CRCDD Launches “Inclusive Churches For All” Campaign

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Members of CRCDD at Njimafor Catholic Church

Members of CRCDD at Njimafor Catholic Church

The Community Resource Centre for the Disabled and Disadvantaged (CRCDD) working in partnership with Socio Economic Empowerment of People with Disability (SEEPD) program of the Cameroon Baptist Health Services has launched a campaign to mainstream disability in churches.

Known as “inclusive Church for all”, the campaign aims at making our churches inclusive and open to all irrespective of whom they are. It’s in this light that members of CRCDD visited the Njimafor Catholic Church in Bamenda and PC Njamchep in Bawock –Bali on Sunday November 8, 2015 to assist the various Christians raise money towards making their churches open and accessible to all categories of people who are seeking God’s face and salvation.

Mme Limen Florence Nkemgwa, coordinator of CRCDD explained to surprise Christians and church leaders of the churches visited how many of our churches exclude people like the blind, dumb, deaf and the physically challenged, not only from participating in church activities but from listening to the word of God.

“Our churches are built without ramps into the churches, pulpit, pastors’ and fathers’ houses, offices, church hall, Sunday schools and toilets” she told a rather bemused audience, many of whom had really never realized it.

“Many disabled and disadvantaged persons want to preach the Good News, sing in the choirs, listen to the gospel but this is not possible…look around you, look at me, I needed someone else to lift me up the steps and push me in because there are no ramps, I can’t climb on the pulpit to preach now because these steps are a physical barrier to me and my kind” she added.

Christains of Njimafor contributing to make their church "inclusive for all"

Christains of Njimafor contributing to make their church "inclusive for all"

So many deaf, dump, blind and physically challenged persons don’t go to church regularly because they are not considered by the church. This group of persons needs sign language interpreters, church material in Braille, ramps to give them unhindered access into and out of the churches, to be drafted in the various management committees, to be allow to praise God like any other person by singing, preaching, and reading the bible.

Wilfred Yemga, the Project Chair of PC Njamchep-Bawock acknowledged his ignorance of the needs of the disadvantaged people in his church and promised to build ramps for this category of Christians without delay as he put it “this is an urgent need for us now”

“This simply never crossed our minds or we just over looked it when conceiving and designing our projects, but I can assure you, your visit has prick our conscience” he added.

Nanga Ernestine Christian of Catholic Church Njimafor said the church is for everybody including our cripples, blind and deaf brothers and sister and it’s really bad that we never thought of them and this makes me ashamed. “I pray we contribute weekly towards this”

Disabled people do not need to depend on the mercy of others to survive, they want to do things by themselves, they want to be part of Christendom, they want to be part of the church, they want to be part of society, finding their way to and back from church, reading the bible whenever they want and preaching the word of God as well she concluded

Church Service at PC Njamchep-Bawock

Christians of PC Bawock contributing towards an inclusive church for all

CRCDD Memners at PC Bawock

CRCDD Members at PC Bawock

CRCDD supported the initiative at each stop over with the sum of 10600 FCFA and a separate contribution was made by the entire church towards the project to make them more inclusive for all. The amount raise will be made known by the end of the month when they will have visited several other churches.

The “inclusive church for all” campaigned is sponsored by CBM-Australia through the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board, under the SEEPD program. CRCCD was co-opted in to carry this phase of the program that targets mostly churches. The program to end by the close of this month targets at least five churches.

By Ako Emmanuel

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