A frontline gender activist, Comfort Mussa Ngabir has become the latest Cameroonian to be honoured with the Commonwealth Point of Light Award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for her exceptional voluntary service supporting the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The award which is part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – seeks to thank inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.
“I am absolutely delighted to be recognised for this award. I’m honoured to accept this award and I share it with all the volunteers at Sisterspeak237 and our Access Community for persons with disabilities,” Comfort Mussa said after receiving the award on Friday, June 26 from the UK High Commissioner, HE Rowan Laxton.
Handing over the award, the UK High Commissioner to Cameroon praised the recipient as a shining light who is creating an impact in the lives of the needy in her country.
“Her unstinting support for women’s rights, social justice and public health is making a huge difference to the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people here. Her work is a shining example of the impact that dedicated and skilled volunteers can make to brighten people’s lives,’ HE Rowan Laxton said.
A life dedicated to the needy
Founder of ‘Sisterspeak237’, Comfort Mussa has been working extensively to support disabled and vulnerable persons in her community.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, she ensured persons living with disabilities in Yaounde are not left out by coordinating the provision of hand sanitisers and masks, as well as sharing key messaging around COVID-19. Her team was equally at the Bamenda Regional Hospital to assist health personnel in their response strategy by donating protective gears.
“With the COVID19 pandemic my team and I are constantly asking ourselves, what can we do to help? Our drive has been to meet the needs of people in vulnerable communities, especially for women and persons with disabilities, through advocacy, campaigning and story-telling. The impact we have had so far is encouraging and makes volunteering worthwhile. I thank Her Majesty The Queen, for this recognition,” Comfort Mussa said.
She has also started a project across the seven regions of Cameroon to ensure that response services are gender and disability inclusive. Comfort has been a long-time supporter of women and minority groups, empowering them through her organisation to tell their stories, breaking the silence on taboo subjects seldomly reported. In March, her Sisterspeak 237 organisation in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission to Cameroon trained over 50 female journalists in the North West and South West Regions on reporting in the crisis region and how they can make a living despite the difficult context.
Comfort Mussa is the second Cameroonian woman in under a year to get the award after Fadimatou Simo, Founder of the Young African Aviation Professional Oraganisation, YAAPA reeived the 107 Commonwealth Point of Light Award for her exceptional volunteer services that have created opportunities for young people to forge careers in aviation.