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Monthly Archives: December 2016

World Environment Day 2014

World Environment Day 2014



World Environment Day 2014

World Environment Day 2014 as marked by the United Nations (UN) was celebrated internationally on June 5th 2014. As an organisation concerned with the protection of the environment, OGCEYOD staff and volunteers felt compelled to join in the campaign with this year’s theme: Raise your voice, not the sea level! This year’s World Environment Day was focused especially on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) but the problem of rising sea levels is also a great concern for African coastal states including Cameroon. OGCEYOD is based in Limbe, a town which is also being greatly affected by sea level rise so as an organisation we decided to concentrate on the impact of sea level rise on our local community.

OGCEYOD staff conducted research into the effect of sea level rise (SLR) on a global, national and local scale. It was discovered that the sea rose approximately 10-25cm in the last 100 years and that this trend is set to increase this century. According to UN Water, a third of the world’s population of 7 billion live within a hundred kilometres of the ocean, leaving many of them subject to coastal flooding every year. The burden is especially severe in developing countries and small island states. SLR affects a number of African countries which have coastlines. It was also established that mangrove swamps, which are incredibly important ecologically because they provide spawning and nursery grounds for many coastal fish species. They also serve as the habitats for some of the crustaceans and molluscs. It was noted that Cameroon’s coastline, especially around Limbe is characterised by mangroves and that we should ensure that they are protected. Mangroves that could protect Cameroon from rising seas may be subject to more pressure than they can bear, as people migrating to the country’s southwestern coast clear trees at a rate so fast they can’t regenerate. The trees’ roots spread across a large area, soaking up water and encouraging sedimentation. Furthermore, in Cameroon, where 25% of the population (4 million people) live in coastal lowlands (6.5% of the total area), SLR will have a profound effect on some of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas and ecologically important coastal wetlands. As a high proportion of the population live in coastal towns such as Douala (with a population of 2.5 million), Kribi, Limbe and Tiko. The phenomenon of sea level rise is likely to have a significant impact on Cameroon’s coastal population as its 402km coastline is dominated by low-lying, swampy geomorphic features of beaches, extensive creeks and lagoon formations. Three-quarters of those living in coastal towns live on strips on land a thousand metres or less from the shoreline and many just a meter above sea-level. Therefore, it is clear that rising sea levels are having, and will continue to pose a threat to our environment, biodiversity and human populations. It was clear that Cameroon, and Limbe and a coastal town, is being affected so this year’s World Environment Day theme: ‘Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level’ is especially relevant for us here at OGCEYOD Cameroon.

OGCEYOD volunteers decided the best way to address World Environment Day was first to ensure that everyone in OGCEYOD were well versed on the impact of sea level rise on a global level, within Africa, Cameroon and more specifically Limbe. Rosa and Maxilinos researched the impact on SLR on Cameroon and Maxilinos presented the findings in a short expose to the office on June 5th, World Environment Day itself. OGCEYOD members also wore green on this day and made a banner to mark World Environment Day. We decided that we needed to inform the community about the impact of SLR on Limbe and the whole of Cameroon. We also wanted to promote environmentally friendly practices to reduce the impact of flooding as the rainy season is now upon us. Therefore, volunteers spent the day hand-making colourful flyers which would be used to inform the public of World Environment Day 2014, its theme and the impact on Limbe, the South West Region and Cameroon as a whole. The flyers also contained advice about how to protect the local environment such as: ‘don’t throw dirty in our gutters, it contributes to flooding!’ and ‘let’s stop cutting down our trees’. On Monday 9th, OGCYEOD volunteers went to the field to distribute flyers, taking with them the World Environment Day banner that had been prepared. The team went to Down Beach, Limbe to engage with the public. The location was chosen as it is a place where people often go to relax but also because it is an area greatly devastated due to flooding during the rainy season. It proved a great opportunity to all volunteers to engage with the public and relay the information they had learned during the World Environment Day training session. It also boosted the confidence of many volunteers as they were encouraged to talk to people they didn’t know on their own. Soon all the volunteers had run out of flyers and between us we had sensitised nearly everybody around the Down Beach area. After a quick discussion, the OGCEYOD team decided they wanted to continue to sensitise the local community so devised a strategy that didn’t require the flyers. The team moved to the Bukaroo area of Down Beach where Max gathered groups of people who listened to him talking about the impact of Sea Level Rise and what we as individuals can do to try to prevent it. He spoke enthusiastically in Pidgin and successfully engaged with several different groups including women working at the fish stalls and some young men in a bar. Overall the sensitisation campaign was deemed a great success as we were able to reach groups which are hard to access through our typical community sensitisation programme. All involved in the World Environment Day programme declared the day a great success and expressed a desire to use the strategy in the future. Whilst spreading the message and educating the public, the grassroots approach used gave confidence to the volunteers whilst also uniting them as a team.


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In Between Magazine

In Between Magazine


In Between Magazine

After months of struggling with funding, OGCEYOD were finally pleased to produce 2014’s first copy of the In Between magazine. In Between project coordinator Rosa Hopkins timed the production of the magazine to coincide with May 20th National Day Celebrations. This proved extremely successful and made marketing the magazine extremely easy as we were able to sell at the march pass. A team of 5 OGCEYOD members went to the march pass to sell, distributing themselves amongst the crowd to ensure maximum visibility. Later in the day, In Between members themselves came to assist in the selling of the magazine. Most of the 500 copies of the magazine which had been printed were sold on National Day itself. The theme of this issue was on culture and featured articles on Bakweri culture and bilingualism in Cameroonturing old favourites such as Aunty Summer, recipes and poems.  The magazine also featured a new section: ‘Advice to Youth’ which focused on friendship, time management and how to successfully study. Although it had been a long time since In Between had been printed, students had not forgotten about the magazine and were keen to hear that ‘funtime’ was inside. Everyone also seemed excited to read the lyrics to Davido’s ‘Aye’ inside. After a long day selling around the Down Beach area, we called it a day. The remainder of the week was spent selling In Between at Secondary Schools. It was a good time to sell as it was the last week of term before secondary schools broke up for the school holidays. OGCEYOD staff and volunteers went to UNIC Secondary School, Kulu Memorial Academy, Presbyterian Youth Centre, Women’s Empowerment Centre, National Comprehensive High School as well as selling to students from Government High School and Government Bilingual High School who were walking home. Overall, the magazine was incredibly well received and the dedicated In Between members were happy to receive their copies. Now that schools have finished for the Summer holidays informal meetings are taking place at the OGCEYOD office. Thanks to fundraising from former OGCEYOD volunteers Louisa Well and Laura Hallsworth, we now have the funding in place to produce a ‘back to school’ edition in September.

