No Birthday Left Behind

Most of us can remember a time when a birthday – especially if it was one’s own – brightened the world as if a second sun has risen. – Robert Staughton Lynd (American Sociologist) The gift of joy is a precious and priceless offering. Mendem Foundation, in partnership with Royalty World, was honored to offer this gift to children in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon by hosting group birthday parties at St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Bokova and in the Bamenda community. The events, which occurred in tandem with the birthday of Mendem Foundation’s Chairman, Jude Kijem, brought together all children born in April, May and June for a gift-giving and cake-cutting ceremony, a communal meal and celebratory dances. The festivities unfolded under the themes Love (May), Peace (June) and Joy (July). They aimed to support the emotional and spiritual well-being of the children. Speaking about her experience, Stensa Bernice, an April celebrant from St. Joseph’s Orphanage, expressed her happiness and gratitude for the event. “I’ve never had the opportunity to celebrate my birthday,” she said. “I thank Mendem Foundation for making it possible for me to celebrate my birthday.” Several studies attest to the beneficial effect of routinely celebrating milestones such as birthdays, graduations and other such events. These benefits include creating a sense of belonging, boosting morale and fostering resilience in children and adults. As explained by American psychologist Linda Berg-Cross, “…the bonding that results from shared activities is one of the strongest phenomena in social psychology.” These celebrations fall under the scope of the Foundation’s Education program which aims to provide opportunities and safe places for participants to connect with each other in order to learn and grow into the best versions of themselves. In addition to celebrating birthdays, the Foundation provides tuition, uniforms, books and transportation fare to participants in these two regions as well as in the Littoral and Central regions of Cameroon. The foundation also provides opportunities for mentorship, remedial classes, after-school check-ins, excursions, community service and play dates. You can donate to Mendem Foundation’s Education Program here: mendemfoundation.org/donate/

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About with the President
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M.D., ABFM

Dr. Jeffrey Chenyi has been a medical doctor in the USA for over 10 years as a primary care physician. He earned his MD degree from St. Martinus Medical University, after which he proceeded to do his residency at Mclaren Medical Center /Michigan State University where he trained as a primary care physician. He currently works as a Hospitalist, ER physician, and as the Medical Director of Russellville Hospital Medical Clinic and Family Care First Urgent Care. Dr. Chenyi is also the chairperson of the quality improvement and risk management committee for Russellville Hospital.

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