
Beneficiaries, 450 in number, included individuals and groups of persons with disabilities, the aged, orphans and a hundred persons with mental health challenges from the City Council’s Love Village at the Jamot hospital.
“The mayor is the father of the town. This day is to show to Yaoundé denizens that the mayor is there for them and he does not forget anyone. He is there even for the vulnerable,” Technical Adviser No. 3 to the City Mayor, Melingui Essomba Sylvie told beneficiaries.
The aid packages comprised of among others, rice, soap sardine, tomatoes, and basic necessities to facilitate their daily activities. According to the City Council, it received over a thousand requests from the vulnerable and the less privileged. Last year in a similar exercise, the institution handed gifts to 750 persons ahead of the festive season.
The Yaoundé Solidarity Day was instituted by a Council deliberation in 2008, and has to date, remained an avenue for the institution to reach out to its most vulnerable populations. Yet, many have expressed the desire for the City Council to do more. This is as hundreds, if not thousands of homeless kids still roam its streets, and many structures and facilities remain inaccessible for persons with disabilities.
A 2019 study revealed that the city of Yaoundé had a disability prevalence rate of 3.6% for the 15-49 age group. It further recommended empathizing with vulnerable populations to better comprehend their needs and provide appropriate and efficient policies and actions for their wellbeing.
Experts and health care providers also recommend the institution of better frameworks to instil in persons living with disabilities, money making skills and opportunities to boost their self-confidence and make them less dependent on others for a livelihood.
Poise News Desk