To celebrate the end of the school year and the production of the latest edition of In Between, the In Between team paid a visit to Limbe Botanical Gardens for a picnic. So on May 26th, the magazine team shared food and drink in the beautiful setting of the gardens. They relaxed together, shared jokes and stories from the past year. It was an excellent opportunity for the In Between team to relax together outside of the weekly meetings.


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Book donations

Book donations



Books and Material Donations in the South West and North West Region

OGCEYOD has been working in partnership with the American-based NGO called ‘Teach a Dream’ to facilitate the donation of books to schools in Cameroon. OGCEYOD visited many nursery, primary and secondary schools in the South West and North West Region of Cameroon which was also for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education. OGCEYOD also donated books to 20 schools in the South West Region and to 15 schools in the North West Region. In Limbe OGCEYOD staff and volunteers facilitated the donation of books to:

Government Nursery School Down Beach, Spring of Wisdom Primary School, Kofele Luma Memorial Academy, Aunt Lizzy’s Christian Educational Foundation (ALCEF), Government Nursery and Primary School Towe, Carl Steane Primary School, Solution Centre, Peddy Bilingual Nursery and Primary School, Government Nursery and Primary School Mukundange.

The books were officially donated to the schools and OGCEYOD were invited to look around the various schools and visit the school library which is often a single bookshelf in the principal’s office. OGCEYOD volunteers conducted interviews with students, teachers and the principals of the schools to send to Teach a Dream. Many of those interviewed expressed sincere thanks for the donation of the books and promised that they would be well used and looked after. Several of the children told us the donated books that they had already read and that they really enjoyed them. Teachers and principals told OGCEYOD that they hoped to receive more books in the future as they significantly aid the learning of their pupils and encourage extra-curricular reading. Tackling Cameroon’s low reading culture is something OGCEYOD is also seeking to address in its ‘In Between’ and ‘Read Beyond Borders’ projects. Principals also expressed a desire to receive additional learning materials from Teach a Dream as well as external support in the form of teachers and teacher training. Each donation ceremony concluded with a family photo whereby students, teachers and OGCEYOD staff were photographed with the donated books.

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OGCEYOD Falcon: The Superkids!

OGCEYOD Falcon: The Superkids!




The “OGCEYOD – Falcons” is a project involving children from CBC Main Primary School in Limbe. They meet weekly, to learn about environmental, gender, health and hygiene issues and to play some fun team-building cooperative games. The project aims to sensitise children about important issues that have an impact on themselves and others around them, or that even have global consequences. One goal of the project is to provide a fun experience by doing so. The project takes education out of the classroom and puts it into real life, combining it with games and recreation. The cooperative games the children play strengthen their group dynamic and teach them teamwork.

The children of today are the adults of tomorrow. No matter what role they will play, they are the people who will form society in a couple of years. But they will be facing a large amount of problems produced by older generations. Some of which this generation may have already began to tackle. As adults it is our responsibility to prepare them for what it is coming at them in the future, and to educate them so they can pick up solving the current problems where we left off. Over the past years many environmental issues have evolved and even grown more and more problematic, having effects like for example climate change. Problems that are of environmental nature have global consequences. Because of this it is getting more and more important to educate children and youths on the environmental issues people are facing today and to make the efforts others are making to solve these problems visible to them. Gender equality and violence against women are also global issues. Teaching children about women’s rights and the importance of having respect for women and other people in general helps to build a new generation of young women and men who have the knowledge and sensibility to help end violence against women. Hygiene and sanitation are important topics that are directly linked to health. Sensitisation in these areas is crucial, as many diseases which affect people here are linked to hygiene conditions. An educated and sensitised youth is a healthy one. Last but not least, children need time for recreational activities.  A good balance between study-time and fun-time keeps them motivated and gives them the room to test their strengths and their weaknesses, to find out where their talents lie and to pursue them. It gives them room to develop and to become the people they truly are.

The “OGCEYOD – Falcons” group at CBC Main was launched in January 2014. After a seemingly endless discussion the group agreed to give themselves the name “Superkids”. They also came up with their own set of rules. The purpose of this was to make the children think about how an environment of mutual respect and solidarity should look like and how they want to be treated by others. Though the participation was high and they were very enthusiastic about this task, this undertaking cannot be described as a success. Rather than giving thought to what makes sense to them they seemed to automatically recite standard rules that they are used to from school, and that they have been taught are important rules. Having worked with these children for a longer period of time now, one task we will set ourselves in the future is to have them come up with a new set of rules, putting a stronger emphasis on what they think is right themselves, rather than what they have learned is right.

The topics that have been covered with the group so far concern the environment as well as gender issues and women’s rights. The Superkids are very enthusiastic about participating in discussion in all areas we have covered so far. And they really seem to think about the things we discuss with them. Often in the next session they will come back with questions they have thought about since the last session. They are already very fit on environmental issues. The topic of gender issues still leaves a lot room for sensitisation and discussion. Further, they have been learning the meanings of the words “freedom, friendship, justice, unity and peace” with the help of “The Mighty Song of Peace”. As enthusiastic as the Superkids are about discussion and the opportunity to speak their mind, there is no comparison to their excitement about singing, cooperative games and creative activities. They sing The Mighty Song of Peace and the Flower Song at the top of their lungs, and there are no words to describe their excitement for the cooperative games we play with them. Concentration and a quiet peaceful atmosphere almost instantly kicked in when they got the task of drawing Women’s Day cards for their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, or any other woman in their life they would want to honour on this day. Other topics that we have planned for them, but have yet to cover are health and hygiene, as well as some educational activities about women who had a great ideas, as well as Africans who have had an impact.

