Chantal Biya Foundation : “Santa Chantal” Illuminates Christmas Celebration
The wife of the Head of State, Mrs Chantal Biya, presided over the Foundation’s colourful and heavily-attended Christmas tree lighting in grandeur on December 24, 2019.
December 24, 2019, the First Lady of Cameroon, Chantal Biya donated Christmas presents to nearly 3,000 sick and underprivileged children at the headquarters of her foundation that bears her name, the Chantal Biya Foundation, in Yaounde. This was during the traditional Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. On that special Tuesday, at about 1:30 p. rendez-vous m. the First Lady, arrived at the premises of her Foundation, to respect the end-of-year rendez-vous with sick children admitted at the Mother and Child Centre. The ceremony also gathered less-privileged children from around the town of Yaounde and lasted for over four hours with each child receiving a Christmas gift from the First Lady, whom they fondly called “Mama Chantal”.
Hours before the arrival of “Mother Christmas”, from a distance, one could notice that the Chantal Biya Foundation (CBF) was at its best in terms of decor and messages that depicted the celebration of Christmas. With a new coat of pink and white paint on the institution’s building, effigies of "Father Christmas", colourful flowers, dolls and Christmas messages were seen in almost all the corners of the CBF. There was also a banner with a message in which the children and staff of the hospital expressed gratitude to the First Lady for all she is doing for the sick and underprivileged children in the country. Onlookers and various dance groups also lined up along the main road leading to the Foundation to join in the celebration and to add rhythm to the event. Mrs Biya's arrival at the ceremonial ground kick-started the ceremony which began with the distribution of Christmas gifts and ended as such.
The entrance of “Santa Chantal” at her Foundation was spectacular. Pupils at the entrance of the Foundation waved the flag of the country alongside that of the Foundation. With a special welcome song “sweet mother” the kids chanted, adding Mama oooo yaya to oooo!" as they received Christmas gifts from their Maman cherie. Joined by the Minister of Public Health, members of the Circle of Friends of Cameroon (CERAC) and several dignitaries, the First Lady later went to the Mother and Child Centre and placed gifts on the beds of sick children at the neo-natal wards. A smiling “Santa Chantal” in a pink dress with words of encouragement and a warm embrace consoled the parents of the sick children. Before making a stop at the Children First Centre where abandoned children are taken care of, the First Lady made a stop at the Pavilion Jeanne Irene Biya where she placed a bouquet of flower at the statue of the late former First Lady. At this point, she was treated to some melodies from the Voix du Cenacle choir. She also spent time with hospitalised kids, presenting gifts to each child as they lay on their six beds.
The First Lady also offered gifts to children on external consultation at the orientation box of the hospital. Some local artists and choirs such as Martin Luther Choir, Angel Voice Chorus and the Spirit Songs Meyomessala accompanied the First Lady throughout her tour of the Foundation. The same effervescence that heralded her arrival heightened as she left the Foundation to the joy, particularly of kids who had just received Christmas gifts from her.