Category Archives: Advocacy

It is called: Hope for the Abused and Battered Association


my gift from god1059994039..jpg

So world, last week I said there was something in the pipeline. It was going to be all about Hope. This girl who navigated by grace from Hopeless to Hopeful is now ready after 3 years of grooming, to contribute her might in giving hope to others still in that hopeless hold of despair…

Before I write further, if you are on Facebook, please show some love by liking our Facebook page. 

When I was about to start this year, my spirit told me it’s going to be my year of Grace. Barely a month into the new year, my spirit said set yourself aside for 70 days and do a spiritual journey fasting from 7 things. Ha, I mean even my mum said I was going nuts.

Not only were some pissed I was seemingly leaving the legal practice to get into psychotherapy, but they weren’t even seeing any clear road map.

Now, earlier this month same spirit said start doing live video campaigns to advocate for the battered, and then a few days ago – bingo; you are creating an association and you will call it… I wrote down the constitution and everything in like 3 hours – it was near magical – I got the numbers to call, found the support from an awesome sisterhood network I belong to online, volunteers reached out and long story short we are on our way to legalization and more…

Would you say I walk with stubborn but passionate faith or not yet convinced?

At Hope for the Abused and Battered, we have the following objectives:

The association Hope for the Battered (H4B) has the following objectives:
• To provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, and the battered in our communities;
• To provide counseling and psychotherapeutic assistance to individuals and groups;
• To raise awareness and sensitize the population on the damages caused by domestic violence, and all other forms of violence;
• To encourage a spirit of peace, love, forgiveness and living in harmony in our communities;
• To cooperate with associations with similar objectives

Here are our four focus areas:

1) Hope for victims and survivors of Domestic Violence;
2) Hope for persons living with a mental illness or mental challenges;
3) Hope for abused children and youths; My own son’s case is going to maybe be the first we handle as an association lol
4) Hope for the Battered and Tattered by life.

Anyone wanting to join us and make a difference should kindly contact me. It must not be financial assistance, we still need to build a website and get the word out sort of. We need to get legalized then start looking out for partners and sponsors… I know this will be huge, I pray for the Grace above all

Have a great week everyone, thank you so much for all your support, reading, liking, commenting, I really appreciate and am often moved to tears

 

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Is this child abuse or what? I need Grace to handle this


I came back home to this. Gaby (9 years old grade 5), says his teacher chose two of them to set example on. They were playing after tests and the teacher was angry.

Tomorrow is PTA for the secondary section, his brothers are there so I will be attending. I am thinking about how best to handle this.

The teacher used a gaz pipe. Out there you guys may not have gaz pipes but they are tiny pipes linking the gaz plate to the gaz bottle.

I got numb, and then cried, and then reached out to my sisterhood.

Thanks for your advice everyone

Could you just listen?


via Could you just listen?

That was a poem I wrote SIWO last Sunday to usher in the month of October. In 5 days we celebrate world mental health day and statistics remain bleak in spite of all the awareness and resources available.

I am most grateful for the listening gift received in full some months ago.

If you want to get in touch or get more details about my related service, please visit my website to this effect

 

 

Please could you vote for my sickle cell Warrior Arrey Echi?


 

Hello all oh, please I need your votes to get my Sickle Cell warrior Arrey Echi nominated for some big awards o.

You sure saw my blog about my becoming a Strong and Proud Sickle Cell voice now thanks to her right? She has for a few years now done these colorful online campaigns to raise awareness, hmm this year’s own beat all the others. Yours truly was featured and appreciated to all my blushing.

 

Arrey shared this at the end of this year’s campaign on her facebook wall:

I would like to say a big thank you to those who supported the sickle cell awareness month in one way or another. Worth mentioning are those who went out of their way to support our activities by buying a #BreakTheSilenceTee shirt.

Because we have a lot of activities planned for warriors, we had to seek ways to raise funds and what better way than to add some swag into tee shirts while we devise other means to ensure we have our programs funded?

With 5.000frs, you can also get a tee shirt like this and because I like nyanga, I just needed to bring some swag into it with this unique Cameroon touch thanks to Enjoh Prodencia Asanga and her unique #ContriLifedesigns.

