ACISJF Activities: Cameroon
Actions carried out in 2018 by ACISJF Cameroon:
Actions carried out in 2018 by ACISJF Cameroon:
Three educational talks were presented addressing the topics of early pregnancy and self-esteem, bringing together nearly 40 young people each time. The goal was to raise awareness about the risks and consequences of early pregnancy, how to cope with the demands of boys, and where to find services available for help when needed;
In the city of Batouri, 2 mobile psychological clinics offered personalized services to young people from Catholic schools and colleges. Services addressed responsible sexuality, the importance of self-esteem to raise awareness about the risks of early sexuality, life skills and values. Young people requiring a private space were received individually.
In the Diocese of Obala, an educational talk was given addressing drug addiction in a youth environment. Many young people attended from all parishes of the Diocese.
2015 Objectives of ACISJF Cameroon:
- Promote positive human values that take into account the protection of girls and the defense of their rights;
- Sensitize and raise awareness of the authorities, religious and traditional leaders to the problems of young girls.
- To develop a sense of personal identity in the spirit of social change, and actively participate in this change;/li>>
- To increase awareness by both men and women about the need to combat the violence experienced by young girls.
- Community awareness of the issues and needs faced by youth;
- Training of stakeholders on the psychosocial care of girls in distress;
- Supervision and accompaniment of girls in distress;
- Information for girls about their rights.
Actions carried out from January 31 to May 1, 2015 by ACISJF Cameroon :
- Information and Public Awareness ;
- Supervision and facilitation of girls' talking groups on sexual violence and sexuality;
- Participation in seminars and other meetings on issues faced by girls;
- Follow-up of young girls in distress;
- Additional activities
INFORMATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS:
I - International Day of the Girl Child (I - 11 October 2015)
The International Day of the Girl Child is an opportunity for governments, communities and young girls to take stock of their struggle for equality, autonomy, peace and development.
It is also an open door for young girls to come together and mobilize to create real change for their condition in society.
This year, we hosted an educational talk on the theme "Violence in romantic relationships". This activity took place at the University of Yaoundé and adddressed different forms of violence in loving relationships, how to recognize unhealthy situations, how to stop violence, and where to find assistance in cases of violence. Approximately 97 girls aged 17 to 22 years participated.
II- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25, 2015)
To celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we hosted a radio program addressing sexual violence where we not only described different types of sexual violence, but also discussed prevention methods and listed places of support for women in violent situations. This program was interactive with the audience.
TRAINING OF PSYCHOSOCIAL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE PSYCHOSOCIAL MANAGEMENT OF SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
In 2015 we trained 160 psychosocial workers on the psychosocial care of survivors of sexual violence in Ngaoundéré (a town in northern Cameroon), workers in Yaoundé (the capital of Cameroon) through the SWAA Cameroon Association, and nearly 115 workers in Batouri (a town in the Kadey region of eastern Cameroon) through the Diocese of Batouri.
The peculiarity of Cameroon is that in recent years its population has exponentially multiplied following the massive arrival of refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) due to war, and the Kadey of eastern Cameroon which shares a long border with other CEMAC countries. To accommodate the extensive human flow of migrants, refugee camps have been set up in Kentzou, Timangolo, Lolo, and Mbilé among others. The extraction of gold, the timber market, the tobacco trade, spiritist myths, and migration all favor increased sexual activity. This large concentration of individuals in the absence of public lighting, coupled with the consumption of local alcohol, virtual absence of public and organized recreation, and the facts mentioned above, may explain the many instances of gender-based violence (GBV), specifically sexual violence including rape, which is rampant in this region.
Each training session aimed to equip Priests, Doctors, Pastors, Imams, Social Workers and other community leaders to not only assist survivors of sexual violence, but also encouraged their support and increased involvement in the process for gender equality.
PARTICIPATION IN SPEAKING GROUPS
In 2015 we participated in 2 interactive speaking groups in Mbang (Diocese of Batouri) including one group of mothers and daughters at the Sisters Training Center of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit of Mbang, and another group of older women held in a classroom at the Mbang Catholic School. Each group was followed by one-on-one interviews (listening) with GBV survivors who attended the sessions. Topics covered different aspects of gender-based violence and gave them the opportunity to talk about personal problems they cannot discuss in public.
PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATIONAL FORUMS
Three women's associations in the city of Yaoundé helped organize three educational forums bringing together at least 30 women on the following themes: "Violence Against Children", "How to Communicate with Children" and "Women's Mental Health and Violence".
At the invitation of these associations, our 30 minute presentation was followed by a 15 minute question period for the participants. These moments of sharing were both friendly and full of information.
PARTICIPATION IN MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL MANAGEMENT OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
We participated in three workshops held in Kribi, Yaoundé and Mbalmayo. Each event focused on providing increased medical and psychosocial guidance when caring for for victims of sexual violence.
We met with EVA program leaders to discuss and sign a partnership agreement with ACISJF Africa. Activities are being finalized.
Our work was not without challenges, including:
- The lack of financial means to carry out our action plan;
- Assignment of some members to other locations which prevented us from working together
- Increased collaboration with sister associations;
- Drafting innovative projects likely to obtain funding
We worked responsibly and professionally despite multiple difficulties throughout the year. We are today a reference with recognized expertise in Cameroon in the management of sexual violence, specifically regarding the problems of adolescent girls. In the coming years, we intend to develop more partnerships with international organizations for greater visibility.