Get to Know Our Partner: Refugee Welfare Association Cameroon
We were able to get to know more about Mukete Tahle Itoe, the Co-Founder of Refugee Welfare Association Cameroon (REWAC), and his organization through a virtual interview we had last month. Check out his interview to learn more about the Refugee Welfare Association Cameroon, the impact their work is having on their community, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the organization.
1. Can you share one or two stories of individuals whose lives have been changed because of your organization?
Here are a few accounts from two individuals who have benefited from our program.
“I am a widow, aged 45, with 5 children. I am so happy today. I lost everything when our house was burnt down in Belo village. I ran away with my kids. I had to borrow pots from the neighborhood to cook the little food I got around. I turned it in a bowl and gave back the pot to the owners but today thanks to REWAC, I have a pot and other items that will help me and my family.”-Mrs Balana Susana
“I had to run for my dear life in the night when they were shooting and burning places in Bambui village. I was not able to take anything. I am a person living with a disability. I have been suffering, begging from people, but today I have benefited from this project. I have registered my name so many times with other organizations but I have never been called to benefit. I am very happy because today my name was called and I have received my things and I want to thank REWAC.”-Mr Shu Zacheus Nforsi
2. What would make the greatest difference in helping your organization get better at what it does?
If we can get more financial support that will help us continue to impact the lives of these vulnerable groups of people in our community. We can save more lives, alleviate poverty, and restore hope for more families.
3. What is the Food Distribution Program? What would transpire if the Food Distribution Program stops? How would it impact the vulnerable migrants and the community?
REWAC General Food Distribution (GFD) program is the collection, and /or, purchase and distribution of various food items to a select list of vulnerable migrants.
What happens when this is stopped:
-Children will die of malnutrition and people die of starvation, especially the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have been affected by the crisis, as well as persons living with disability who survive. under precarious conditions due to their special needs.
-Women and girls will exchange their bodies for food. Young girls will get into prostitution to get food and other needs.
-GBV will be high as mothers will send their children to be sex slaves and men will also use this opportunity to abuse many girls and their families.
-Parents will give children to early marriages just to get money. School dropouts will increase because children will need to sell to raise money for their families etc.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in response to COVID-19?
Coping with the pandemic is still a nightmare. Much still needs to be done on sensitization and respecting the preventive measures put in place by WHO, namely: wearing of face masks, washing hands, social distancing, avoiding touching your face with your hand, sneezing on elbow etc. We are hoping to see communities that are aware of the existence of the pandemic, the effects on the lives of everyone, so that they would adopt a new way of life by improved hygienic conditions and health care delivery.
5. What are your most urgent needs to support communities impacted by coronavirus?
Our most urgent needs are finances to support communities impacted by COVID-19 through supplies of hand buckets kits, face masks, washing soaps, training and empowerment for sustainability, food distribution, capacity building for staff, community mobilization and sensitization to reduce or completely end GBV in the communities and families.
6. How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will shape REWAC and your programs?
COVID-19 is going to shape REWAC in that we will learn to prepare ourselves for another crisis and more better ways to put in place prevention related strategies, and preparedness. Our programs are going to be very inclusive, touching everybody.
We’re eager to help Refugee Welfare Association Cameroon reach their goals, overcome the challenges brought on by COVID-19, and expand their reach to help even more refugees in Cameroon. Learn more about their current project and their mission by visiting their partner page.