Please support a worthy cause. Get a Break the silence tee for 5k or if you like gi we 1million we no go mind 😉 😉

Our people say one hand cannot tie a bundle. I am forever grateful to all who are always supporting me in one way or another.

A collage of some who bought and wore in support of sickle cell awareness month.

Thank you all. The awareness continues.

#BreakTheSilence #BeASickleCellVoice #SickleCellAwareness

To vote so she be nominated for the categories:

  1. Best Blogger in English; and
  2. Best Social Media Campaign

Please just go to this link and go to those categories, click them and you are asked just two questions.

  1. Who are you nominating? answer ARREY ECHI.
  2. Why are you nominating this person? Answer BECAUSE SHE DESERVES THIS NOMINATION.

Simple right my people? So I beg on bended knees lol, give us your votes so my heroine gets these nominations. You can vote everyday too, I do that. They insist you have a facebook account and I hope many of us do o. Thank you very much

p.s: I will sure be back when thanks to your votes she gets nominated and we needs votes for the finals hahahaha

I am a proud sickle cell voice thanks to my heroine Arrey Echi


Hello world, the first two pictures were taken at her house in Yaounde, and the third one in my own house in Douala.

I am talking about my heroine Arrey Echi’s house lol. Now, here is who my heroine is in a few words;

She is a gentle and caring soul. She lives with sickle cell anemia and she is a warrior. Recognized both nationally and internationally for her advocacy, she has received quiet some awards for her work. She is currently setting up her foundation aptly called Joy2Endure, and those t-shirts are part of her branding and advocacy material. Ah, I could write a whole book about Arrey Echi.

I happened to have gone to the same university with Arrey, but hmm…where will a chakara like me meet a gentle lady like Arrey if not through our respective online advocacy? We’ve been following each other like for a year now, and we even ran into each other at an event last November, but the time wasn’t right yet it seems. We acknowledged each other and continued our friendship online.

Two weeks ago I decided it was time to go visit her when I got to Yaounde. It was an awesome visit. We had just 30 or so minutes together in her office, and it was hard to say goodbye. Indeed, we agreed when next I was in Yaounde I was staying with her. Here was my recap on facebook lol;

Marie Abanga is feeling blessed with Arrey Echi and 2 others.

21 September at 11:10 ·

I have been following all her advocacy here on FB and didn’t really want to write anything until I met her. The conference I had to attend in Yaounde and hopefully spend a night at her place eating one of her healthy and deli dishes she sometimes tempts us here with, was suddenly postponed. Gladly another opportunity came up and Yaounde I did have to go. I braved the 8hrs trip because above all I was going to meet my heroine. Her voice left me mesmerized, we just got into each other. We both don’t hear so well and so we enjoyed reading our lips and using our hands lol. I am a passionate advocate of some causes too and so I love meeting other passionate advocates like her. And to say we were UB mates? Well chakara me couldn’t meet calm and focused people like her there. And to think I was dreaming she could be my petite soeur because of her petite self and gentleness? Lol see me to blush. Life has lessons. Am a proud student. What is there to fear about sickle cell? Follow my heroine Arrey Echi and be educated. Thank you darling for receiving me.

The opportunity came up while I honoured an invitation to the 2nd national days for Mental Health. I got to Yaounde on Monday and left her house on Thursday morning. She simply spoiled me and I wrote the following about her on Facebook.

Marie A Abanga is feeling grateful with Arrey Echi and 3 others.

Yesterday at 05:43 ·

Arrey Echi I will celebrate you from the mountain top because you are a remarkable person with a very warm heart. I am not saying this because of all the food you loaded me with (wish I could finish each of those plates however lol), I am saying this because of your gentle and caring nature. When someone in 2018, warms you water for your bath, you go on your knees and say a special prayer for them. You came back home early not feeling so great, but you still offered to fry some plums? Chai thank God I had already brushed my teeth and quickly went me to bed. This early am you asked me to wait for a quick breakfast or take along, ha mami, I couldn’t for the love of me accept that o. Now, the advocacy you do for Sickle cell is not just noise, I witnessed you eating balanced meals and sleeping good and co. You even thought me why it was VIP to know one’s genotype using a simple to understand diagram. Have I said before I am mesmerized by your voice? I wish I could stay longer and learn sign language like that other student of yours. Dearest Arrey, I will celebrate you now and not later. Thank you so much, and thank you too Yensi. Dearest Arrey then, hopefully see you next time in your office where there wouldn’t be all that food hahahaha.

