Cameroon: NW, SW Crisis - Widows Empowered to Cater for Themselves

Some 35 women from the North West and South Regions will benefit from the 10 million FCFA initiative sponsored by another widow, Mrs. Jumbam Rebecca Seh.

One of the consequences of the ongoing armed conflict in the North West and South West Regions is the plight of women who lose their husbands. Apart from having to cope with the trauma of the loss, these hapless women often struggle to fend for themselves and their children. Moved by their plight, a Yaounde-based lady, Mrs. Jumbam Rebecca Seh, from August 7-8, 2020 in Yaounde gathered 20 widows from the crisis resident in the North West and South West Regions. Mrs. Jumbam lost her husband to the war on March 28, 2020.

Addressing the gathering, Jumbam Rebecca narrated how her husband died. "After mourning for so long, my brother-in-law reminded me that other women who lost their husbands in the same war were in a worse situation than me with a home and job. I then decided to do something for these widows, many of whom had long fled their home villages and now live in deplorable conditions in town," she explained.

In April 2020, Mrs. Jumbam and her family, supported by over 350 well-wishers from across the world, put together 10 million FCFA to assist the widows. For a start, 20 widows have already been assisted to carry out small income-generation activities of their choice. Another set of about 15 widows will receive similar assistance in 2021 - giving a total of 35 beneficiaries. Meanwhile, last weekend's gathering included trauma counselling, with some widows sharing experiences of how they lost their husbands and what befell them after.

The women were also received training in small business management and listened to the story of a woman who began with little capital and today is a big business woman. "Our initiative is not a foundation or an association. It is just assistance that was decided on the spur of the moment," Mrs. Jumbam clarified. "Our hope is that as these widows get busy with their small businesses, it will enable them to receive quicker psychological healing, forget the pain and trauma of what happened to them; and be able to take care of themselves and their children," she said. "We will follow-up to ensure that the funds are properly utilised," she promised.

Earlier in his exhortation, Rev. Dr Rudolf Banglis of Faith Baptist Church, Anguissa, Yaounde, reminded the widows of God's caring love that made Him to sacrifice His only son, Jesus Christ, for the sake of humanity. "In the same manner, Jesus has not forgotten the plight of widows," he assured them.

More From: Cameroon Tribune

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