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MTN launches ‘Y’ello Hope’ to curb COVID-19 in Cameroon

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 03 Jun 2020

MTN Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of MTN Cameroon which spends 1% of the telco’s profit each year, has embarked on a national tour to curb COVID-19.

On 1 June 2020, the Foundation launched an initiative dubbed ‘Y’ello Hope’ in the form of a caravan that will cover some of the most exposed communities across the country.

During the 21-day national tour, the operator will provide reusable face masks, disinfectant gels, fogging machines, medical equipment, amongst others, to municipalities and vulnerable members of the community.

MTN Foundation is planning to reach out to between 4,000 and 5,000 people in the supply chain of MTN services, including callbox and mobile money operators. The telco is also targeting about 4,000 school teachers as well as health workers and media professionals – considered as the most exposed groups to the virus.

Jean-Melvin Akam, Executive Secretary of the MTN Foundation said: “Pending the discovery and availability of a vaccine, compliance with barrier measures remains the best solution to stop the spread of the virus. MTN Foundation wishes to contribute to this, by enabling thousands of Cameroonians to protect themselves and others.”

According to the Foundation’s executive, ’Y’ello Hope’ initiative is being organised in replacement of the company’s traditional volunteer programme - 21 Days of Y’ello Care - due to restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus.

Akam told reporters in the economic capital Douala that MTN Cameroon’s contribution to the national COVID-19 response is to date worth circa 2 billion CFA francs.

“We are living a critical moment in the life of humanity which requires active solidarity. Solidarity has always been part of MTN’s identity. In the specific case of Covid-19, at MTN, we have the deep conviction that, together we can succeed,” said Akam.

Prior to launching the caravan, MTN Foundation in partnership with Stanley Enow Foundation organised a digital awareness concert on 30 May 30, 2020, during which top Cameroonian artists like Stanley Enow, Tenor, Locko and Salatiel took to the stage to deliver awareness messages.

MTN Cameroon had initially suspended fees on certain mobile money transactions in a cashless drive to curb COVID-19. The company also says it has distributed close to 350 million awareness SMS' through its network.

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