gender equality workshop
Jungle justice events are still happening in Cameroon. Only few days ago, in Kumba, the city where our NGO is located, a man was killed during a robbery by the thief. That morning GCI’s staff was heading to Bombe Bakundu community, for our weekly visit. In the van, all the passengers were shouting that the thief should have been killed as he killed the other man. If this mentality is so rooted in the cities, what can happen in rural villages, where nobody has never even heard about human rights and there isn’t any sort of public authority but the Traditional Council? A step out of this mentality is the goal that our NGO tries to achieve discussing and training the Traditional Council. Only when the Traditional Council will solve disputes in an impartial and effective way, it will become a serious and attractive alternative to jungle justice.
The Community Arbitration and Mediation (CAM) project has been advancing. The workshop series is arrived to an end. From the topic of participation, GCI’s staff moved to discuss in more detail the importance women’s empowerment, considering that Cameroonian women are often marginalized and devoted only to their domestic chores. In the Traditional Council only 4 members out of 25 are women and only 2 participate actively to Traditional Council’s sessions. The understanding that from a major involvement of women, a benefit will derive for the whole community, is the first step for encouraging a durable change. If men are aware of these advantages, they will be more willing to be supportive of their wives and daughters. And change is enduring only if it’s done by the all community. The next topic treated was “human rights”. Only being aware of what human rights are, is possible not to trample on someone else’s right and moving to a peaceful development of the society. This awareness is fundamental especially for persons that hold public offices, who are the principal actors for the protection and implementation of human rights. Finally, we moved to the last subject: mediation. Mediation is the principal task of the Traditional Council. Therefore, GCI’s staff wanted to emphasize the importance of a good mediation and its positive consequences on the development of the community, dedicating two sessions to this topic. Starting with a theoretical overview on the basic rules, GCI’s staff explained in depth the essential mediation technique and how these rules could impact on the work of the Traditional Council as well as on the relationships within the members of the community. But for these concepts not to remain abstract rules, theory must be complemented with practice. Therefore, GCI’s staff dedicated an entire session to mock cases, where the Traditional Council had to solve some cases, like debts and boundary ones, guided by GCI’s staff, putting into practice what they had learnt.
We concluded the workshop phase, but, even if the most intense part of our curriculum series is ended, the relationship between GCI and Bombe Bakundu Traditional Council will continue, for carrying the evaluation phase out. The first step of this new stage consisted in a test covering the topics treated during the workshops taken by all the participants. Then, GCI’s staff keeps maintaining a relationship with the Traditional Council, assisting to its session for monitoring the impact of the workshops during its daily activities. GCI’s staff assisted to one of the session and hearing terms like brainstorming and the relevance of the interest over the position could be already a first indicator that something has been changing in the Traditional Council of Bombe Bakundu.
We value very much the participation of our donors, therefore, we welcome any suggestion on possible topics for the workshops, on the strategies for the evaluation as well as any other possible concern.
icebreaker: good or bad mediation?
icebreaker on mediation
One of the Councilor taking the evaluation test