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.
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.
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