Though there is still room for discussion and more sensitisation in some areas, so far the progress of the programme can be evaluated as success. There have been lively and surprisingly controversial discussions about many different topics. The children are very excited about the chance to speak their mind. This shows that the ideas children have are not to be underestimated. It may be surprising what can come out of a child’s mouth when they get the chance to express their ideas. So watch out world! When these children grow up they are sure to have an impact on society.

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One Billion Rising for Justice – Cameroon

One Billion Rising for Justice – Cameroon



One Billion Rising for Justice – Cameroon

Violence against Women is a global issue. All around the world women are molested, battered and raped inside and out of their homes, by strangers, by intimate partners, by their husbands or by other family members. UN statistics state that at least one third of all women of the world have been subject to gender related violence at least once in their lives. February 14th, 2014 marked the second global “One Billion Rising” action day. The “One Billion” in the campaign title stands for the third of all women populating the world who have experienced gender related violence at some point in their lives. The day of action also carries the alternative title “V-Day”. This is a direct homage to “V(agina)-Action-Days” of 1998, as February 14th, 2013 which was the date of the first “One Billion Rising” action day, marked the 15th anniversary of this campaign. The “V(agina)-Action-Days” we’re triggered by a statement the conservative US politician Todd Akin made. He stated, that abortion is immoral and should not be allowed, even in the case of pregnancy through rape. He further argued, that a woman’s body was only capable of getting pregnant if she enjoyed it.

In Cameroon more than half of women (55%) have experienced physical violence, mostly perpetrated by current or most recent husbands, brothers or sisters, mothers, fathers, or step-parents. For 20% of Cameroonian women engaging in sexual intercourse, their first time was by force, the same goes for  the 30% of those who had their first sexual experience before reaching the age of 15. 60% of the women in Cameroon who have been married have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence from their current or most recent husband. Of those who have experienced marital violence 43% have had injuries as a result. Wife battering and marital rape, like the forms of gender based violence already displayed, are consequences of an attitude of treating women like property. This attitude is also reproduced and promoted by things like the husband’s right to punish his wife with physical violence, the “bride price” or “bride’s worth” which for one tends to give the husband the impression of having “bought” his wife, but also degrades a woman to an object you can put a price on.

All of this is why we decided, that Cameroon has to be a part of the “One Billion Rising” Campaign. So we put together our own “Rising” at the Women Empowerment Center in Limbe, on February 14th, 2014. We made designs for t-shirts and had them printed, we distributed flyers at bars and clubs on ladies night, rented a sound system and got the Women Empowerment Center as venue. When the day of the 14th had come, we were ready to go. The Rising was opened with a word of prayer by  Mrs. Mboh. She was followed by our Executive Director Elvis Wepngong introducing OGCEYOD and explaining the importance of gender sensitive education. After his introduction it was time for a speech by the Delegate of Women Empowerment and the Family. She spoke about different forms of violence women have to face in Cameroon. But she did not only speak about domestic violence, but also about the economic and emotional violence women have to deal with, as well as pseudo-solution strategies they have to put up with here. After her heartfelt speech it was the project coordinator Maike Möllendorfs turn to introduce the campaign and it’s goals. What it is, what it is meant to do, and it’s history. After the speeches the women participating in the rising got the chance to stand up and make their stories heard. Two courageous women seized this opportunity and told their sad stories. The first woman to speak told the story of how she ended up in an abusive relationship with an unfaithful man, after loosing her parents at a very young age, and also gave inspiration by telling the round about 150 participants how she got out of it. The second woman to speak up was the President of the Social Widow’s Association. She told the horrible story of a woman who had faced extremely degrading widowhood rites after her husband’s death. In the course of this rite a young plantain was inserted into her vagina and she had to sleep on plantain leaves for one month. For this whole time she was not allowed to bath herself, the young plantain was also not removed until the month was over. After these women had told their stories, it was time to lighten the mood and  for OGCEYOD’s Ndifang Gisele to teach the “Break the Chain” dance, which goes with Tena Clark’s song of the same title to the participants. The song was specially composed for the “One Billion Rising” campaign, and next to the content of the campaign it is an additional link between the different Risings worldwide. The women participated enthusiastically, and after Elvis Wepngong’s closing words the women started to stream out the courtyard of the Center.

This event leaves us excited and motivated to keep working on the issue of domestic violence and stepping it up another level to help women find solutions for these kinds of situations.

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The organization recently acquired a brand new 4×4 Toyota Hilux vehicle to facilitate project activities especially in the rural areas were poor roads are the order of the day. This vehicle was purchased with donated funds from MIVA Switzerland who support transport or/and communication equipment.


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A two day workshop organized by the Organization for Gender, Civic Engagement and Youth Development (OGCEYOD) and funded by the British High Commission started on the 24th of September 2013 at Vianello Hotel, Kumba. Twenty-six representatives of Cooperatives and Common Initiative Groups (CIGs) were invited from cocoa producing regions of Cameroon to learn dialogue and network on a common platform with the purpose of sensitizing them on how to get a Fairtrade certification and its requirement so as to access the world market as Small Producer Organizations (SPOs).

The workshop started with an opening speech by the Executive Director of OGCEYOD Mr Elvis Wepngong, thanking the attendees and expressing his appreciation towards their presence at this workshop, giving a briefing on cocoa fair trade, the resolution of the workshop and its goals. A second speech was given by the Regional Delegate of Agriculture and Rural Development’s representative. He called on all a sundry to make adequate use of the knowledge they will be acquiring and not to sleep over what they have learn especially to upgrade on their cocoa quality and the use of the Fair trade system.

