Five years into the armed conflict causing havoc in the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon, there seems to be no way out to end the conflict despite calls from national and international bodies for a ceasefire and a genuine dialogue.
Prior to school resumption, fighting is intensified and road blocks are still visible in some subdivisions like Bali Nyonga, Bambui- Fundong through the Big Babanki stretch of road.
These remain a serious worry to many stakeholders and youths who are future leaders and need education.
It is against this back drop that, with the technical and financial support from the UN Peace Building Fund, and implemented by UNESCO, that the “Association for the Welfare of Women and Indigenous People” ASOWWIP, has educated and sensitized the population of Bamenda III on peace building and mediation, in a project strengthening Community Dialogue to End intercommunal dispute in the North West region.
Collaborating with UNESCO, ASOWWIP, engaged in bringing youths and stakeholders on board to curb violent extremism with the theme “Youths -led early warning and response initiative for peace and social cohesion” in Bamenda III municipality.
In a one day serminar on Thursday September 2, 2021 at the Bamenda III council hall, the participants brainstormed on the creation of a platform for community dialogue with multi sectoral, intergenerational actors to contribute significantly to maintaining sustainable peace and social cohesion in the municipality.
Working in groups and sharing exchanges, participants resolved on:
– Enhancing and strengthening inter communal dialogue with different stakeholders on peace and social cohesion within Bamenda III.
– Creat four peace clubs within the municipality, including schools that will pilot activities geared towards maintaining peace and social cohesion, identification and analysing on peace and social cohesion in Bamenda III.
While responding to the question, if it it not late, talking of “Youths and early warning and response initiative for peace and social cohesion, when the armed conflict in North West and South West Cameroon is in its fifth year?
_” I don’t think it is too late to talk about peace , the youths coming out today is to know the warning signs, the effects and threats of these signs to social cohesion. I think it will be a great step towards peace building. It’s for the future and youths are future leaders and the training of youths clubs is going to guide students to understand social cohesion and know how to live peacefully in their community.”_ Ramatu Abdu, Coordinator of ASOWWIP.
The initiative was articulated around trust building through dialogue , active listening and positive social interactions in two groups.
Fungwe James in Bamenda