Now, talking about being a Sickle voice, the food didn’t kill my voice hahaha. I learned why it is so vip to know our genotype and she used this diagram to explain that to me.

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I think I was lucky gambling into making babies without knowing my genotype. I will however get the boys and I tested cause one never knows, and for them, iy would be great knowing their genotype now and not when they fall ‘madly in love’ hahahaha.

Anyways, dear Arrey, I just wanted the world to know what a pearl I have found in you. All the excellent work you do to raise awareness, and that am adding my voice to your campaign and say, ‘No Sickle cell is not witchcraft’, people can live with sickle cell into a ripe old age, #NotoStigma

Happy weekend everyone

p.s; let me just mention that Arrey brought me so much popularity on Facebook with a total of over 170 likes and about 50 comments on all my write ups about her lol

Executive Addiction:How to Know When to Seek Help by Eva Benoit


Executive Addiction

Pre script: Am so grateful to be receiving guests posts these days especially on a topic so close to heart and home. I have seen many addicted and so much pain, I can only hope they reach out everyday even after a relapse

Are you living a double life? Are you, by all appearances, a hardworking professional by day and an addict by night? How do you know when you need to seek help?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions and are concerned you need help for an addiction, take heart knowing there are a lot of options for you to get the treatment you need. Our guide is here to support you on your journey to a healthier life.

First, if you have difficulty making it through the day without some form of chemical stimulant, or if you need alcohol or some other depressant to bring you down, you are probably an addict. Additionally, there are many other telltale signs of addiction you should be aware of, including:

  • Thinking frequently about your drug of choice (DOC)

  • Feeling like you can’t fit in or make it without your DOC

  • Performing uncharacteristic or dangerous behaviors in order to get your DOC

  • Regularly being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol

Addiction is less about how often or how much you use, and more about the consequences of your using. If your substance use causes problems in your life, you may have an abuse issue.

Addicts are all ages, shapes and sizes, and from every career path and socioeconomic background. Addiction is also a chronic issue, meaning that it’s a lifelong condition; if you’re an addict, you’re one for life, and you will need to work on your recovery every day.

If you’re hesitant to seek treatment out of fear it will require you to take time off from work, the good news is that you can most likely get help from an outpatient facility on your schedule; this would allow you to continue working over the course of your treatment. Inpatient centers can be effective if you need to get away from your daily life and the impulse to use, but that makes it difficult to keep things close to “normal life.” If you want or need to continue working, outpatient treatment may be your best option.

If you seek medical treatment, your information will not be shared with your boss. The only time a treatment professional would share that you are in treatment would be if you gave them written permission, or if they felt you were a danger to yourself or others. Otherwise, people can find out only if you share your news, or if they guess it from your behavior. If you take medical leave and you don’t want to share the reason with your boss or co-workers, they will not know the nature of your absence.

Check with your company’s HR department about your company’s medical and mental health benefits options. Your company may have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that allows you to take time off to get better without fear of losing your job. Make an appointment with an HR rep to discuss your situation confidentially; they can be a great referral resource, as well as answer questions about your options. Even if you work for a small firm, your company’s health insurance may cover substance abuse treatment in full or in part.

Outside of the office, there are many additional resources for those seeking help for addiction. For example, the SAMHSA National Helpline offers free, confidential treatment referral in English and Spanish for individuals and their families seeking help for substance abuse. The number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357), and the organization takes calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, you can find treatment centers in your area using SAMHSA’s locator tool.

If you’re an addict, you have a choice to make every day, every hour, every minute whether you use or not — but you don’t have to struggle alone. You have many options for getting the treatment you need. Don’t let the stress of your job — or the fear of losing it — keep you from taking action for your well-being. Choose right now to get the help you need.