The Liaison Officer of Fair trade for Cameroon and Mali Mr Colbert Sagne started with the first presentation on “Fair Trade System”. He threw light on the following: FLO Vision and mission, actors in the fair trade system, fair trade members, overall fair trade system and fair trade cooperatives. Followed was the second presentation on the theme “Benefits of Fair trade”. The facilitator dealt on the following except; before certification, producer service support, producer certification fund, review of fair trade market prices, benefit of the premium and fair trade Africa.

At 2:00 pm the third presentation began still by Mr Colbert Sagne with theme “The Producer Certification Fund”. Here, the participants were taught on the eligibility criteria for applicants, PCF fund, overview of PCF granted in 2012/2013, standard operating producers for PCF, needed information on application form when to apply and unsuccessful applicant. The last presentation of the day started at exactly 16:00 on the topic “Production, Treatment and Exportation of Certified Cocoa by KONAFCOOP”.

Day two of the training started at 8:22am. Mr Colbert Sagne at exactly 9:05 am took off with the first presentation of the day on the topic “Fair trade Requirements”. He dwells on fair trade standards, generic standard, specific standard, general requirement and trade requirement. This was followed by further explanations on how products can be separated through traceability, about farmers checking on the internet for the substances which are not permitted for usage on cocoa farms and how to identify the fake ones .The facilitator Mr Colbert Sagne continued with the second presentation on the topic “Child Labour and Child Protection”. The participants were enlightened on what exactly child abuse was and the different criteria that embody this subject, such as why do children work? Child labour in Cameroon, UN Convention on child rights, fair trade and child labour, child protection and fair trade and child protection.

The last presentation was on the topic “Fair trade Certification Cost and Procedure” This being the last presentation, the session continued with the division of the participants into four groups. The presentations began with the presentation by group four which worked on the topic of “Recommendations for a way forward” which also served as resolutions. Next was group 3 on “An outline on the challenges in the entire certification system”. Group two’s presentation was “To enlist the required documents to apply for a FLO-CERT fund”. And finally group one presented on “Articulate the steps in acquiring a Fair trade Certification”.

An appraisal was given on behalf of the participants on their gratitude concerning the training workshop by Chief Motto Divine.

The workshop then received an official closing with a word from the Executive Director of OGCEYOD Mr Elvis Wepngong. He expressed the ambitions of the organisation towards the cooperatives, the projects on which they are presently working on that are in this same light and the efforts the farmers will have to make as this will require participation from both parties. He ended by thanking them for their participation and wished them farewell.

On the 22nd November 2013, volunteers and staff from OGCEYOD visited the village of Bai Manya, a village close to Kumba in the South West Region of Cameroon. The purpose of the visit was the official opening of a cocoa oven in the village. The project was sponsored by the British High Commission and overseen by OGCEYOD. A cocoa oven was built in Bai Manya so that the quality of cocoa could be improved to meet international standards, therefore benefitting inhabitants of Bai Manya and surrounding villages. The oven that was constructed was designed to make the cocoa produced fairtrade certified which means that those producing cocoa in the area will be paid a fair wage for their labour. Therefore, the village and the wider community will be able to greatly benefit from the construction of the oven.

Getting to Bai Manya was challenging due to the poor road conditions; some of OGCEYOD reached the village by motorbike and others in a pickup truck. The whole village were waiting for OGCEYOD and the Deputy British High Commissioner who was to officially open the oven. Villagers met the cars of some OGCEYOD staff and of the Deputy High Commissioner with dressed in traditional clothing and singing and dancing in accordance with tradition. They then officially greeted notables in the village and those who had been involved in the construction and management of building the oven. Everyone enjoyed more traditional singing and dancing. Before the official programme began, women from Bai Manya took the Deputy British High Commissioner to get dressed in traditional clothing. The Deputy High Commissioner emerged wearing a cabba in a local fabric. The whole village were gathered to hear speeches from the chief of Bai Manya, Elvis Wepngong the director of OGCEYOD and the deputy British High Commissioner. The chief of Bai Manya highlighted how the oven would benefit the community and he expressed gratitude to OGCEYOD and the British High Commission for their involvement in and sponsorship of the project. The Deputy British High Commissioner thanked the village for their warm welcome and spoke of how pleased she was to have been part of the project and that she hoped the village would benefit from its use.

After the speeches, everyone moved towards the oven which had been decorated with ribbons by OGCEYOD volunteers. Everybody present watched as the Deputy British High Commissioner ceremoniously cut the ribbon that had been placed across the threshold of the oven. Now that the oven was officially open, OGCEYOD staff and the Deputy British High Commissioner were given a tour of the oven, had its functions explained and asked questions. Once the oven had been surveyed, the group had a family photo taken. Traditional singing and dancing accompanied the Deputy British High Commissioner back to the car so she could continue her travels.


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Break the Chain of Sexual Violence against Women in Cameroon

Break the Chain of Sexual Violence against Women in Cameroon


Break the Chain of Sexual Violence against Women in Cameroon

Facts and Figures

  • 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries.
  • It is estimated that up to 30 million girls under the age of 15 remain at risk from FGM/C, and more than 130 million girls and women have undergone the procedure worldwide.
  • Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth.
  • The costs and consequence of violence against women last for generations.

Estimates say about 500,000 women are subject to sexual violence in Cameroon annually. Other estimates put the figures for rape and domestic violence at about 14% and 39% respectively.  Rape is prevalent and little is done to discourage perpetrators. The project aims at sensitising women, men and youth groups in the South West and Littoral regions on sexual violence, its impact and and the need for change.  We are targeting men’s groups like the drivers’ union and other high risk groups to dialogue and sensitise them on violence against women.

