|Dr. Ndonwie Peter talking to the Press in Bda|
By Fai CN
In Cameroon, there are many people whose daily lives are affected by vision issues that usually originate from neglect. This is very peculiar in villages and semi urban cities due to abject poverty and the lack of access to medication as well as related eye service. Dr. Ndonwie Peter, the Managing Director of the Pan African Organization for Research (based in Ghana) and elite of Nkwen village in Bamenda, in the North West Region of Cameroon has announced that he will launch the first ever eye care campaign across Nkwen next week. Talking to journalists at his Nkwen residence the upcoming free for all campaign, used the opportunity to urge members of the public not to miss the opportunity to meet opticians. To him, the programme is not a politically inclined but rather it is geared towards improving the health standards of the population as a whole. “Whether you belong to which political party, be it the CPDM (my party) or the SDF, we are all people of Nkwen. I grow up in this village and that is why I always have my village at heart whenever I am around”. According to Dr. Ndonwie, home is home reasons why he makes sure that he comes back home atleast four times every year. I cann’t just go without doing something significant to my people that is why I always believe that the little that you do to the people is what matters”, he emphasized. “The eye screening for Bamenda free is intended to also reach out to youths who have been working on computers as well”. He added that after screening the public will also benefit from free glasses and lenses.
When quizzed whether this is not a political campaign, Dr. Ndonwie said that it is part of the little efforts that he puts in place to change lives. “If tomorrow, a mother or father goes to church and he/she is able to open the Bible and read the scripture, I think I have impacted on his or her life positively. Or if tomorrow a voter is able to make a right choice by seeing well the ballot, and vote wisely or read a hospital prescription without calling on someone to come and read, I think that is something”. Accordingly, he emphasized that he is not doing it for politics but for his people, implicitly, he is just trying to give back something significant to his community. “Whether they paid my fees or not, I am still appreciative to my people”, he continued. Dr. Ndonwie also reiterated the fact that political campaigns and elections will always come and go. “We should do things for the sake of doing it and not always because of political interest”. He said he left the Mezam Section in 2006, yet every time he comes back home, he makes sure something significant is done for the betterment of all. He however said that if the people of Nkwen whom think that they can push him up when it comes to decision making, he cannot be indifferent to it.
On whether he has a package of ideas and programme to unveil every time he is home, Dr. Ndonwie said that even though he is a development worker, what he is doing is also part of his upbringing by his father taught them to always share the little they have with others. “You see, my father actually assisted in developing Nkwen and Bamenda when they were in the Nkwen council. We saw the good work they were doing with people like Pa Wanky, Pa Asongwe, and the Late Fon of Nkwen. Sincerely, supporting community development is part of us. My taught us to always come home and our family is development oriented, so, every time we always think of how we can make Nkwen a better place”.
Harping on the Ebola Campaign in Ghana, Dr. Ndonwie said Ebola has to do with something that has been putting the lives of children, women, men and the entire population of most West African countries at risk. “Looking at our work with schools, we see that when children are sick or families are sick, it really jeopardize the education of children”. He revealed that Pan African Organization for Research started intervening in the Ebola awareness campaign to make sure that people are aware of what Ebola is all about and how they can stay away from contracting it. “For that reason we worked in collaboration with our partner in Spain (EDOCU) and with them, we supported 40 schools in a municipality called Savelugu-Nanton where we supported hand washing facilities and also provided them with sanitizers, hand washing soap etc”. The support he said was intended to eradicate in- hygienic conditions given that Ebola spreads where there no hygiene. He also added that they also worked towards sensitizing the population on the importance of keeping the environment cleans as well as why they should wash their hands after touching someone who is sick. “It was not just washing hands but more importantly, washing hands in running water. So if you look at the type of equipment we distributed, they are all adapted, because there is a tap that allows water to flow and after washing your hands, it is thrown away”. He said the campaign was very successful and the results could be judged from the fact that Ebola is being minimized in West Africa. He also revealed that he did not noticed any case of Ebola in Ghana, and this is thanks to the intervention of NGOs including the Pan African Organization for Research as well as the collaboration of the communities. According to Dr. Ndonwie, working in collaboration with the Ghana Education Services is a success story given that given that they also support schools and communities with learning and teaching materials. This he said include amongst others the Rights and Protection of Children, as well as making sure that children are not sent on early marriages. “We have been working to make sure that children who are less than 18 years old should be in school and not marriage homes”, he emphasized.
Who is Dr. Ndonwie Peter
Dr. Ndonwie Peter was born in 1968 in Nkwen-Bamenda in the Mezam Division of the North West Region of Cameroon. He holds a Master Degree in Humanitarian Studies from University of Liverpool ( School of Tropical Medicine) and PhD in Business and Management from University of South Central (Los Angeles) USA. At International level he is working as a development consultant and is the Program Director of Pan African Organisation for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children in Ghana. From 2010, 2011 and 2012 Dr. Ndonwie Peter won numerous awards for his work. He received the ‘’Best Social Entrepreneur’’ award for promoting the rights of children in Northern Ghana from a Swedish Organisation (Reach for Change) and Tigo Ghana, an award that has supported his work with more than $75,000 for the past three years. As researcher, he is also a refined writer of many story books in his credit and development publications. This is so because has spent more than 18 years studying and working in development related programs in Cameroon, United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Ghana and other countries. He is married with children.
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)