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Daily Archives: December 3, 2016

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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