After months of fundraising and preparation we are back again in the town of Batoufam, West Cameroon where we started three projects in 2018 focusing on health and education. The renovation of a school, bringing sanitation and equipment to the hospital and the creation of a computer centre. We are all keen (and a little apprehensive) to see how the projects now stand one year later.
After a bumpy 6 hour bus journey from Yaoundé to Batoufam, we arrive to the village. After a warm greeting from the King and the locals, we pay a visit to each of the projects. We are delighted to see that the work we did last year is continuing to make a difference to these wonderful people who have so little. They are visibly delighted to see us back and ready to work with us.
As the medic in the group, naturally my focus is on health. Last year we funded a project bringing running water, toilets and showers to the hospital and provided €150,000 worth of medical equipment and medication sent by a 40-foot container from Ireland.
Dr Clinsor, the doctor in charge of Centre De Santé Integre, Batoufam, reports that not only has the water project improved conditions in the hospital, but in the whole village. Apparently, all the locals come to collect clean water for home use. This is wonderful news as we are now in the realm of disease prevention. The change in this village is palpable. The people now want to help themselves.
And there’s more!
This year the container has more than €500,000 worth of medical equipment and medication kindly donated by the people of Ireland. There are beds, mattresses, medication, wheelchairs, crutches and much more. Due to the huge generosity this year, not only will we be able to help the hospital, but the whole community at large. Disabled children who have had to crawl the streets now have a wheelchair. New-born babies have safe cots. Children in orphanages have mattresses for the first time. Doctors and nurses have medication, dressings, needles, syringes to do their job. Never mind all the leg injuries to whom even 1 crutch makes such a difference.
What a wonderful result. The health of a whole village improving due to the generosity of the Irish people. Improved sanitation, extra comfort, pain relief, independence to mention just a few basic needs that are now being met. Thank you, Yvette, one of our volunteers, for your introduction to this wonderful community. And while our 2018 & 2019 trips have been challenging in so many ways, the warmth and gratitude of the people of Batoufam makes it all worthwhile. Videos and photos of villagers receiving crutches and wheelchairs are pouring in every day with messages of deep gratitude.
Merci, Thank you, Merci, – the words that will stay in my heart forever from the people of Batoufam to the people of Ireland.
A special word of thanks to Alan Morton of Moneywise who made a very generous donation to help Ripplezoo with this worthwhile medical project.