The Feed a Warrior Today project was inspired by the 5 A Day campaign, which recommends eating a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, as part of a balanced diet; a very important element of Healthy Eating. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that we eat a minimum of 400g of fruits and vegetables every day (5 portions). This recommended daily intake is expected to reduce the risk of serious health conditions.
For individuals living with health conditions like Sickle Cell Disease, COVID-19 outbreak puts you at a greater risk of being ill. Hence, it is very important that you eat not only healthy, but also incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your meals. This would help boost your immune system.
Emeli's Smile Sickle Cell Foundation (ESSICFO) in partnership with Greenhouse Ventures in Cameroon, provided fresh fruits and vegetables to Sickle Cell warriors admitted in hospitals across three cities in Cameroon: Yaounde, Bamenda, and Limbe. The CEO of Greenhouse Ventures, Mr. Roland Fomundan, distributed high-grade vegetables to include cucumbers and bell peppers. Fruits like pineapples, watermelons, etc. were sourced from local markets.
REPORTS IN FULL ON THE ACTIVITIES
LIMBE - Report by Bongatan Zachius Dzelamonyuy (Volunteer)
On June 19th 2020, ESSICFO in commemoration of World Sickle Cell Day, launched the "Feed A Warrior Today" initiative, which reached out to sickle cell warriors in the Limbe Regional Hospital, Cameroon. This program witnessed a mass turn out of sickle cell warriors, parents, and care givers.
In attendance were a few top officials of the hospital including the Director Dr. Kinge Thompson, the General Supervisor, among others. Nurses, doctors, and a nutritionist were also present.
The event started with a prayer from the General Supervisor of the hospital, followed by an opening speech by Mr. Tembeick Julius (ESSICFO's Project Co-ordinator). He thanked the hospital officials for welcoming the Foundation and everyone present. He went further to introduce the other team members, past, and current activities before entering the crux of the matter. He channelled the message sent by the Founder, Ms. Nora Emeli Molongwe to the staff and patients on how they can better take care of their health. He expatiated the importance of the Feed A Warrior Today project to sickle cell warriors and the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables.
The fresh produce were distributed to the sickle cell warriors and their caregivers. The celebration ended with an unforgettable feeling for everyone in attendance, as attested by the testimonials from the beneficiaries.
YAOUNDE - Report by Glenn Somo (Volunteer)
Across the globe, sickle cell warriors and advocates celebrate the World Sickle Cell Day by participating in sickle cell awareness activities such as wearing the color red for sickle cell awareness, a walk, a run, sharing sickle cell-related stories on social media and with the local media outlets. ESSICFO's celebrated World Sickle Cell Day on June 19th, 2020 by visiting sickle cell warriors at the Central Hospital in Yaounde, Cameroon with fresh fruits and vegetables and other items including drinking water and soap.
At exactly 10:00 AM GMT, the ESSICFO team arrived the Central Hospital along with a BBC correspondent, who attended the event and interviewed Glenn Somo. The Foundation delivered two bags of pineapples, a bag of water melon, a bag of oranges, 30 bottles of drinking water, and 30 cubes of soap. These items were packaged evenly in bundles and distributed to 25 sickle cell warriors and their immediate caregivers nurses on duty.
The beneficiaries and hospital staff were overwhelmed with the support received from ESSICFO. They expressed their gratitude and thanked ESSICFO's Founder, Nora Molongwe and team.
BAMENDA - Report by Jam Emile Kimbi (Volunteer)
The ESSICFO team in Bamenda arrived at the Regional Delegation Hall on June 19th, 2020 at 10:30 AM to celebrate World Sickle Cell Day. The event started with a word of prayer followed by a speech from Mr. Jam Emile, who thanked the sickle cell warriors for responding to the invitation. He then introduced the Founder of ESSIFCO, Nora Molongwe, and shared a message from her with the audience.
A representative from Rev. Fr John Kolman's Foundation, Ms. Jane Ambo, spoke at the event. She started by thanking ESSICFO for the "wonderful" Feed A Warrior Today initiative. She educated the audience on the importance of good nutrition and hydration for persons living with Sickle Cell. She encouraged caregivers and family members caring for someone with Sickle Cell to collectively participate and understand the effective management of this health condition because they are directly impacted when their loved ones get into a sickle cell crisis.
Mr. Jam Emile gave a speech on Sickle Cell - COVID-19, where he provided specific information to the sickle cell warriors on how to avoid the spread of Coronavirus, a respiratory disease which could be life-threatening to a sickle cell persons.
Thereafter, ESSIFCO team along with the hospital staff made their way to the Bamenda General Hospital ward to visit the sickle cell patients in admission. The patients were briefed on the Feed A Warrior Today initiative, and packages of fruits and vegetables were presented to them; extras were distributed to other critically ill patients at the children's ward, with the help of the nurses on duty. Pictures and Videos were captured and are shared below.
Testimonials From Warriors: The warriors were very happy and showed their joy in different expressions at the end of the day.
"Uncle, I wanted to sing" , said an 8 years old warrior.
"When I was told my child has sickle cell, I was afraid because i didn't know what it was all about. Later I was introduced to this office at the delegation to register my son and now i am here in the midst of other warriors. Thank you so much for your initiative" said a mother of a 5 years old male warrior.
"Thank you for celebrating with us, please I wish to find out if there is a social media platform for us. I will love to be included." said a 16 years old warrior and many others who requested to the registered with ESSICFO.
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