In October, women advocates and community volunteers visited the Elemighong and Tumuku traditional councils to continue exchanging/sharing ideas on GBV faced by women/girls in their respective communities. This was the very first-time women were granted audience to speak on issues affecting them during traditional council sessions, this is a major achievement in these deeply traditional and patriarchal communities.
During both meetings which had the attendance of 19 members at Tumuku traditional council and 17 members at Elemighong traditional council, council elders assured the women that their representatives at the workshops organised by the African Youth Alliance brought feedbacks which they had being discussing in their council meetings. They also promised to continue in the promotion of women/girls’ rights in the council sessions to seek suitable solutions to harmful traditional laws/norms affecting their rights to ownership of landed properties, succession, early child marriage etc.
It was the harvest season in gardens.
Groups were able to sell the excess harvest to community members .
Groups dynamics and leadership were discussed in some communities at the request of women to strengthen communication and the active participation of women and girls to activities organised.
The main activity carried out in November was the 16 Days Activism against GBV in groups and their respective communities. Despite many events such death celebrations, church conferences and traditional marriages, a total of 250 women/girls kick started the campaign.
In their respective groups and communities, they raised awareness on gender-based violence, through education and displaying messages.
In the 3rd edition of Yali Impact Symposium organized by Mandela Washington Fellows Alumni Cameroon at Palais des Congress Yaoundé on 16th November 2019, two AYA team members had the opportunity to be selected out of the 400 participants who were chosen from 2400 applicants. The event sponsored by the US Embassy under the theme “The Role of Youth in Peace building and the Sustainable Development in Cameroon” was graced by dignitaries and diverse motivational speakers who aimed at identifying, celebrating and empowering youth leaders who were already involved in developing their communities through their small initiatives. Thanks to the platform, which was highly educative and inspiring, the staff learned a lot on personal skills development through paradigm shift of mindset and it also did improve their capacities to become more proactive in order to contribute to the organisational growth. The symposium also served as a good networking opportunity for the team who met with likeminded youths and organisation to enable them share experience and gain knowledge related to the symposium and other pertinent issues such as how to advance the rights of women and girls as well as the improve the social inclusion of youths in decision making platforms in Cameroon.
Despite the numerous festive activities the team was very much committed in carrying all the planned and December was very successful . With the support of the community volunteers, the field coordinator was able to continue the 16 Days campaign against GBV in all groups, reaching out to over 400 women/girls. In group meetings they discussed and brainstormed all forms GBV. They met with stakeholders and traditional leaders . The knowledge and lessons learnt during the interactive group meetings helped to improve on their advocacy skills .
A community event was organised with women, stakeholders and community volunteers on 14th December to round up some advocacy activities on women rights with traditional leaders. It was animated with a report presentation, short sketches, role play and dramas showcasing AYA activities and various lessons learnt during the year on succession, women/widow rights to have access to land properties etc. Through drama and role-plays, women and community-based volunteers continued to empower traditional leaders, women and the community at large, raising awareness on gender biased customary laws at the level of the traditional councils and customary courts.
A rape case of a young woman (20 years) who got pregnant from the dismay, was presented to AYA group for support and financial assistance. The AYA team mobilised their network of supporters and friends to help the victim.
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