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Echoes from Mbang

At the start of the New Year, we want to express our best wishes of peace, happiness, health to each one and give you a few echoes from Mbang, a village situated in the eastern region of Cameroon.

At Ste Bernadette health centre, we are four registered nurses whom a lab assistant has joined since the weight of the work is getting heavier and heavier and with more and more papers to be registered. We continue to go and visit the surrounding areas and villages accompanied by healthcare agents. In spite of it, only 60% of the children have been vaccinated against measles! The people give priority to traditional ways and means. Concerning the construction of the future health centre, the works are progressing at a rather slow pace… We hope to get some financial help to be able to pursue the works: roof, electrical installation and the fitting out.

This year, there are 19 children, boys and girls, from the Baka ethnic group (pygmee) in our reception home. For the girls, professional training, and for the boys, a variety of stages: cattle breeding, agriculture, carpentry, and fish farming. Five children are ready to sit for CEP exams and enter junior school. Two students and the house personnel see to their school level. Every two weeks, they walk home and walk back to school, this reducing travel prices, but at the same time the quantity of food they used to bring. We were happy this year to learn that the Social Services Board would pay for the inscription fees of the secondary school children, their sport wear, copy-books and ball-point pens.                              Every day, the children do an hour’s agricultural work, they grow manioc, macabos, plantain, sauce herbs, which diminishes the food expenses. However the expenses remain heavy for schooling, the payment of the staff, for the renewal of the kitchen and healthcare material.

This year, at "Marie Balavenne" professional training centre, there are 19 young girls (1st year), 10 girls (2nd year); three of young girls are lodged in the Bakas’ reception home. The main activities are: agricultural work, dyeing, cooking, preparation of enriched flour for malnourished children, worn-out, old or infected by VIH people. Concerning the fish farming, four basins have been set up and 2000 young fish thrown in: they are getting bigger and bigger: we expect to have a taste of them in the coming months. As to agriculture, potato growing has rejoiced many of them, our own community to begin with. We continue to make enriched flour while hoping to get a grinder mixer.Four young women trained in this centre have set up their own business and can meet their needs.

The parish celebrated its 30th anniversary of existence last October, its first priest was ordained on the 1st of October at Batouri. He came to celebrate his first mass at Mbang on the 18th of December: it was a joyful day for his family and for the parish! At Christmas, 35 children have been baptized. A hundred catechumens are following a formation stage. Our bishop has been made metropolitan archbishop of Garoua. He will be set up on 21 January. On 14 January, a thanksgiving mass has already been celebrated. However, Mbang remains a missionary country, schooling is low and much ignorance is to be noted in various domains. The population gives great importance to witchcraft and its practices.

May the year 2017 bring more peace, happiness and prosperity. We have been much impressed by the murder of the priest in Rouen and by all the difficulties in our world.     Like last year, we are happy to have among us for a few weeks, “Tonton Yves” and his wife Mrs Marie Andrée: they are of a great help to us in our different activities.

To all and each one of you, once more: Happy New Year.

Solange, Marie-Claire, Marie-Thérèse, Monique DHS - Published on 18/01/2017

Filles du Saint-Esprit 15 bd. Sebastopol 35101 Rennes Cedex 2 France

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