About Eva

About 6 years ago, Eva Benoit left her job as an office manager to pursue being a life, career, and overall wellness coach. She specializes in helping professionals with stress and anxiety, but welcomes working with people from all walks of life. She works with her clients to discover and explore avenues that will bring them balance, peace, and improved overall well-being that can last a lifetime. Her website is evabenoit.com and she is author of the upcoming book, The 30-Day Plan for Ending Bad Habits and Improving Overall Health.

Have a great weekend everyone and know you are not alone in any struggles

Introducing The Hope Centre and Yensi my heroine


 

Hello world, happy new week. A few months ago, I received a wonderful and dynamic lady called Yensi Helen Jokem in my modest abode at a time when my left eye was threatening shut down. I concluded after that trial that indeed in life, it could sometimes get worse before it gets better.  Hope kept me going during that very challenging period of time, one which equally saw me doing a 70 days spiritual journey with long intermittent fasting.

Yensi is the Founder and CEO of  The Hope Center, and she has a dynamic team; oh how I wish I were one of them. It is so awesome working on something so noble as instilling hope for one of the most vulnerable and marginalized group of human beings. Whether we all agree or not, women and girls are victims of told and untold atrocities all over the world and in alarming proportions. Indeed, violence against women seems to be so common and would I call it ‘evil effective’, to the point that it is being replicated in wars and civil unrest on large scales with the intention of causing long term physical and psychological damage to the victims and all those concerned with her existence (when the woman is damaged, her entire family suffer and her husband’s ego and reputation is tainted once and for all). Here I am talking about violence against women which is now internationally considered a weapon of war.

Truth be told, if we taught our children to respect one another and not resort to violence as the means or resolving disputes and conflicts, they would likely grow up with those values. They would respect each other as siblings and partners, and will chose dialogue over violence more often than we currently see.

 

We survivors of Domestic Violence also need to share our stories through all mediums possible. We need to stop the vicious cycle of victimhood to silencehood to nothinghood. Anyways, I did when Yensi asked me to, and was really honoured when my story was featured in the very first edition of their awesome magazine: “STOP THE DV” with DV meaning Domestic Violence. Yensi and I both attended the landmark and over due Leading Ladies conference in Yaounde some time ago, and that is where she gave me a copy of the magazine featuring my own survivor and success story. What an honour and priviledge.

DV is for real and we really need to be the hope for one another. DV has led to mental health challenges and illnesses, the trauma can be destabilizing and damaging for the rest of one’s life. It can never be overemphasized, the time to speak up is always now. Stigma is still so rife even ‘developed countries’, what more can we expect in ‘least developed countries’ like Cameroon?

It is for all the above, and for the charm and courtesy I find in Yensi, that I am proud to consider her one of my heroines. Thank you Yensi for reaching out to me, and for all the awesome work you do out there. There is help available people, do not suffer in silence out of shame and stigma.

P.S: If you or any organization you know, would love to donate to the Hope Center, kindly do not hesitate to contact Yensi or the center through their Facebook Page.

My Heart cries out for Boubou’s Case: Any mite goes a long way


Boubou

Hello World,

When I recently went on GoFundMe with the intention of starting a campaign to crowd source some funds for an MSC in Mental Health Psychology to start in September, I could not help but read this campaign. My spirit moved me to do all I could to get the word out and help a desperate family get the utmost medical attention their sweet Boubou needed.

I found an local number on the campaign and got in touch, and it was Boubou’s mother herself and she was from my own country – ha. Boubou is 5 years and has probably been through so so much we can’t even begin to imagine. She told me he now had induced epilepsy – oh my poor Boubou. Boubou is his nickname and it is an affective name for a sweet baby like him.

Please, let me stop writing and just wish that any gentle readers and followers of my blog will donate a mite to Boubou’s cause, and why not share this post as much as possible.

