In her quest to sensitize communities on epilepsy, so as to improve awareness and knowledge on how to manage seizures, facilitate practices that will create an optimal learning environment for pupils/students/individuals living with and or affected by epilepsy and mental illness, the Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing (Gbm) is now entering into partnership with local communities.
Recently, in partnership with the Paramount Ruler of the Essoh Atah Fondom in Fontem – Lebialem Division, a small village in the South West Region of Cameroon, the foundation sponsored a football tournament that brought together young people from the Fondom so that through their sportsmanship, they may be informed about various aspects of epilepsy and how to care for a person living with epilepsy.
The tournament equally had as aim, to sensitize the population and to contribute to the fight against the stigma, unawareness, rejection and outright abuse of persons suffering from epilepsy and the mentally challenged in their various communities. One of the key messages of the foundation is underscoring the fact that these illness are not a taboo, and being informed will go a long way to reducing their prevalence and devastating effects especially in Cameroon which currently has one if not the highest rate of epilepsy in the world according to a recent Lancet Neurology article.
Gbm in her sponsorship package, provided the teams with logoed jerseys and co-sponsred a trophy with a cash price. At the end of the tournament, the foundation had enlisted many more youth ambassadors.
Participants expressed their gratitude to the foundation and promised to champion the advocacy and sensitization mission of the foundation in their respective neighborhoods, and to help educate their peers and even teachers with all the lessons learnt. Some of these lessons were contained in various sensitization brochures distributed throughout the tournament by one of the foundation’s pioneer youth ambassador who came in all the way from the city of Limbe in the South West Region of Cameroon.
Such sensitization through sponsorships, local partnerships, and involvement of youth ambassadors all align with the main goal of the foundation which is to “Fight against stigma, rejection & abuse of persons living with epilepsy and mentally illness”.
The program director explained that she was impressed by the massive turnout and success of this first edition, and the foundation intends to, in the near future, with the help of funders and partners carry out many more of such activities. Together, we can bring epilepsy and mental illness out of the shadows, if we dare to talk about it.
Kindly get involved because Gbm can only achieve its goal and objectives with your assistance. The foundation is most grateful for the great collaboration with the Paramount Ruler of the Essoh Atah Fondom, His Royal Highness Fon Foreke who doubles as the regional delegate for Social Affairs of the Western Region.
Together We Can