On the occasion of the traditional Christmas tree lighting, the First Lady of Cameroon, personally handed gifts to some 2,000 children on December 22, 2017.
Three days before the D-Day, some children in the Centre Region began enjoying the best of the Christmas season with the First Lady of Cameroon, Chantal Biya. This was during the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Chantal Biya Foundation (CBF) in Yaounde, on December 22, 2017. It was a crowd pulling and colourful event which ended with each child going home with a special Christmas gift from Mrs Biya.
In fact, the First Lady had set aside her day of Friday December 22 for some 250 hospitalised children at the Mother and Child Centre of her foundation, 40 orphans and abandoned children at the Children First Centre, 75 vulnerable children from the Ministry of Social Affairs and some 1,500 pupils from seven primary schools in Yaounde.
After midday, the special convoy carrying the First Lady made its way into the premises of the CBF. Pupils who had lined up at the entrance of the hospital waved the flag of the country alongside that of the Foundation as they expressed joy in songs, seeing the First Lady come to share with them and the good tidings the season brings.
As Mrs Biya made her way into her Foundation, she immediately began with the distribution of Christmas gifts to the pupils who had come to welcome her.
Richard Kings, the local artist echoed the melody titled "Mother Is Gold" as dignitaries amongst them the Secretary General of the Foundation, Habissou Bidoung and the Director of the Mother and Child Centre, Professor Koki, joined the First Lady in the exercise.
Unlike other years, the First Lady began her special visit at her Foundation with the handing over of gifts to children at the service of orientation and external consultation as well as some vulnerable children. Songs of gratitude and souvenir pictures graced the session. She later moved to the Children First Centre of the Foundation where orphaned and vulnerable children were patiently waiting for her with special songs and rhythms.
Through a banner the children told their Mama Chantal "we wish you a Happy New-Year and we always have you in our heart." The children and their matron enjoyed a moment of pleasantness in songs and merry making. As the First Lady handed each child a Christmas gift, the Spirit Songs of Meyomessala Choir graced the exercise.
Before going to the Mother and Child Centre, a beaming Mrs Biya took time to shake hands with different dance groups that had come to grace the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
With the hospitalised children, it was a moment of comfort and hope, as parents of sick children saw their dwindling hope rekindled when a caring First Lady went through all the paediatric blocks as well as neo-natal units placing gifts on the bed of each sick child with word of encouragement to their parents.
At the esplanade of the Jeanne Irene Biya Pavilion of the Foundation, Chantal Biya and her entourage took time to enjoy some seasonal songs from the La Voix de Cénacle Choir as she also placed a bouquet of flower at the status in memory of Jeanne Irene Biya. Friday's event was also a moment of communion between the First Lady and personnel of her Foundation as they all shared the joy of the season.
Other artists such as K-Tino and Ama Pierrot added sound to the event.