May God bless us all abundantly

Have a great week

How do you define yourself? Here is my how…


 

 

How do you define yourself Marie Abanga asked the journalist? and I said the following as it flowed from my heart: “I am a Person of Passions and a Tale of Talents”. What else would you want to know when someone defines themselves in such clear terms? But the look on the journalist’s face wasn’t seemingly satisfactory even if he didn’t say so. The interview was by TV 5 Africa on epilepsy and mental illness, questioning me in my capacity as the Country Director of the Gbm Foundation.

Their background check had indicated I was a lawyer, a mental health advocate, and  an author. They didn’t get the update that I was equally a CBT Therapist, a clinical psychologist, a motivational speaker and a life coach. When I introduced myself therefore at the beginning, I rolled through all the different stuffs I do and how passionate I am about each one and grateful for the different talents. As an author, I have written over 5 books and several poems, some of which I have turned into songs and look forward to going into a studio to record same. I will just stop at these few passions with their accompanying talents.

Indeed, my career path is in three dimensions although I can see them merging in one big jumble in 5 years. The lawyer will meet the Dr in Psy and the author will also join them and one new big path will emerge for me to keep following wherever they lead in all stubborn but passionate faith.

And so, I forge on with my passions, and the one which captivates and occupies me more recently is psychotherapy. I have a diploma with merits in psychology and a distinctions in CBT Therapy. I want to take an Msc in mental health psychology when schools resume and I also want to have a better understanding of addictions, substance abuse, dis-intoxication and rehabilitation.

Indeed, I was recently so honoured when two bloggers offered to write guest articles on the above. I will be putting them up on Wednesday and Friday, and intend to create a page for addiction and resources and its link to mental health.

Having found my purpose and got a very clear revelation of who I am, getting grounded in how I define myself brings me great joy and fills me with tremendous gratitude to God – my Higher Power for all the inspiration and motivation.

And you gentle readers and followers, how do you define yourself if I may ask?

Even if only for Ambe, I wouldn’t stop doing all the advocacy I do


Plain Me
One of the products of the photo shoot: Remember the post behind the scenes?

Hello World,

I am still dabbling with my different grooves; but I could tell from the work out rhythm this morning, they are coming up slowly but surely.
I was therefore very delighted to read the following in my email like 2 days ago:

Dear madam,

I have read your two books, “My Brother’s Journey From Genius To Simpleton” and “My Unconventional Loves.” Equally I just visited your website a few minutes ago, and the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation’s website, though I’ve not read much from there yet, but will do so subsequently.

I thought of writing to you because you are indeed an inspiration. When one takes a move to “Make their mess a message” and their “Test a testimony”, it’s an eye opener for others who have faced such similar situations and have withdrawn from the society to stand tall and rather help others with their past experiences. I was moved by the sincere stories in your memoir-book, that I had to give others to read too.

Please continue writing, blogging and speaking too. I believe that just like it did for me, the book will be an inspiration for others too, and a guide book to watch the things they do in life.

And oh, Gabby’s story was so sad, pitiful and… I don’t know how to describe it. The story made me cry, most especially because of the negligence given to epileptics. It was a good initiative creating a memorial foundation to take care of epileptic and mental patients. Please permit me say as a youth, I work with a little initiative called Child Enrichment As Future Leaders with the vision of empowering children, youths and the underprivileged. In our own little way, we can always support the foundation’s efforts and partner in carrying out activities.

A little about me-My name is Che Herbert Ambesi, a Level 300 student in the University of Buea reading Accounting. I love reading inspirational books, novels, plays and Christian literature, and I write a little too. Particularly concerned about the needs of youths and the civil society, I blog about success on cheambe.wordpress.com (Ambe’s Diary), and work with Child Enrichment As Future Leaders (CEAFL), a start up which was initiated by a female friend and class mate of mine two years ago, to see how we can in our own little way contribute to the society (I currently serve as President).

Madam, you are my role model. Keep inspiring!

Happy New Year in arrears,

Ambe

 

P.s: Kindly if you can, visit his blog and show some encouragement. He has like half a dozen posts and few comments too lol. He is full of potential and at this rate he’ll sure be up to all he sets out to do. I have replied and I think he is yet to get to his emails because internet especially in that region is a luxury. Hence am all the more delighted to read his email.

Happy Tuesday everybody