The Gbm Foundation places great emphasis on advocacy

The Gbm Foundation places great emphasis on advocacy

The Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing in accordance with its strategic plan for 2015, has so far carried out/will carry out the following:

A) Launch of the Gbm Centre for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing in Cameroon. Inorder to efficiently and effectively implement and realize its objectives in Cameroon, the BOD of the Gbm Foundation which is a non for profit organization registered in the USA, approved the launching and construction of a multi-purpose centre in Fontem, Lebialem Division of Cameroon. The centre once completed, will host various projects of the Foundation in Cameroon, among which will be the carrying out of research and convening of symposiums and conferences.

B) Launch of THE GABRIEL BEBONBECHEM SCHOLARSHIP FUND, aimed at promoting careers in Mathematics & Computer engineering which was Gabriel’s un-achieved dream. These scholarships will benefit mostly socially and financially vulnerable students who are wish to pursue career in mathematics and/or computer engineering. Equally created the Gbm-em Access to Treatment Fund to assist the most financially vulnerable cases or persons living with epilepsy.

C) Launch of a book on the life of Gabriel Bebonbechem as an outreach and advocacy material in the fight against stigma and abuse of epileptics and mentally ill. This book written by Ms Marie Abanga a sibling of Gabriel, urges empathy towards the treatment of epileptics and the mentally challenged as she shares her family’s story with their loved one. The book is titled; My Brother’s Journey from Genius to Simpleton: Battling with his Mental Illness and Coping with His Loss

D) Launch of a campaign called, Let’s dare2talk about it. There is need for a step up of grassroots mobilization in the fight against the stigma and abuse of one of the most vulnerable ones among us, irrespective of the need for an equal increase in the advocacy for better public policies for such vulnerable populace. Mindful of the low income prevalence in our pilot area, the Gbm-em Foundation with its meagre resources equally launched the Access to Treatment Fund. The main aim of the fund is to provide medication and treatment to the most financially vulnerable persons living with epilepsy especially those with neither income nor family support, who have however braved it to come foreword and talk about it.

E) Celebration of the International Day of the Brain placed under the theme: Epilepsy. The day will be celebrated on the 22nd of July in Fontem Lebialem Division, by a series of events. One of such is a Round Table Discussion organized with various stakeholders at the Lebialem Radio, while the other is the release of the ECG results of the inital pilot project for Inclusive education for persons living with epilepsy. Finally, various campaign brochures and material will be distributed to the population.

F) Media Advocacy: The Gbm-em Foundation has progressively since its creation, intensified its media advocacy towards sensitization and mobilization of the population to the cause of persons living with epilepsy and mental illness. The Programme and Country Directors have each on their part, been guests both on various radio and TV shows to talk about the Foundation and the different illnesses of interest to our work. Other advocacy is continually carried out through social and print media. The World Mental Day 2015 celebrated on the 10th of October, will see the Foundation organize a round table conference hosted by the national radio.

G) Solidarity Walks: Starting from a maiden walk scheduled for October 31st 2015, the Foundation plans to have annual solidarity walks to intensify its outreach and advocacy to the general population. This maiden solidarity walk is dubed Let’s Bring Epilepsy out of the Shadows and it is organized under the Patronnage of the Senior Divisional Officer for Wouri Mr NASERI Paul BEA.