The purpose of our 2014 campaign against sexual violence was to sensitize women, men and youth groups on sexual violence by bringing to light the causes, remedies and infrastructures providing prompt action to the violated. The project reached out to women in communities, religious, and social groups on their rights and remedies to sexual violence as well as the men’s groups like the Bike / Taxi unions and other high risk men groups to dialogue. Students were also targeted via schools and unions as they are at the receiving/indoctrinated end of cultural attitudes towards women. Exciting arts competitions was used to educate and empower them on the topic of sexual violence against women and foster a change in attitudes. The engagement helped us raise campaigners against sexual violence and halt future actions of violence by educating our target groups. The project had to achieve the following:

  • Perpetrators of violence becoming aware that violence against women is a crime punishable by law.
  • Women being aware of the causes, remedies and infrastructures to provide prompt aid to the violated.
  • Youths being fully engaged in the development of the sensitization aid giving them improved knowledge on violence against women.

The target groups reached and sensitized are represented on the table below as follows:

South West Region Littoral Region
Target groups Nº in Buea Nº in Kumba Nº in Mbanga Nº in Loum Total Nº Sensitized
Women 251 146 108 113 618
Men 149 188 67 49 453
Youth 345 170 143 109 767
Total 1838


The following were achieved at the end of the projects;

More cases of sexual Violence reported with action taken:

Our key expert, Lady Justice Ngassa Vera after the first month of the sensitization received about 20 calls from victims or people calling on behave of a victim of sexual violence. She has been following up some of the cases of rape to see that justice prevail and counselling others who were violated a long time ago.

Therese’s Story:

Therese is a 16 years old girl who lives in Mbanga, Littoral Region and goes to school in Collège St Bernard in Mbanga. She lost her parents some years ago and lives with her uncle since she was 12. She sent in her entry to the arts competition under the literal arts category. When her teacher read her short story entry, she felt the experiences recounted inside were too real so she decided to investigate it and realised it was hers. After more investigations and counselling by the school and the project team it was confirmed that her uncle has been sexually abusing her since she was 14 years old. The matter was referred to the social affairs and the state council who also after investigation apprehended the uncle and he is presently on waiting trial awaiting final judgement.

Creation of channels:

Most women didn’t know where to go or steps to take to report cases of sexual violence. The Divisional Delegation of social affairs and that of women Empowerment and the Family in all the 4 towns where there sensitization was carried out use to receive as little as 2-4 cases of sexual violence a year now receive more 8-13 individual and families coming up to report past and recent cases of sexual violence.

Awareness creation and Change of Perception:

Men: The right base approach was used toward sensitizing the taxi and bike riders union representatives. From the comments and reactions of the bike riders and taxi drivers during the sensitization, they knew that when a girl below 16 years manifested interest to have sex with them, they were not at fault when they give in and it is not rape. They shared stories of some of these students dressing up in very short skirts and making advances at them. They were made to understand that it was considered as rape under the law to have sex with a girl below 16 years even with her consent. They also became aware of other forms of sexual violence they never knew it punishable by the law. They were also made to understand that when a woman/girl says NO to sex, even if it is a sex worker and he ends up having sex with her, it is rape.

Women: Most women victimize young girls as them being the cause of rape on themselves. They were made to understand that indecent dressing doesn’t give a man the right to rape a girl. Most of the women didn’t know that there exist structures not far from them to help victims of sexual violence. The representatives of the structures (Divisional Delegation of the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family and Social Affairs) were present at the sensitization to talk about the role they can play to assist victims.

Youths: Youths were fully engaged in the development of the sensitization kits. Most of the Graphic and literal arts work victimize young girls as being the cause for them being sexually violated.  The panel of experts erased the stigma and explained how the law handles sexual violence.

200 girls meet protection panel:

About 200 girls aged 10-21 had the opportunity to address the deepest worries, fears and experiences about sexual violence to the panel of Experts. The way the law handles crimes of sexual violence was explained to them. They left having good understanding of protection afforded for them by the law, how they could report cases and seek redress. Examples of passed cases involving sexual violence by Magistrate gave the girls confidence that mechanisms exist to investigate reported cases right up to trials and sentencing for perpetrators. Before the vast majority of them were under the impression that the public view of sexual violence not being a serious crime was corrected.

Documented cases of Domestic Violence:

Some courageous women stood up and spoke out against the violence they endure their homes during the “One Billion Rising for Justice against domestic violence Campaign” in February 2014, while others talked about the wicked and inhuman widowhood practices they endure when the lost the husband. We use these documented cases as a lobby instrument with local authorities, government, social services, decision makers and development partners of the country to raise awareness on the impact and extend of violence against women.

The long term goal of this project is to influence changes in the laws bringing perpetrators of domestic violence to justice. These documented cases will be used to project the realities and impact of domestic violence to law voters as well as facilitate the platform for advocacy and lobbying for changes in some existing laws.

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Cameroon is a nation blessed with so many natural resources, these resources range from the trees, the oceans, animals, soil, the aquatic and host of others. These resources are at the availability and enjoyment of all without restriction. The issue at hand is how these resources are been managed and conserved to meet the demands of the future generation or how can these resources be preserved for long term sustainability. Knowing fully well that the younger people are the ones to enjoy these resources. Nurture Youths to Grow Environmentally friendly was initiated since 2011 with a vision to nurture primary school pupils using outdoor, on formal and informal educational techniques to foster environmental beauty for a better sustainability.

The younger children who are the future leaders have to been be trained from now on the need of protecting the environment by nurturing them to grow environmentally friendly to be able to enact and implement positive environmental laws and policies in the future. The Latin word “Ubi societas, ibi jus”, “there is no society without a law” says it all. To be able to better enjoy our resources and protect the environment, there is a need to have laws and policies that guide the management of our resources to meet up with the demands of the future generation. Nurture Youths to Grow Environmentally Friendly was a project proposal is funded by the New England Biolabs Foundation, USA with its pilot implementation in the town of Limbe, South West Region of Cameroon. A two day training workshop was held with Primary school head teacher and the second phase of the project saw the training of Divisional Delegates of the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development and Ministry of Basic Education in the South West Region in 2014.

