Combat Child Human Trafficking in Cameroon

 
$10,518
$14,482
Raised
Remaining

December 2012 Project Report

Project Goal: To Increase Community Awareness and Capability to Eradicate Trafficking in Persons

Rural areas of the North West Region of Cameroon are potential fields from where persons, especially children are recruited and taken to urban areas and exploited by unscrupulous well-to-do people.  Our focus for the last quarter of 2012 has been Ngoketunjia a rural but very accessible area of the region. Its proximity to Bamenda urban center and other neighboring towns make it a fertile ground for predators. The two villages targeted for this quarter were Bambalang and Bamessing.

Project Activities

-          Awareness seminars

-          Radio talks and distribution of flyers

-          Formation of vigilante groups

Awareness Seminars

Two awareness seminars were organized. One in Ndop the Divisional Head quarters involving stake holders from the Bambalang and Bamessing villages. The seminars reiterated the objective and project strategy.  This was followed by workshops in Bambalang village involving members of the traditional council, teachers, quarter heads and religious authorities. Twenty three (23) persons participated in the workshop.

Participants were drilled on the concept of Trafficking in person, its varying forms, magnitude and strategies to combat this ill. This seminar took place at the Fon’s Palace. It was facilitated by the CEO and the project officer.

Radio talks

The project staff worked with the Ngoketunjia radio to organize an hour long discussion session on the radio on with the Divisional Delegate of Social Affairs, the Project Manager and the President of the Division Union. The Delegate congratulated the Shield Project and informed the communities on government policy on human rights and the efforts to eradicate the practice of Tip in the country.

Formation of Vigilante Groups

Participants at the seminar agreed that the TIP vigilante groups be formed in each of the twenty four villages in the Division. To kick off the implementation of the decision, a total of eight groups were formed in November four in Bambalang and four in Bamessing. These groups were assigned to organize sensitization workshops and continue to educate the members of their community on ways of identifying and reporting cases of TIP and place information flyers in target locations in the villages.

The SHIELD (Sheltering the Innocent from Exploitation, Labor and Deprivation) Team focused their effort during the months of June and July 2012 on advocacy for the protection of human rights especially trafficking of children in Cameroon.

Due to the poor state of the roads in the target region, the project team organized a coordination meeting to bring together project representatives from the seven sub divisions of the North West Region. The objective of the meeting was to urge the coordinators to continue to reinforce project messages, share lessons learned and update the stakeholders on the progress of the work. This meeting was also used to develop local fundraising strategies and ways of sustaining program activities.    

Project also dedicated time during this period to develop a plan and tools to monitor and evaluate project activates.  Regular monitoring and support activities have been severely impeded during the last three months by the heavy rains that make access to the target areas impossible.

The monitoring and evaluation plan was developed and shared with participants, and data collection tools reviewed and revised. Project team plans to use the months of August, September and October to collect data on the project. The data collection will focus on the opinion of victims and families, response of the community, the services providers such as police, judiciary, social Welfare offices, and vigilante committees.  This exercise will enable the team to analyze trends and review local action plans. The activity will also enable the project to put in a place a system that will facilitate the continuous monitoring and evaluation of project activities.  

 Colette is a young teenager who hails from Bambalang village. Although her parents are both alive, their economic situation and the large size of the family led her them to hand her over to an uncle who promised her a good education in the town of Batouri in the East Province of Cameroon. For a period of close to five years, she worked in domestic servitude in the house of her uncle, with apparently no prospects for the education she had been promised when she had left her parents. Her birth certificate was altered to bear the names of her benefactors (Ndi) as her parents, and consequently in her naivete could not imagine that she could return to her biological parents again. Coupled with this deception she suffered both physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her aunt whom she was forced to call mother. Eventually having given the impression that she had settled down, her uncle let her take a trip back home with them for a short vacation. This was the opportunity she had been waiting for, and arriving Bambalang she refused to return with them to Batouri. Colette’s dream is to be able to go back to school despite her age, and to get an education that will enable her to get a job that can improve on the economic situation of her family and give assistance to her younger siblings, so that they never have live through what she suffered.


To ensure the opportunity will not continue to exist to enslave young girls, Nascent has been sensitizing and  raising  awareness in the Bambalang area  by :
  • conducting one on one consultations
  • distributing flyers
  • airing a radio talk show on TIP,its affects and methods of curving it,
  • conducting workshops with 22 community leaders and vigilante groups

Currently, Nascent has placed Collette in a vocational College to obtain basic computer skills. Will you help Nascent keep Collette and others in school. 


Attachments:
Mama Helen Pecheye
Mama Helen Pecheye

Prisca, the teenage daughter of Pecheye Helen, was taken away form her widowed mother by her stepbrother who happens to be a gendarme officer residing in Bamenda. He promised her a sound education in exchange for her assistance with house chores.  Helen saw in this an excellent opportunity for her daughter who was then in primary school, and gladly let her go. However after six years of toil in her step brother’s house and not a single day of school, Prisca finally fled, and with the assistance of benevolent passengers she met at the motor-park, was able to find her way back home. Her mother was greatly disappointed that Prisca had returned not only empty-handed, but had to go back to primary school at a very advanced age. Mockery from her classmates and village whispers about why she had fled from town embittered Prisca, and she became defiant and way ward, resulting in a teenage pregnancy and the termination of any hopes of a formal education. Helen believes that her stepson should be held responsible for the wreck that her daughter has become, but can hardly imagine how she can go about it.  Nascent Solutions through project SHIELD is assisting Prisca to get justice for her daughter, many more exploiters would give a second thought before taking advantage especially of poor relatives.

