Source: www.africanakua.com | MafanyTande Myles, Cameroonian Correspondent| 1st May, 2019.
Yali alumna Barbara Ngeah paid a courtesy call on the Kumba Rehabilitation Centre in the Southwestern Region of Cameroon to share her experience at Yali with them stressing that the physically challenged have and always will have a place in society.
The Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) programme, launched by the USA Government, is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.Its main purpose is to empower the youth across Africa by teaching them modern leadership so that they could develop the skills needed to transform their communities and or countries. The staff and residents of the Kumba Rehabilitation Centre which is run and managed by the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, gladly received and welcomed her.
Barbara spoke to physically challenged and disabled persons at the centre about her experience during the Emerging Leaders Program. She made sure to share all what she had learned during the program. She stressed on inclusion pointing out that the physically challenged are looked upon differently; and are sometimes excluded from the public affairs of a society. This is an appalling situation which deserves our utmost concern because the physically challenged have and will always have a place in society.
She dismissed the feeling of segregation from the minds of the physically challenged and imbibed in them a sense of inclusion and diversity. Barbara who ispassionate about inclusion and diversity at all levels and aspects of society, noted that She is proof of the fact that the physically challenged can do something, they can have a voice and most certainly create an impact in society.She is a ray of hope and an inspiration to all the physically challenged who are afraid to speak or act because of the obloquy of society.
Barbara is fully harnessing the training she received at the Emerging Leaders Program and completely maximising her potential to make a difference in Africa, beginning from her community. She will not capitulate on her mission to make this continent inclusive and to promote diversity.
Barbara brought along her knowledge and skills to empower the physically challenged, instilling in them a sense of belonging.
Everyone has a raison d’être and she did not leave without letting them know about theirs. She left a smile on the faces of those who listened and heeded to her words. Everyone was in high spirits.
She said “If you see yourself as disabled, then they will see you as one and call you disabled. To me, there is nothing like a disability; all these are societal constructs. Nothing in this world can stop you from achieving your dream except you. Therefore, all we need is to deconstruct in order to reconstruct these societal norms and beliefs that has bound us for so long!”