In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cameroon has emerged with one of the highest numbers of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the first person was confirmed with the disease at the beginning of March, the number of infections has risen fast, with more than 12 000 cases confirmed as of June 28th 2020.
Today, all the ten regions of Cameroon are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, since a first case was confirmed. The virus has quickly spread beyond the two main cities, making Cameroon one of the main COVID-19 hot spots in West and Central Africa. Several organisations are engaged in sensitization campaigns to limit the spread of the virus in Cameroon. Amongst these several organisations, HOPE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (HOCI) stands out with a peculiarity based on that this Organisation has focused on sensitizing children between the ages of 5-15 on the dangers and preventive measures of the virus. This is an age group of less focus in most sensitization campaigns on preventing the spread of the virus.
With the increase in infected persons in Cameroon, HOCI saw it extremely necessary to engage children between the ages of 5-15 in the fight against Corona Virus in Cameroon. The organisation has carried out several internally funded sensitization campaigns in different neighbourhoods and implemented a project in the Tam-tam neighbourhood, mendong neighbourhood, and the Etokos neighbourhood all in Yaounde fully funded internally by itself, with the goal of increasing awareness of the dangers and preventive measures of the Covid 19 Virus among children between the ages of 5-15 in the neighbourhood. A project with several activities ranging from research work, visit of children’s play grounds, houses and gatherings talking to them about the virus and its preventive measures, organizing a seminar with a selected number of children and finally follow up of participants on their impact among other children in the neighbourhood in terms of sensitization, sharing of masks and hand sanitizers. During the seminar part of this project, the organisation carried out several activities such as knowledge sharing with the participants on the dangers of the virus, symptoms and various preventive measures, proper hand washing training and practice, local production and effective use of hand sanitizers. Sharing of hand sanitizers and face masks to children within the neighbourhood was the last part of the project.
The project was a huge success and the multiplier effect is been felt among children within the neighbourhood and extended to other neighbourhoods’.
HOPE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL has plans of implementing projects of same objective in other neighbourhoods in Yaounde and other regions of the country. The focus will be on children in vulnerable neighbourhoods in different regions, cities and parts of the country well known by the Organisation. It will however be possible with availability of financial resources.