 PROJECT SHIELD

The International Day of the African Child

The SHIELD program represents Nascent Solutions at the celebration of the International Day of the African Child in Bui Division.

THE CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD

 

This was celebrated on the 16th June 2011 in the Youths and Sports affairs hall in Tobin Kumbo. The occasion was launched by the D O central of Kumbo and various delegates, civil and traditional authorities, religious leaders and NGOs were present. About 200 children from different parts of Kumbo were in attendance. Some of the children could not attend the celebration due to distance and lack of means of transport. The program will develop a strategy that will allow more students to participate in the future.

 

 

 

The delegate of social affairs spoke about the Theme of the year, "ALL TOGETHER FOR URGENT ACTIONS IN FAVOUR OF STREET CHILDREN. A detailed account of the Historical perspective of the day was presented, stating that in 1976, many black South African were murdered in cold blood, famously known as the Soweto Massacre. These children were merely protesting to be offered educational facilities, thus highlighting the importance of education. Further, the context and the justification of the theme, definition of street children, the contributing factors that are mainly social, economic and political,incidence, the classification, the effects on the child, society and state, the measures that can be taken to curb the phenomenon and prevention management were also presented . In conclusion, the program is appreciative of all the stakeholders for their various contributions and willingness to collaborate with the civil authority in protecting the children.

The last session was the distribution of gifts to all the children who participated. The Nascent Solutions project SHIELD team took part in distributing gifts of t-shirts and writing materials among other things to the children, donated by Nascent Solutions Cameroon.

 

A day before the International Day of the African Child, the team conducted a live radio discussion on the theme "ALL TOGETHER FOR URGENT ACTIONS IN FAVOUR OF STREET CHILDREN". This opportunity was used to talk to the population about child trafficking, TIP and project SHIELD. We received a good amount of feedback from the listening audience. Many people expressed their appreciation and welcomed for the program.Through this program many vulnerable persons will be saved and development in the rural communities will be enhanced.

 

Advocacy

 

To enhance good collaboration and network with the target communities and the beneficiaries, the program team developed materials which they shared with the stakeholders including Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) of Kumbo, the state counsel kumbo, the assistant state counsel kumbo, the delegate of Social Affairs, the chalice programme coordinator and the Delegate of women empowerment and family Kumbo.

The team also visited BONGABAA Women’s group in Tobin, this is a young group of 25 women, who meet every Sunday for small contributions, their main objective is to educate their children and keep them off the streets. The group has very young and enthusiastic women who are willing to work with the SHIELD in the fight against TIP. The Team talked about the meaning of trafficking in persons, child trafficking and the implications and sanctions. The women desire to alleviate poverty through micro finance projects where they could do petty trade and support their family; they observed that poverty and ignorance are two root causes of TIP. They indicated that if they can get a loan of about 500,000cfa ($1077 us) or so they can be able to do a lot to support their children. As a team we observed that if these women can be empowered financially they can achieve a lot. The team felt that as time goes and as the project progresses some of the women can be used for the training of anti trafficking field animators. The team was delighted with their openness and warm welcome and sharing and looks forward to working with the women of Tobin in the future. Brochures were given to the women as a way of ongoing education to their neighbours.

 

  

 

The women of the target communities have realized that there are many children who have left their interior villages like Oku as a result of deaths of both parents and are seeking refuge with some of the women’s families. This has made their lives very difficult and if these women are not empowered these same children will be potential victims of TIP.

Program has identified both boys and girls from villages like Mbiame, Jakiri, Ngarum, Ndu who have either returned from places like Nigeria, Yaoundé and have nothing doing or some who were on their way and were rescued by good Samaritans. The challenge at hand is that some of the children would like to learn a trade or go to school but at the moment the program is not able to support.

Program team organized a sensitization session with the Catholic Women’s Association (CWA) group of 50 women from Mbiame. One of their major problems is lack of financial support to send their children to school. The women claimed that their children are taken advantage of and taken to unknown places because of poverty. The women made an appeal that if they could get a loan of about 500,00cfa they can carry on activities like farming, petty trade, etc., in order to support their children and send them to school. Mbiame is a source and a transit area for trafficking. The team strongly felt that these women need a lot of empowerment through education and financial support.

Advocacy has also been done to the Brigade commander in Ndu, The Divisional Officer (DO) Ndu Sub Division, the Fon of Ndu, the commissioner of Police Ndu, the Mayor Ndu and various delegates, traditional authorities and church leaders. This will continue to Nkambe and Sambongari Nwa Sub division. These are areas that are affected as they are source and exit routes to Nigeria.

 

CONCLUSION

 Even at this preliminary stage of implementation, the program is burdened by the conviction of the validity and urgency of the need of this effort, seeing the phenomenon of TIP as challenging in our society and local communities today as the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The program seeks Partners whose contributions in resources will enable equip us to effectively fight against TIP, and bring hope to many whose voice can only be found in us.

 

 During the next session, the Shield team presented definition of child trafficking, causes and consequences of child trafficking, the challenges and the Law no 2005/ 015 OF 29TH DECEMBER 2005 relating to the fight against child trafficking in Cameroon and its limitations.The children had prepared sketches, songs and dances all based on the theme of the year and child trafficking

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Organization

Project Leader

Beatrice Wamey

Alexandria , Virginia United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Combat Child Human Trafficking  in Cameroon