The Unsung Hero program recognizes ZIN™ Members around the world for their outstanding contributions to their communities, and for their ability to inspire others. This month, we celebrate ZIN™ Member, Isioma Jikeme, in Yaounde, Cameroon in central Africa, for her work to significantly reduce infant and maternal mortality.
Isioma has always had a passion for helping those in need. In 2014, Isioma (Isi) moved to Yaounde, Cameroon and discovered that there were extremely high rates of infant and maternal mortality there. This was due in great part to facilities lacking basic medical resources such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers, scales, aspirators and surgical equipment.
Isioma say’s, “I believed that if we could address these basic needs, we could save the lives of many infants and their mothers. This was my motivation, saving lives, and my inspiration was every single child that I saw from day to day. Having the opportunity to live, and every smile from my daughters, made me realise every mother should not miss this joy. As a Zumba® fitness Instructor, the primary way I could raise funds was through a fitness event.”
In May 2016, Isioma and her team of fitness instructors from different formats such as aerobics, yoga, kickboxing, and more, along with their friends and family, raised both awareness and funds together through their IDANCE charity event!
Over 200 tickets were sold for the event, and in addition to the fitness presenters, local doctors also presented information to educate the community about the infant and maternal mortality issues.
“From tickets sold, contributions from individuals, family, friends and small businesses we raised about 2,000 euros! With this, we were able to purchase 95% of the basic needs of the Efoulan District hospital in Yaounde. 90% of the items were purchased from Spain and with the help of Brussels Airlines, we were able to get them to Yaounde at no cost.”
I am delighted I joined the Zumba family, as this gave me more exposure to fitness and every class gave me hope and energy to reach a bigger community. IDANCE has encouraged many to join in this course and we will continue to fight the battle and save the lives of more mothers and their infants in Cameroon. Thank you Zumba Family!!! Music moves us! We move our Feet! We save lives!!”
Isioma, we thank you for your unwavering dedication to help your Community. Thank you for inspiring us all to #movetogive.