Phase three was recently implemented in Bamenda, the North West Region, Cameroon. The two days training workshop was held at Alliance Franco, Bamenda on the 19th– 20th March 2015. The participants at the workshop were made up of the North West Regional Delegation of the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development and Divisional Delegates from all seven divisions and the North West Regional Delegate of Basic Education and her seven Divisional Delegates in the North West .Also present were other civil society organizations like CIRMAD, CAEPP-CAM, PARDEC and other media houses like the  Cameroon Tribune.

The moderator appreciated the participants for their participation and gave room for the Director of the Organization for Gender, Civic Engagement and Youth Development (OGCEYOD) to express himself. A word of welcome from the Director of OGCEYOD Mr Elvis Wepngong.


An opening speech was presented by the Regional Delegate MINEPDED North West who heartily welcome all to the two days training workshop of peer educators to address environmental problems in the North West Region. He also welcomes the initiative since it targets youths in the primary school sector. He ended his speech by saying “The Bible even tells us to train up a child in the way he should grow and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Young minds are fertile grounds for any meaningful strategy and development. The focus of the workshop is to train peer educators who will in turn reach out to primary schools in their respective Divisions and train school representatives to run out door environmental educational activities with pupils. Environmental clubs will be created at the level of primary schools and this will go a long way to instill into these young minds the notion of environmental protection, conservation and sustainable management of the environment.

The natural environment and its biological resources provides mankind with live supporting services including the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the medicines for our health, the material for fuel and construction – name it! Therefore, the conservation of the biological resources is an obligation for all of us. Unfortunately, in the course of fulfilling these obligation, we have been facing a lot of challenges some of which are natural and most of which are man-made. Environmental problems are not a new phenomenon as most of us here present are already aware of the un-desirous effects of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, desertification, land and soil degradation.

These environmental problems are making life on earth unbearable resulting in water shortages, acid rain, loss of plant and animal species. The importance of the environment is such that despite the degradation that has taken place or is going on, action needs to be taken for the restoration of what had been degraded and lost.

The North West Region has of recent witnessed water shortages in the dry season due to human activity. The following environmental problems are associated with the North West Region:-

  • Deforestation for agriculture, fuel wood and constructional materials resulting in land degradation processes such as erosion, soil compaction by animals, soil fertility depletion and the disappearance of sacred forests and shrines;
  • Increased temperatures (Global Warming ) and climate change.
  • Water shortages due to the removal/replacement of vegetative cover of water catchments and watersheds by eucalyptus trees.
  • Stray animals resulting in the spread of disease and destruction of crops.
  • Invasion of grazing land by bracken fern;
  • Haphazard urban settlements patterns;
  • Uneven distribution and variation in rainfall patterns;
  • Low agricultural production due to soil fertility depletion and changing weather patterns;
  • Waste management and soil and liquid waste disposal problems;
  • Bush fires resulting in biodiversity loss and extinction of species;
  • Flooding and landslides resulting in the loss of life and property; and
  • Pollution of air and water bodies by liquid and solid waste.

The list was not exhaustive as it was seen during the course of this training workshop.  Change of altitude towards the environment in order to mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss is needed. With the changing climate, every other thing will change making it difficult for humans to achieve the MDGs. Our changing altitude will include:-

  • Avoid slash and burn agriculture in favor of sustainable agriculture methods such as agro forestry and permanent farming systems;
  • Practice proper waste management involving the treatment and recycling of waste;
  • Stop the reclamation of all our wetlands (biodiversity hotspots) for either agriculture production or construction.

In all our actions to mitigate climate change or biodiversity conservation, let think globally and act locally for both global and local benefits. During the workshop discussions were focused on some key topics like:-

  • The concept of biodiversity and conservation of natural resources;
  • Ecosystem and ecosystem services;
  • Sustainable waste management; and
  • Update environmental manual.

The delegates are expected in your respective Divisions to reach out to primary schools, create environmental clubs and train school representatives to run out door environmental activities using environmental manual put at your disposal.

Some Questions and Answers Include:

Question:  To achieve better ways of waste management: is there a department that controls proper waste management?

Answer: Decentralization, the Ministry works with the local councils so they enforce these powers. The councils go to the field to trap some of these waste mismanagement activities. The sub-directorate in the Ministry of Environment also controls the management of waste. NGO’s too are called upon to carryout activities to help manage waste.

Question: is there no way to make plastics dissolve without necessarily burning.

Answer: there is no chemical to dissolve plastics but rather use the 3Rs, Super mon company is responsible for the collection of these plastics (though it is not done). Brasseries signed a decree to collect plastic bottles alongside other companies. The iron company collects iron.

Question: We talk of dumping, what about drainage?

Answer: if we are conscious not to dump then we would encourage drainage. The rate of plastic usage should be reducing. Let the city councils work with the environment for they are technical assistants. We should love our environment and nurture youths to grow environmentally friendly.

Question: why not concentrate on peace than the environment?

Answer: if the environment is not healthy eventually there is no peace, so we should protect the environment.


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Situation Analysis of the Buea Hemodialysis Center

Situation Analysis of the Buea Hemodialysis Center


Situation Analysis of the Buea Hemodialysis Center found in the Buea Regional hospital, South West Region Cameroon.

Introduction; The Hospital.

The Buea regional hospital is found in the Fako division of the South West Region of Cameroon on the foot of Mount Cameroon; Situated precisely between the delegation of Education and the army camp along the high way to the Bokwango neighborhood.

The hospital is headed by a Director who is assisted by the general supervisor who supervises the activities of the technical staff. The hospital is made up of various departments and units such as the medical unit, the surgical unit, the pediatric unit the maternity, the HIV/AIDS unit, the Laboratory unit, the x-ray unit, the hemodialysis center, the tuberculosis center, the Diabetes Center, the theater department and the outpatient department(OPD).

