Health Clinic

The Bawa Health Initiative Board of Directors, made two important decisions when they met on August  16, 2012. The first decision was to select a construction firm to begin the next phase of work on a primary health care clinic –  adding the floors, walls and roof, installing windows and doors. The Board had three estimates for the construction work. The decision was made after a thorough review of the bids and discussion of recommendations from our Co-Founder, Dr. Blaise Donji,  Coordinator in Cameroon,  Sylvain Foulefack and other partners in BHI-Cameroon. The Board authorized Dr. Blaise Dondji to complete the contract negotiations when he is in Cameroon in early September.  Construction is planned to begin as soon as possible after the start of the “dry season”  in December or early January.

The second decision was embraced with equal enthusiasm. Dr. Dennis Richardson made a motion  and the Board unanimously approved naming this new clinic, the Sophine Awounke Health Center, in honor and memory of Dr. Blaise Dondji’s mother, who died from complications following the birth of his younger sister because there was no accessible health care center in the village.  Her story has not only motivated her son’s contagious and passionate commitment to building a health center in his native village, but we know that her story is echoed in the stories of many other families in Bawa and neighboring villages. The Sophine Awounke Health Center will make a difference – empowering a partnership with Cameroonian medical professionals, village leaders and families. Together we are building a more hopeful and healthy future.

Building a Healthy Future Together Timeline

¨ The property for the Sophine Awounke Health Center,  Nurse’s Residence and Health Education and Resource Center  was given by the village.  BHI volunteers have used it as a place to pitch tents while working in Bawa and it has been a place for training Village Health Committees,  and village celebrations.

¨ December 2007  – BHI President Margaret Jay joined Co-Founders – Dr. Blaise Dondji and Dr. Dennis Richardson –  along with village leaders and families for a ceremonial ground-breaking.

¨ January—April 2009 ground work and construction completed for the foundation footings for the three buildings of the health campus.

Now we continue the work …..

¨ December 2012 – April 2013  Construction will begin on the Sophine Awounke Health Center.  Follow the progress on our website (

We are thankful for the generous support of donors across the country.  We are especially grateful for major gifts for the health center construction from :

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal (Middletown, Connecticut)
Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut Millennium Grant
Mr. Philip Kelleher (Kelleher Ford, Ellensburg, Washington)
Mr. Brian Stickney, Advantage Dirt Contractors, Inc, (Ellensburg, Washington)

Thank you to all our donors … your gifts to BHI make a difference!