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Cameroon: more support needed for children in the north-western Adamawa region

Yaounde, Cameroon, 7 February 2009 - After a two day visit in the Adamawa Region, at the border with Nigeria, Ms Ora Musu Clemens, UNICEF Representative in Cameroon, has brought back several striking images from the field.

In Likok, 50 kilometres from Ngaoundere, the capital city of the Region, A healthy girl is called « Mutuelle », the name given to her in recognition of the usefulness of the mutual health association operational in the village health centre. In a Ngaoundere neighborhood, a  60 year old, HIV seropositive woman, is kept busy by a small trade to take care of her 7 children who have long lost their father.

The powerful traditional leader of Ngaoundere, the Lamido, has stressed the important role of religious and traditional leaders in support of the early and sustained education of girls. Ms Clemens  had enriching discussions with the women’s group in Likok and received a warm welcome when she arrived in the Mbale Primary School, a hundred kilometers from Ngaoundere, which was refurbished with funding from a fruitful partnership between UNICEF and MTN, a local mobile telephone network company.

Six months into her tenure as the UNICEF Representative in Cameroon and after her introduction to the national authorities as well as partners at Central level, Ms Ora Musu Clemens went to meet key actors in the promotion of the rights and wellbeing of children and women in the Adamawa region.
Upon her arrival in Ngaoundere, Ms. Clemens had a briefing from the Permanent Secretary of the Region and a series of meetings with the heads of services of partner ministries in the Region. The Delegate of Public health briefed her on the improved health indicators in the Region in the last five years.

The Delegate for Basic Education showed pride in the education of the girls that is being reinforced by the support from RECAMEF, a powerful network of mothers associations for the promotion of girl child education. The Delegate of social affairs was pleased with the protection of the child within foster families. The Delegate of Women Empowerment and Promotion of the Family shared his views on the sensitization of women for the wellbeing of the child and the woman in the Region. The Delegate for economy and territorial management spoke of the coordination of interventions of all partner ministries in the Region and of the functioning of a regional communication pool for parenting education in the Adamawa Region.
UNICEF Representative complemented her briefing by a visit to a Ngaoundere neighborhood where she met a group of youth working to promote HIV and AIDS sensitization, staff of an association caring for families hosting orphans and HIV vulnerable children and a 60 year HIV positive woman bringing up her 7 children with assistance for income generating activities supported by a UNICEF partnership with the French National Committee for UNICEF.

She also visited Likok where she continued discussion with the Djaoro, the chief of the village, members and staff of the health association, and pupils and teachers from the village primary school. Finally she made a stop in Mbale primary school.
At the end of her visit, she met with the Lamido of Ngaoundere, who had this to say: "We have very much appreciated UNICEF support in the Region for the past five years. UNICEF is well known here and its field office in Ngaoundere is very active. We look forward to continue the partnership with UNICEF to improve the well-being of children and women in the Adamawa region". The Representative expressed the willingness of UNICEF to keep the momentum within the new programme of cooperation.

For more information, please contact :
Raymond Mbouzeko, Communication specialist,
Tel: +237 22 22 03 93



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