The Manyu Community in Canada is fired up. Since the burning down of the Mamfe General Hospital, many have been looking for ways to help. They are overwhelmed. They are aware of the disaster that is facing their people back home. The people of Mamfe do not have water; they don’t have lights and now, no hospital. This is, indeed, a great recipe for a perfect natural disaster. They know that in the event of a cholera or typhoid outbreak, the news will be bad. They want to help in any way they can.
News that the Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic, Victor Mengot Arrey-Nkongho, had launched a fundraising effort in Yaoundé brought some hope. Many people of Manyu descent are emptying their pockets to make sure they are counted among those who brought hope to their people. The fundraiser in Yaounde is a great event. The people of Manyu are proving that they can put their money where their mouths are.
But those in Canada are not waiting for others to do things for them. Since the announcement that a Bank account has been set up at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) for the mobilization of resources to help with the rebuilding of the destroyed hospital, Manyu people have been calling to find out how they can pay in their contribution.
Speaking to the Cameroon Concord News Group’s correspondent in Toronto, Canada, a Manyu businessman said that “We cannot leave this to other people. This is our responsibility. We have learned from others. When things go wrong, we must step in to help. Our people in Mamfe are suffering. We cannot forget where we come from. We are going to let the world know that we too can act. Our people are desperate, and we must do something to reduce or mitigate that desperation.”
He added that “we trust those who are leading the effort. I hear that Dr. Joachim Arrey is leading the effort. He is a man of his words. He is much respected here in Canada. He has been in Canada for about 25 years if I am not mistaken. He does not joke, and he loves humanitarian work. He is one of those big brothers who can mobilize the community. I read the other day that he had already pledged a huge sum. We must support this effort so that our people can be proud of us. Dr. Arrey says this not the time for long speeches and titles. We are prepared to follow his lead and I know we will all be happy with the outcome.”
Speaking over the phone with the Cameroon Concord News Group’s editor-in-chief, Dr. Joachim Arrey said that this is the time for all Manyu sons and daughters around the world to step up to the plate and be counted among those who have left home but still think of home.
“I am away from Mamfe, but Mamfe is stuck in my mind. I grew up in New Layout Mamfe town and it was thanks to that hospital that my siblings and I are alive. The doctors and nurses were very caring and those who took care of us in those days in that hospital are all gone. However, we must express our gratitude to them by helping to rebuild a hospital they took care of during their days. About three of my siblings were born in that hospital and it is just normal for me to lead an effort that will go a long way in making things better for other people,” he said.
“As a young student, I was hospitalized in that hospital. One Mrs. Besong Cecilia of blessed memory was a nurse, and she was very selfless. She used to receive everybody from Ossing as if the entire village was one family. She was from Ossing and she loved her people. She died last year, and I think for those of us who knew her, we must do something to keep this hospital alive so that other people can also have access to quality healthcare. We all can make our world a better place than we met it by just being kind to everybody,” he stressed.
“We are not into politics here. We are not going to trade accusations about who burned down the hospital. We are going to raise money to restore the hospital to its pristine state. Manyu has the numbers and we are many in Canada. There are many friends of Manyu who are also joining the endeavor. Something positive will come out of this tragedy. It is up to us to make the most of this unfortunate situation. Instead of fighting, we should be closing ranks to achieve something big for our people. A disease does not know if you are a federalist, separatist, CPDM militant or a visitor. When it strikes, we all head to a hospital, so we should keep politics out of this and do the right thing,” he stressed.
Based on preliminary information obtained from the committee that is responsible for the collection of funds, things are looking up, as many people have already begun sending in their contributions. The people of Manyu are already demonstrating that they can do things the big way. With the example set in Cameroon, things will certainly be moving in the right direction and other Manyu communities in other countries will soon jump onto the fundraising wagon to make the dream of the people of Manyu a reality.
By Enowtaku Ebanghatabi Christelle