This week’s blogpost is a guest-post by the CUF (Cameroon Union Flanders in Leuven) about how they feel regarding the world-wide pandemic. This post was written by one of their members.
Who are we?
CUF is a community of Cameroonians, mostly students, who live in the diaspora specifically in the Flanders region of Belgium. They came together to form an association in order to live their Cameroonesse and portray their culture through different activities organised mainly in Leuven. Moreover, CUF exists as a platform for members to assist one another in dealing with everyday challenges in a new context. Equally, CUF has the objective of reaching out and giving back to the Belgian-Leuven community by collaborating with the Commune, Pangaea, and Loko in many respects.
The COVID-19: A handcuff to CUF?
The sudden and rapid changes experiences around the globe today with the outbreak of the pandemic has normally affected the members of CUF individually and collectively, specifically, the student who has been exposed not only to sanitary but especially to socio-economic uncertainties. Some of the students in the CUF are self-sponsored and navigate between pursuing their academic aspirations while engaging in student jobs. They have therefore been affected, economically, socially and academically. As an association mainly composed of students, what has CUF been doing in order to relieve and help them manage this new normal?
The Management of the Pandemic
In line with the rules and regulations put in place by the Belgian government in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, CUF began by suspending indefinitely all its activities scheduled since February 2020 to prevent its members from coming together physically. As a response to the pandemic, CUF has organised online meetings for their monthly “CUF Come-Together”. This was a measure put in place by the association and equally recommending its members to adhere to safety precautions in their day-to-day-lives. Likewise, the association launched an online sensitisation campaign to help curb the spread of the virus at home and abroad.
Aside from these advisory rules, CUF has furthermore acted directly by giving material support to relieve its members, particularly the students. Firstly, the association offered face masks to all its affiliates at a time where these were still a luxury to many. This was a momentous decision taken at a very perilous time. Also, the association gave out voucher checks worth €30 to enable the members to purchase basic necessities during this precarious period. Outstandingly, CUF went further to address the case of the students by assisting them financially with amounts ranging from €50-100 each. Lastly, the association encouraged former students and other members who have a more stable economic situation to help the students by any means possible; this saw several students receive informal support from individuals within the group like food stuff, masks, and also cash.
With all these preventive and concrete measures, CUF has significantly helped its student population go through this baffling period, though not completely without hurdles, but anyhow with lesser issues to deal with. Therefore, we retain that CUF has shared hope, resilience, and courage through solidarity and togetherness in an exceptionally enfeebled time in the history of mankind as a whole. The COVID-19 as we know has left no country, association, or individual unruffled. It is a global crises which we must all overcome as one, irrespective of our origins and cultures. This is the message of CUF during this period, it is imperious today for everyone to be vigilant and stay out of danger by respecting the recommendations put in place by the authorities and the WHO.
As we urge everyone to stay safe and strong, we leave you with the words of our motto: PEACE-WORK-FATHERLAND
If you want to learn more about the CUF, their activities, or their projects, please don’t hesitate to send us a message and we’ll put you through!