Hello iJesusAfricans, We had the chance to talk with Emmanuela Eduke about her NGO called The Ella Eduke Foundation, she talked of who they are, their vision, and ongoing project. Follow up on the interview below, and do well to connect with her and drop a comment. We will be glad to hear from you.
Who Is Emmanuela Eduke
My name is Emmanuela Eduke; popularly known as Ella, Born September 23, 1991. I grew up in Kumba – South West region of Cameroon, where I completed primary and secondary school.
My childhood was pretty much nothing out of the ordinary. I attended Government Practicing Nursery School Kumba and Government Practicing School(GPS) Kumba. I completed my secondary and high school in Government Secondary School KaKe and Government High School Kake-kumba respectively.
Having a teacher for a mother required us to move houses a lot due to government transfers. But it also meant upholding all school rules and regulations, ensuring to be of best behavior at all times and never failing an exam ( An expectation imposed by society)
I was an abnormal teenager. Had very few female friends and was always associated with my male friends. All through secondary my focus was on making good grades; which I thought I was succeeding at until I failed the Advanced Level. Being the senior prefect of my school, with no past records of failure in a test or exam, and my mom a teacher in that same school; dealing with failure was a major turning point in my life.
I reconciled with God at age 16 and that helped shape the woman I am today. I was already shielded from a lot of temptations every normal teenage girl will likely fall into. This came with a lot of self-denial also. My school days were a combination of academics and church. Hahahahahah…
I had always wanted to become a journalist but somewhere along the line, I developed interests in economics which fueled my passion for Business. One of my greatest skillsets is interpersonal; my ability to relate and connect with people has given me more exposure in every area of my life.
Tell Us About The Ella Eduke Foundation (TEEF)
TEEF is an expression of who I am and a wide combination of my life experiences. It’s a nonprofit initiative, whose sole purpose is to create mental health awareness among the Christian folks, break the stigma associated with it by offering a safe space where people can talk about their mental health issues and get appropriate help.
My Inspiration came from a deep place of chronic depression. I had just moved to Nigeria in 2018 with a lot of mental baggage; adapting to a new environment, people, and all the things nobody tells you about moving to a new country.
In a place of acute desperation and search for answers to the many questions of my life, I realized through study I had suffered chronic Post-trauma and going through a vicious cycle of Post-traumatic stress disorders and chronic depression. I knew this after carrying out research which helped me identify my symptoms. But then who do I talk to or where do I go to for help?
Nigeria unlike Cameroon is becoming more ‘mental health-conscious’ as they are a couple of mental health centers and domestic violence safety homes. Unfortunately, my state had none. I was forced to fight my inner demons with the word of God, prayer, and a resolute heart to overcome the problem so I could help others who may be going through the same dilemma.
What Are Some Of The Activities Carried Out By TEEF?
We have been in inception for the past months and currently have an active team in Nigeria which comprises trained medical doctors, psychologists, and pastors. We have had over 20 mental health cases ranging from depression to addictions and worst-case scenario; Suicide cases.
We offer therapy sessions which include clients meeting, sitting, and having an open conversation with medical personnel. We also offer counseling from mild cases and prayers for cases that we deem necessary. We provide financial help to some of our clients on rare occasions. With the outbreak of the Covid19, most of our outdoor activities have been put on hold for now
TEEF was originally created to Target the Christian folks and help create awareness in the body of Christ. It is with no doubt that most believers spiritualize every challenge and attribute everything to the works of the devil. Contrary to this belief, Teef believes if believers were more aware of their mental health status and how it affects their spiritual life then we can strike a balance. TEEF is open to everyone and anyone who feels they could be suffering mentally. We offer counseling, therapy, and prayer sessions. We are a faith-based organization and thus Christ is at the center of everything we do.
TEEF And Covid19
The Covid19 pandemic has not only heightened depression and anxiety levels in the world, but it has significantly raised the bars for more people to suffer from a mental illness. As a mental health organization that is still trying to survive the incubation phase of growth, we strongly believe that we can help a lot of people out there in these trying times.
The popular adage which says “identifying a problem is the first solution to that problem” stands true for us. We can help people identify their mental health issues thus helping them cope in such times. We also provide free counseling during this Covid19 crisis.
We have planned distribution of facemasks to remote areas in the city of Buea to help curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
Any Challenges Sofar?
Our biggest challenge especially in Cameroon is lack of awareness. on mental health. Creating awareness for a problem many don’t even see is like planting a seed on Rocky soil. It’s so disheartening to see people suffer mentally and yet won’t even bring themselves to talk about it; we have become conformed to societal norms.
Another challenge we have is inadequate funds. Running an organization with no aid or sponsorship seems like a fruitless journey, but the vision keeps us going.
Open To Volunteers Sponsors & Partners?
We are very open to more volunteers and especially Sponsors & Partners
Any Ongoing Projects?
Yes, Our free mask distribution campaign which was on hold due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. But we intend to kick start it as soon as possible. The face masks are readily available and we have support from some of our doctor partners. Updates on our forthcoming programs will be posted on all our social media platforms.
How Can People Reach You?
- You can reach us via email at [email protected]
- Follow us on Facebook @ The Ella Eduke Foundation.
- Call/Text?WhatApp: +234 811 034 0979 | +237 6 81 09 29 55