Hadassah Basis Cameroon: The Journey


Because the Govt Director of ADAA, I’m at all times thrilled after we notice our work is making a distinction and that we’re reaching farther and wider. So, when the Hadassah Basis, a psychological well being group in Cameroon, contacted ADAA with a request to entry our free member-created, publicly obtainable, evidence-based sources, we not solely acquiesced, we collaborated.  

I’m excited to introduce this new partnership, which reveals the super attain our members have to handle psychological well being points not simply in the USA, however throughout the globe. Hadassah Basis members are psychological well being professionals working in underserved communities in Cameroon in addition to with internally displaced folks. We’re proud to welcome them as members of the ADAA neighborhood.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Ayuk Etongo, the Govt Director of the Basis, who will share particulars concerning the work and mission of the group.

Hadassah Basis Cameroon: The Journey

Hadassah Basis is an NGO in Cameroon (registration quantity 109/G.37/C84/VOL1/SASC), created in response to the traumatic circumstances affecting internally displaced individuals and the host inhabitants, because of the ongoing disaster within the West African nation. Our goal is to reinforce wellbeing, empower folks, and construct resilience. We work to advertise psychological well being, provide counselling and psychosocial help for internally displaced individuals and host populations, in addition to gender-based violence survivors. 

The journey of the NGO started after I moved from Finland again residence to Cameroon in 2017. In Finland, I had labored with the Finnish Pink Cross as a counselor for refugees, specifically in the course of the European “Refugee Disaster” of 2015. After I returned to Cameroon on the finish of 2017, the present conflicts and crises in my nation had been shortly unfolding. 

As a local of the southwest area, I noticed many kids, whose dad and mom had been killed within the crossfire, turn out to be homeless. These internally displaced kids had been despatched to orphanages across the Buea township space the place I lived. After I visited the Hotpec orphanage in early 2018, I used to be drawn by the necessity to improve the psychological wellbeing of those kids. With a pal, I contacted different orphanages, and we started to go to them, providing counselling classes to the kids. We additionally created life-skills trainings, help for coping in instances of disaster, and resilience-building schooling to strengthen their psychological wellbeing. 

Seeing the optimistic affect on these internally displaced youth, I mirrored on what Mom Theresa as soon as stated: “If you wish to change the world, go residence and love your loved ones.” This was how Hadassah Basis’s work began in Cameroon.

Our Work and Attain 

With an unlimited variety of internally displaced individuals within the English-speaking areas of Cameroon (northwest and southwest), we proceed to achieve extra kids, youth, and adults. We additionally work with the host populations who’re affected by the violence. We collaborate with faculties, the place we offer classes on anger administration, bullying, battle decision, substance abuse, and different points. 
Peer help is a vital a part of our work, and we provide classes for single moms to help their psychological well being wants. As well as, we now have one-on-one counselling for gender-based violence survivors, folks experiencing PTSD, nervousness, despair, and different co-occurring psychological well being circumstances.

#Breakingthestigma with Psychological Well being Consciousness

Due to armed battle, many individuals in Cameroon have seen their family members killed in entrance of them, leading to grief, trauma, and helplessness. Gender-based violence is way too prevalent and has an enormous psychological affect. At Hadassah Basis, we prioritize psychological well being promotion and consciousness. There’s lots of stigma and misconceptions round psychological well being points, with folks in small cities or rural areas not getting information and knowledge. Some nonetheless attribute psychological well being points to witchcraft or spiritually associated beliefs. 

We’re grateful that the World Well being Group is selling psychological well being within the nation, however Cameroon’s authorities solely amended the psychological healthcare coverage in 2016. And principally city dwellers in the principle cities like Yaounde and Douala have entry to psychological well being / psychiatric care and perceive that psychological well being is as vital as bodily well being. This inequity is why we’re set on elevating consciousness in additional distant areas. We’ve contacted neighborhood organizations, church buildings, faculties, orphanages, and incapacity facilities and plan to start out internet hosting consciousness classes this fall to achieve extra folks in rural areas.

Partnering with ADAA

This partnership is extraordinarily useful in offering us with sources to increase our work in elevating psychological well being consciousness. Sources associated to PTSD, nervousness, despair, substance and consuming issues, and therapeutic interventions for gender-based violence, in addition to having ADAA member clinicians communicate with our staff, will all construct our capability to raised provide providers to our shoppers.

We proceed to do what we are able to with a workers made up principally of devoted volunteers. Nevertheless, reaching a wider viewers requires extra sources: transportation, projectors for classes and workshops, printing flyers, and distributing pamphlets, to call a number of. We’re extremely grateful for the way far we now have come and the way a lot we now have achieved, however we notice that to achieve and assist extra folks, we want help. Help that can go a great distance as we stay dedicated to enhancing the psychological, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of individuals in our communities. With ADAA, we hope to achieve that assist and acquire a really particular connection. 



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