Claudia left school after her father died to help her mother provide for her two little brothers. She lives in Kumba, only a few streets away from Open Field’s main office on Kramma Ave. Every day, she goes to the market to sell produce with her mum.
“When I first came to Open Field, there were lots of things that I didn’t know about my rights as a young woman, and how I deserve to be treated,” she said.
Claudia, alongside sixty other young women, participated in training workshops and soccer competitions over the past several months as part of our inaugural Girls Leadership Initiative. All participants were either witnesses to or survivors of gender-based violence. Together, under the guidance of local women, the girls were trained to recognize and prevent gender-based violence and given a safe space to begin processing their own experiences alongside peers who shared and related to their trauma.
After completing the program, Claudia says her confidence has soared. “I now speak boldly as a woman. I’m not afraid to talk about my ideas, or my skills with football [soccer].”
Your investment in Open Field creates safe spaces for youth, especially girls, affected by violence and insecurity to THRIVE. You build confidence and skills within young people like Claudia to become positive influences on other children in their neighborhood, creating a ripple effect on the entire community.
“I have become friends with people from so many different backgrounds,” Claudia said. “Now, I am a leader among my peers. I encourage them to join Open Field and experience the same benefits that I have.”
Claudia is one of over two million children in Cameroon in need of humanitarian assistance. As the ongoing civil unrest spirals out of control, violence is increasing across the region with 48 percent of girls ages 15-17 experiencing physical or sexual violence.
Please consider a financial gift to Open Field this holiday season to support young women like Claudia whose lives will be forever changed by your contribution.