Disabled children, in Cameroon they are 1 out of 4. Dokita’s commitment

Stvery bad their condition is a consequence of infectious diseases not yet eradicated, such as polio, malaria, leprosy or measles. The disabled children of Cameroon are over 23% of children aged between 2 and 9 years. And if disability is often an obstacle, even in so-called advanced societies like ours, in poor and backward countries like the sub-Saharan country it is an enormous factor of discrimination.

To guarantee disabled children in Cameroon medical care, rehabilitation therapies, education and inclusion, Dokita onlus launches the “Tutti Uguali” awareness and fundraising campaign. It can be supported from 3 to 9 April 2023 with a text message or call from a landline to the solidarity number 45580.

The disabled children of Cameroon, “invisible” condemned to abandonment

That children really are all the same is, evidently, a daydream. Being a disabled child in Cameroon, and in most of the world’s poorest countries, means not being able to access medical services. Not being able to attend school and not being able to receive adequate nutrition.

It means being an “invisible” child, condemned to marginalization and abandonment. Often it is the families themselves who push him away, due to lack of economic resources, but also due to cultural heritage.

A mature society is one that includes the most vulnerable

«A society’s ability to include its most vulnerable members, such as people with disabilities, measures the degree of maturation and development of society itself.. Mario Grieco, Director of Dokita Onlus: the Italian humanitarian organization which has been working in Cameroon for 50 years to promote the inclusion of disabled children.

«Disability is above all a relative phenomenon, not an absolute one. A person can be considered disabled or not depending on the physical, cultural and mental barriers that society creates or breaks down in order to make their community more inclusive and welcoming».

Dokita centers for disabled children in Cameroon

The Centers supported by Dokita deal with rehabilitation and social-health prevention, school education and professional training. With the aim of realizing the full participation of children with disabilities in the socio-economic and cultural life of the community. Overall, these two structures offer assistance to around 4,000 minors with disabilities each year.

In Ebolowa there is the Foyer Père Monti. Made in 1984, assists minors with disabilities in voice, auditory, visual and motor functions. In addition to being equipped with an audiometric center and a physiotherapy rehabilitation room. It also runs a school with staff specializing in teaching people with disabilities.

In Yaoundè, there is the Promhandicam Center, which offers physiotherapy activities and manages the only school for blind children in Cameroon, who are taught the Braille method.

The funds raised with the campaign All equal they will serve to strengthen these two Centres. From 3 to 9 April 2023 you can donate with a text message or call from a landline to the solidarity number 45580. The value of the donation will be 2 euros for each text message sent from WINDTRE, TIM, Vodafone, Iliad, PosteMobile, Coop Voce, Tiscali mobile phones. It will cost 5 or 10 euros for calls from a TIM, Vodafone, WINDTRE, Fastweb and Tiscali landline and 5 euros for calls from a TWT, Convergenze, PosteMobile landline.

Samuel Marchese: «Disability is in the eye of the beholder»

What does Dokita mean and what does the non-profit organization do?

The name “Dokita” is a Cameroon Bulu lexicon loanword of the German word “Doktor” (Cameroon was a German colony).

Indicates the doctor, the doctor, but also the medicine man, the healer. Dokita is the name that the local population gave to Brother Clemente Maino, religious and missionary of the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception (CFIC), who at the end of the 1970s brought treatment and medical assistance to leprosy patients. Dokita Onlus currently operates in 14 countries (Cameroon, Congo RD, Nigeria, Senegal, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Peru, India, Philippines, Albania, Croatia and Italy), providing relief every year to more than 20 thousand people, of which 7,000 with disabilities.