Kamerun - 19.04.2004
Dear Büro gegen Altersdiskriminierung,
We have the honour to write to you from the Community Development Volunteers for Technical Assistance in the Republic of Cameroon in West Africa. Community Development Volunteers is a national association in Cameroon that works with and for the development of older persons. It provides a package of social welfare programmes to the elderly people of Cameroon through a range of services. These services include, micro-finance schemes to assist the elderly generate income that can help them sustain their livelihoods. We also donate livestock out to them to assist them improve on their protein intake and also income. Socially we provide counseling to those older persons that have pschychological problems and also those affected by the HIV aids. Community Development Volunteers has established Home care and Capacity building projects in different villages of Cameroon with 49 resident Volunteers who provide services to these older people on a daily basis. These volunteers live and work in their villages of origin. They are middle aged people themselves and in that way have their families in same villages which makes it easy for them to remain in the community and work as volunteers. The Volunteers are paid regular incentives on a monthly basis and under the leadership of a Home Care Coordinators and social workers who are paid a monthly salaries.CDVTA is funded by the Methodist Relief and Development Fund UK, the British High Commission Cameroon and McHenry Rural Health Care UK.In our elderly Home Care and Capacity Building projects, the older persons are grouped into older working clubs. These clubs meet twice a month and during the meetings they carry out cash contributions to assist themselves on a rotating basis, they sing together, play games, share stories and monitor the progress of their activities in the clubs. On a regular basis the Volunteers and Social Workers carry out home visits to other older frail members and share the joy of their togetherness with them.
Usually as explained earlier in this letter these Volunteers receive some very small money in form of incentives at the end of every month.In order to provide proper field supervision, monitoring and evaluation, we have recruited several social workers who provide the necessary technical services that are important in the functioning of the older clubs, the community, the volunteers work and the reporting of failures and progress made back to CDVTA. They also supervise, monitor and evaluate the work presenting quarterly and monthly reports of work to our head office. These social workers are paid monthly salaries. Presently with support from the International organizations and Embassy mentioned above, Community Volunteers programme (CDVTA) has started donating Corn Mills to the older persons projects so that they can still generate income to sustain their porgrammes and projects. A Revenue central Fund has been created to manage the finances from this elderly revenue Central Fund. Money from the Central Fund goes to finance emergencies that befall elderly people like home accidents, repair of their houses in the rainy season, medication when they are sick, transportation to hospital and purchase of blankets, and jumpers to very poor ones needing this help. All in all they are 25 huge older persons Clubs that function within the Home Care project area.Community Development Volunteers abbreviated as CDVTA is a leading organization in Cameroon and one of the first to attempt working with and for the development and welfare of the elderly people. So far the result of our work have been good though with quite a series of problems and difficulties since this initiative is new to the Cameroon society.
The central problem that we now face in our organization is for us to improve on the knowledge of our social workers so that they can approach their work with the elderly, cost effectively and in a manner that will be pleasing to the older persons. We find that sending them for training will be too costly, as fees for such courses are usually expensive. The alternative decision that we have adopted is to find out if we can send some of them on a working visit to your organizations, that deals with older persons and their issues. In this way, they will have some time to learn from the way your social workers handle older persons problems and also the manner in which home care services for the elderly are carried out both in their individual Homes and in Residential Homes. Our social workers still need a lot of knowledge and skills on how to counsel older persons under stress and those who have lost their family members through aids and now have to cater for their grand children.
We read about your organization and understand that you work on older persons issues.
It is in this respect, that we are writing to you, to request for your technical support and permission so we can delegate three or two of our social workers to visit your organization, your older persons programmes and projects. The visit will last two weeks and will help them to gain first hand information on the management of older persons programmes. We firmly believe that this visit will help to strengthen their ability to work and on return they will teach other social workers, older persons clubs and the volunteers on the knowledge that they have acquired. We will take care of their travel, and insurance for the visit. We will also take care of their internal travel transport cost while visiting. We would like to ask for your help, in form of accommodation only. Is it possible for you to assist them with accommodation for the period of the visit. Even if you cannot assist their accommodation in a hostel, is there way for your organization to help arrange accommodation for them with elderly families or social worker families. We believe that staying with older families or social workers will help them to gain more experience on the spot as they will be able to make an on the spot observation of how older persons live their lives at home, how they are approached at home by social workers and above all how the older persons residential homes manage residents and those under intensive care.Should you be kind enough to grant this visit, please do kindly email us back so that we can send to you more detail information on the visit, the names of the chosen delegates and also the time of the visit as well as the reports of our past activities. We will be very pleased and delighted if you accept our working visit to your organization.
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