Cameroon’s First Lady Chantal Pulcherie Vigouroux Biya stands respected across the nation for her humanitarian overtures. She has through her organisation the ‘Chantal BIYA Foundation’, CBF reached out to persons and families in need.
Her warmth and activities have transcended political and linguistic divides. This has placed her in a position of respect and honour form many a Cameroonian. Yet almost two years since the Anglophone crisis assumed deadly proportion, the affection of the first lady is yet to be felt in any of the affected localities.
Chantal has been vigorous in a crusade against poverty, diseases, misery and segregation in rural and urban Cameroon. In line with the country’s 1990 laws on freedom of association, Chantal Biya through her foundation has in the last 24 years served humanity in times of distress.
Information on the website of the Foundation states that it has as mission to combat hardship. The same site declares that the foundation is non-denominational, apolitical, and non-profit oriented. A presidential decree of April 1999 declared the Foundation a public interest group.
Among the objectives listed on the association’s website are to; ensure the protection, education and social and health needs of mothers and children; assist poor patients; assist and guide abandoned children; assist the elderly; combat poverty and misery; protect the family; assist needy hospitals and health centers with materials and drugs.
In the context of the socio political pressures in the North West and South West, many are still expecting the ‘Mother of the Nation’ through her humanitarian record to reach out. Reports abound of women, elderly, children and others in difficult situations.
Hospitals and health workers have come under attacks; soldiers have been killed under abominable circumstances. The challenges continue to pile up.
Many a Cameroonian holds the belief that the president’s wife who remains a woman of virtue can still help the suffering masses in the North West and South West Regions. They believe that, with her international and national credibility, Chantal Biya carries an aura that can sooth the pain of especially women and children in difficult situations.
With her exploits in inducing humanitarian actions, galvanizing global respond to emergency situations and manifesting interest in the comfort of the powerless, the space of Cameroon’s first lady is said to be still vacant in the current crisis in the Anglophone zones. Her voice and actions could just be what can give the seeming impasse in the crisis a positive direction. After all, she is as respected as the president of the republic is across all circles in Cameroon.