Each of the units and departments is headed by a specialist doctor (surgeons, Gynecologist, Nephrologists, neurologist etc). Wards are controlled by senior nurses and midwives of different categories and qualifications ranging from state registered nurses to nurses with Master Degrees, Bachelor degrees, HNDs etc. The hospital attends to patients from all over the national territory.

The Hemodialysis Center.   

The center was created in 2011 and inaugurated by the minister of health on the 12th of September. It operates daily except on Sundays. Dialysis at the center usually starts at 5am daily and nurses work three to four sessions attending to patients from all over the nation. The center has 15 staff (two Doctors, ten nurses, one technician and two cleaners) number of personals and is led by a nephrologist.

Center’s statistic.

Since its creation in 2011, the center has rendered services to more than 300 kidney patients with the following new cases each year,

Year New Cases Total Cases
2012 44 N/A
2013 53 97
2014 51 148
2015 50 198
January 2016 07 205
Total new cases form 2012 – January 2016   205


The Centre has capacity to accommodate 60 patients; however, the full potential capacity of the centre is not being maximized. There are eight beds two of which require repairs. This account for why dialysis is done in sessions and patients have been grouped some on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 75 patients are currently undergoing dialysis at the clinic every day. The age group of patients ranges from 20 – 57 though there are a few younger and older cases. The average age group is 30years with a greater percentage of women compared to men.

The General State of Patients.

It is challenging for patients to meet up with their financial responsibilities. majority of the patients are mid age Cameroonians. An average Cameroonian is barely able to meet up with day to day life expenses as the minimum wage in country stands at 58000 FCFA and equivalence to US $29 per month. Unemployment for youths is relatively very high. Many Cameroonians cannot effort the services of specialized medical practitioners this explains why most patients at the Clinic end up dying as they cannot continue to afford treatment. Dialectical services not being an exception, it is rang among the most expensive health service in the country. Approximately patients at the Center spend a minimum of 300 000FCFA, an equivalence of $150 monthly for follow up, dialysis, retropoietin injection, blood transfusion and medical examinations. In situation of Crises, depending on its severity, patients require 700 000FCFA ($350) – 1,000 000FCFA ($500) to stabilize their health.


The IYA Foundation Financial Aid Program has Identified 10 patients to whom financial assistance will be given however, as of the moment of this study, there were 5 urgent cases remaining that could not commence treatment due to financial difficulties. As the number of new cases increases every day and with the growing awareness of the center, there is need for more financial assistance and equipments. Sensitization about kidney disease should also be given priority as the public is still much uninformed. Possible donations of retropoetin will also relief patients.

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Nurture Youth to grow environmentally friendly 2016

Nurture Youth to grow environmentally friendly 2016


The drive to make Cameroon an emerging economy by 2035 and increasing demand for resources to satisfy the needs of the fast growing population of Cameroon has led to the misuse of the country’s natural resources. Environmental problems like climate change, global warming, pollution, deforestation and the extinction of endangered species are very crucial to the lives of humans. The existence and continuous evolution of this cankerworm stem from the fact that the activities of humans leads to the creation of a world that will be very difficult to live in, in some years to come. The constant emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere by some of our practices, the pollution of rivers and oceans, and above all deforestation which leads to the extinction of some endangered species, have dangerous consequences for the human race. These actions are the foundation of constant increase in temperatures, depleting the ozone layer and the Polar Regions vulnerability to defrost. A perfect and conducive environment for Cameroonians and all humans will therefore demand / require strategies that will be geared towards the protection of biodiversity, the preservation of existing endangered species, the sustainable use of land, water and other resources, reducing and cleaning up all sorts of pollution and above all means to develop alternative sources of energy (solar energy employed).

Nurture youths to grow environmental friendly is a project that was first lunched in 2011 and it has experienced growth since then till date with continuous funding from the New England Biolabs Foundation. The project was initiated with its principal aim to nurture youths to grow with the mentality of preserving and protecting the environment. We saw how difficult it was for world leaders in COP15 to come to a consensus to reduce greenhouse gas emission so as to combat climate change. We realized nurturing youths to grow environmentally friendly will facilitate environmental friendly policies in the future. With a global objective to Influence sustainable use of natural and artificial (man-made) resources by spreading good practices in environmental protection and sustainability for socio-economic welfare in Cameroon’s Education system, we engaged the capacity building of primary school heads and volunteers in 2011-12, Representatives from Divisional Delegation of Basic Education and Divisional Delegation of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development in 2014-15 and stepping the empowerment up to the Divisional Delegates of Secondary Education this 2016.

One of the recommendation made at the workshops held in 2014-15 was to extend the training to the secondary education sector since environmental education is not yet in the curriculum. Our work this 2016 is focused on empowering peer educators in the secondary education sector. We targeted 6 Divisional Delegates of secondary Education and an inspector each from the 6 divisions of the South West Region and the same with the 7 divisions of the North West Region in a 2 day training workshop. The first workshop this 2016 to place from the 12th – 13th of February in Limbe and the second workshop from the 18th – 19th February in Bamenda. All delegates were in attendance. The training topics were:

  • Key Concepts, Methods and Tools of Environmental Education in schools
  • Effects and importance of culture and society in Environmental Education and Management
  • Understanding the concept of Biodiversity and conservation of natural resources
  • Waste Generation and Management

The environmental manual was reviewed, videos were projected and multiple group work sessions were other activities within the 2 days training time schedule in each region. The Regional Delegates of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development were present in their respective regions for the opening and closing of the event.

