Nungu Magdalene -- Bamenda, Cameroon
(Family name comes first)
"She'll never walk again," the doctors told Magdalene's parents when she was a young teenager and had suffered a severe fever that had left her paralysed. In her home country of Cameroon, this might well have meant the end of education and normal community life.
For people with disabilities in Cameroon, as in many countries, there is no support system of the sort we might take for granted in the US, and poverty makes it impossible for most people to afford even basic medical care or adaptive equipment. Furthermore, a disability is often viewed as shameful or as a curse from the gods.
In spite of these things, Magdalene's mother and father wouldn't accept the doctors' verdict. With their encouragement and inspiration and her own stubborn persistence, Magadalene regained the use of her legs, earned a university degree, and became a teacher. Her gait is slow, but she doesn't let that stop her.
Having herself struggled to overcome the stigma and prejudice against disability, Magdalene was led by God to work with and for others with similar challenges. She is the Founder & Director of the Centre for Empowerment of Females with Disabilities in Bamenda, Cameroon.
Magdalene with the board, staff, and volunteers of CEFED are an essential part of the our Harvest Project.
Right now, for instance, we are thanking the Lord that our shipment of 200 wheelchairs arrived a couple of weeks ago in the Port of Douala, Cameroon, in plenty of time for our mission. Magdalene is in that city, fulfilling the customs requirements so the chairs are released and ready for distribution when we arrive. This usually involves a lot of visits to various offices, being sent to other offices, returning, etc.
1. That officials will grant a humanitarian status to the shipment. This will save a large duty fee.
2. That the process through customs will move smoothly and the shipment be released early this week. After a certain amount of time in customs, an expensive storage fee will be levied.
3. That Magdalene receive strength from the Lord. She is an amazing woman, but the customs procedures can exhaust even a person with no disability.