CSCI and Cameroon Link Negotiate Collaboration Platform
By Helen Ayamba, camlinknews
A meeting to negotiate collaboration protocol between the Communal Socio-Intersectorial Centre (CSCI) in Mambanda-Bonaberi held on the 11th June 2013. Present at the meeting were Mrs. Tutu, an inspector of social affairs, Ms. Esther Mbango, Director of CSCI, James Achanyi-Fontem, Executive Director of Cameroon Link, Foyen Fidele, President of Community Health Mutual Insurance (MUTSAN) Mabanda, the head in charge of piloting community health training and counselling unit,the head of the social assistance unit and the centre's logistics agent.
Introducing the meeting, Mrs. Tutu said, the Douala IV Council had always wished to animate the local population of its community by setting up a socio-intersectorial centre to facilitate the circulation of information, prevention of diseases and illnesses, capacity building of women and youths, while facilitating the population to have access to affordable minimum social services.
The conception and elaboration of the pilot innovative project in Cameroon is inscribed within the frame work of developed decentralised cooperation action between the Douala IV Municipal Council and the Municipality of Strasbourg City in France and the International Development Research Institute, IRCOD Alsace.
The CSCI will mobilise professionals of different development fields of intervention for exchange of coherent approaches and experiences in the initiation of health, socio-economic and cultural programmes for the promotion of development actions that are needed, adapted and beneficial to the local populations. The CSCI Cameroon Link collaboration protocol will create room for health professionals to accompany the population through the creation of information, education and development networks within the community health development space made available at the centre.
Esther Mbango studied management and accounting, worked with Dominique Savio Bonanjo before her recent employment as the director of the CSCI in Mambanda. Tutu participated from the initiation, creation and construction phases of the project. She informed Esther of the role of Cameroon Link in building capacities of local communities and suggested the initiation of a collaboration protocol to assist the nurse at the centre during for the animation of the health unit.
Contributors for the functioning of the centre are Douala City Council, Douala IV Council, the ministry of public health, ministry of social affairs and IRCOD as a foreign donor. The wish of the director of the centre is to see activities take off at the centre, so the institution can generate some resources for its autonomy and sustainability in the future.
The Communal Socio-Intersectorial Centre is offering learning opportunities in the areas cookery, hair dressing, dress making, information technology and networking, health information, education and counselling. Community based organisations (CBO) operating without permanent offices would be accorded space on request to hold their exchange meetings at the centre. Three conference halls and a crèche exist at the centre.
A key role to be played by Cameroon Link will be advocacy in a way to attract sponsors of health and socio-cultural activities. A social assistance initiative will be to revitalize the community mutual health insurance scheme in Bonassama started by GIZ and the ministry of public health a few years ago.
Achanyi-Fontem told the audience at the meeting that Cameroon Link is already involved in three key social mobilisation and community capacity building initiatives supported by Farm Radio International, Plan International and the Commonwealth of Learning. Farm Radio is assisting Cameroon Link to educate smallholder farmers on how to improve on their wellbeing through management of their crops and resources. Plan International is supporting the malaria prevention campaign through the effective use of impregnated mosquito nets, while the Commonwealth of Learning is lending a hand on the improvement of community radio broadcasts through training on story design programming, where farmers, development organisations and broadcasters participate in the preparation and delivery of more attractive programmes on health and farming. The focus of the attention of the community of learning initiative is mother and child health care. He added that there are three key issues related to the development of the human being, which are food, health and information. Where one of the components is lacking, there has always been a crisis. He concluded by highlighting some of the impact and experiences of the projects realized with support from Farm Radio International and the Commonwealth of Learning.
James Achanyi-Fontem, is a Senior Health Journalist and Communication Consultant. He worked as a health journalist and broadcaster for 30 years with Radio Cameroon and later Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV before retiring in 2005 to engage fully with Cameroon Link (Human Assistance Programme). Cameroon Link is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation involved in the promotion of community health, humanitarian assistance, promotion of women and child rights through involvement of communities in Cameroon for mother and child health care. Cameroon Link is a partner to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Farm Radio International (FRI), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Africa), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). As the intermediary of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Cameroon Link is engaged to implement a Cameroon Rural Radio story design Programming through an investigative research, which aims to discover through interviewing beneficiaries of health programmes on their interests, documenting and disseminating new ideas about how radio stations produce and air Healthy Communities Radio Programs in Cameroon.