After a week of renovation, the Himalayan Institute Cameroon opened its first branch center in Mbveh, revealing a freshly painted building stocked with herbal medicine, homeopathy, Neti Wash Neti Pots, Sacred Link Jewelry, and Humanitarian trAID products.
The Grand Opening fell on Kaavi, which is LamNso for ‘market-day’. As on all Kaavis, the market was full of people shopping for fresh produce and other household needs. Ntani Divine, HIC’s Program Coordinator, spoke into the sound system and addressed the crowd, “Attention, attention, attention! The Himalayan Institute Cameroon is now opening a center here in Mbveh. Come and receive a free health consultation and find out what the HIC is all about.”
For many, this was a first encounter with the HIC and the work that it is doing in Cameroon. Dozens of curious people came up the steps to the new center to see what was going on. They were greeted by the smiling faces of the local HIC staff, an invitation to receive a free health consultation, and a brochure about the upcoming events that the HIC will be hosting. Through public events, seminars and conferences the HIC has been able to provide the local community with new techniques for self-empowerment. Constantine, 34, said, “So many times I had walked by my neighbor, the Himalayan Institute, but I had never gone inside. When I was at market today I heard these announcements and I recognized the Institute. I thought it was a good opportunity to see what was really happening. I now understand what kind of impact they are having in my community.”
During the course of the day, 85 new patients were seen by Total Health Center consultants Vershiyi and Eucharia. One soccer player waiting in line for a Total Health consultation said, “For many months now, I have had this pain in my back. I am hearing that the Himalayan is very strong at treating this, so really it is like a dream come true.” Besides receiving medicine to help his back pain, he has also been invited to attend the free yoga classes offered every Saturday at the HIC.
The Grand Opening was a huge success, not only because of the large turnout and sensitization, but also because the entire HIC staff showed how well they are able to work together. Security guards were passing out fliers; the Groundskeepers were showing people around the center; and everyone was smiling and welcoming the new guests. It is this team that has proven again and again that the HIC has a great capacity for self-reliance, creativity, and positive change in the Kumbo community.