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Sorghum for prosperity project

Sorghum for prosperity project


Sorghum for prosperity project; Future Fairtrade Produce for Vulnerable Regions in Cameroon

Sorghum is an essential to diet to poor people in the semi-arid tropics where droughts cause frequent failures of other crops. Sorghum contributes to the food security of many of the world’s poorest. The Far North and Northern regions of Cameroon are amongst the least developed of Cameroon’s 10 regions. The recent and ongoing conflicts with terrorist group Boko Haram (Far North) has further weakened these regions whose economies are primarily based on agriculture. Together, both regions constitute 28.5% of the country’s population with the Far North hosting over 60,000 refugees from Nigeria and over 81,000 IDPs. Generally, the area under sorghum cultivation in sub-Saharan Africa and Cameroon in particular has steadily increased over the years but the average yield trends are downwards.  Paramount among the yield reducing factors are predominant cultivation of inherently low yielding varieties, poor soil fertility, drought, pests and diseases. The relatively limited processing, utilization and marketing of sorghum also present a disincentive to farmers in adopting improved technologies for greater impact. And finally the use of child labour emit a dark shadow on farm practices. All these contribute in not only making the food security situation worse but also in missing the significant business opportunity offered by Guinness Cameroon (a UK company) to increase its use of local produce (sorghum, cassava and maize) for the brewing of its beers. Guinness is gradually substituting imported cereals like malt with locally cultivated ones like sorghum. OGCEYOD is supporting the partnership between Guinness Cameroon and the Cameroon government’s Investment Project for the Development of Agricultural Markets (PIDMA) via MINADER to:

Improve farming techniques by implementing the cultivation of drought resistant sorghum 35 verities released by the Research Institute for Agriculture and Development (IRAD) in accordance with the MINADER-PIDMA program.

Train 50 lead farmers and local service providers in basic extension skills so they are able to train other farmers.

Ensure farming in these regions based on the principles of fair-trade agriculture which includes; fair pricing, no child labour, gender equality and opportunities for economically disadvantaged people by training local cooperatives on the implementation of fair-trade policies. All of these will consequently increase yields from 3.2 tons per ha to 4.5 tons per ha by 2017/2018.

To this effect, OGCEYOD empowered 50 Sorghum Cooperative representatives(farmers) on pest management to preserve yield and quality; fairtrade principles to establish sustainable partnerships, gender equality and eradicate child labour; and small business management training to instil a business perspective in the farmers as well as monitor the installation of four sorghum cleaning plants which will also ensure quality sorghum. These trainings were coupled with some field work with the cooperatives to achieve our outputs. These three segments of training workshops are being financed by the British Government Prosperity Fund through the British High Commission, Yaoundé – Cameroon and the machines were provided by DIAGEO Guinness Cameroon SA.

Both GCSA and MINADER-PIDMA are working side by side and collaborating with farmer cooperatives such as the “SociétéCoopérative de Commercialisation des Céréales du Nord” (SOCOCCEN) in Garoua and the “ConseilRégional des Organisations Paysannes de le PartieSeptentrionale du Cameroun” (CROPSEC) in Maroua found in two major sorghum zones and are producing for the supply chain of GCSA. The business model of both cooperatives   is to collect, clean, package and sell the sorghum produced by around 4500 smallholder farmers’ members of 33cooperatives in the North and Extreme North Regions of Cameroon.

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One Billion Rising 2016

One Billion Rising 2016



Though the Cameroonian constitution paints a picture of anti-discrimination and gender equality, sadly this does not apply to the reality women have to live in. Uncountable cases of domestic violence, marital rape, humiliating widowhood rites, as well as well documented cases of practices like female genital mutilation and breast ironing are the consequences of a patriarchal society in which generally the man is dominant and the woman is subordinate. These structures in society will not go away by passing laws and illegalizing these practices, they have to be tackled with education and sensitisation.

February 14th, 2014 will mark the second global action day within the “One Billion Rising” campaign. “One Billion Rising” is a global campaign addressing women who have been victimized by violence or who’s loved ones have. It is a global call for “one billion women” to leave their homes and workplaces to rise for ending violence against women. The “one billion” stands for the UN statistic which reveals that about one third of the women of the world have been subject to violence at least once in their life. An essential part of the rallies and happenings in connection with “One Billion Rising” is a dance specially choreographed for the campaign. It is danced to Tena Clark’s song “Break The Chain” and taught by the organizers or a hired dance instructor at nearly every “One Billion Rising” event.

The events are directly linked to the V(agina)-Action-Day of 1998, as February 14th, 2013 marked the 15th anniversary of this campaign. One trigger for the 1998 action day was a statement of the US republican politician Todd Akin, saying that abortion should never be tolerated, not even in the case of rape. He explained that woman’s body was not capable of becoming pregnant through rape, ergo if the woman does not enjoy it. The alternative title “V-Day” which is often used for “One Billion Rising” events is a direct homage to the women who stood up after this statement. In 2013 there were “One Billion Rising” events in 207 different countries, supported by 5000 different organisations, celebrities like Charlize Theron, Yoko-Ono and Anne Hathaway, as well as politicians like for example Nancy Pelosi (US democratic party), Michelle Bachelet (Director of UN-Women) and Ban Ki-moon (UN general secretary) who made his support very clear stating that “this has to be a day, followed by action”.

The Organization for Gender Civic Engagement and Youth Development (OGCEYOD) has been organizing the One Billion Rising Campaign since 2014. This past years the focus has been on women groups under the Women Empowerment Centre. They were brought together and schooled on domestic violence with focus sexual violence and breast ironing as well as legal advice available to victims. The day it self (14th February) was a platform for the women to come out of the box and share their experiences. The day was comprised of speech making, music and particularly the break the chain song and its choreography which signifies and promotes freedom for women. This year we targeted the 900 students in Saker Baptist College which we know are all female and even the female staff of the school. We gave a brief history as to what the day was all about, explain to students the different forms of violence, how it is perpetrated, by who and how it can be addressed. We did a mob dance in the school premises by the students, trainers, staff of OGCEYOD and the female staff. The whole event was fun but an educative one for the girls of the institution.

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