On the occasion of Global Women's Week, the Tchadian Blue Cross launched a conference to raise awareness on rights and peacebuilding at a college in Ardepdjoumal. In this way, the Chadian Blue Cross hopes to help raise awareness and initiate concrete actions for gender equality and peace.
The conference was facilitated by a gender expert who addressed the theme of the year "Women, Peace, Justice and Reconciliation for an Egalitarian Chad". After the conference, there was an interactive exchange with the participants who were able to ask questions and share their experiences on gender equality and peace.
The event emphasised the promotion of women's rights and empowerment, which is essential for building a more peaceful society. The initiative aims to sensitise young people on gender equality and the promotion of peace for women by highlighting the challenges women face in their daily lives. Global Women’s Week is a celebration about women and an important reminder that we can find ways to leave no one behind! It’s all about celebrating equality and the uniqueness of everyone.
Thank you so much for helping to build a world where all people have equal rights and a voice that is heard. Thanks to your donation, we can continue this indispensable work!
In Chad, the Life-Skills project uses an innovative approach that targets the motorcycle taxi drivers. These are “out-of-school” youth, often categorised as a ‘hard-to-reach’ group with complex needs including substance abuse. Through outreach amongst the youth, the facilitators motivate taxi drivers to reflect on their life skills and spread awareness concerning addiction issues. It is observed that many motorcycle taxi drivers have a strong motivation to make changes in their life, they want to understand the risks of substance abuse and driving. Young motorcycle taxi drivers see the benefit of the sessions and are able to apply newly acquired life skills in order to make responsible choices.
Young people develop lower-risk behaviour through the Life-Skills sessions they attend at various locations in Chad. Training sessions for motorcyclists are always organized to raise their awareness of addiction issues. By the end of last year, the Chadian Blue Cross organized some information sessions at its headquarters in Chagoua with all the managers, leaders and members of the different motorcycle cab sites.
A 33-year-old woman tells us her story: “I am the mototaxi driver of the site Don-bosco. The activities carried out by the Chadian Blue Cross at my site Don-bosco have enabled me to act responsibly and avoid certain risky behaviours. Thanks to the activities of the Chadian Blue Cross, I have stopped smoking and drinking alcohol, which I never thought possible. I understand today that it is possible to get rid of alcohol and tobacco if you personally decide to do so. Now I can save enough money and have become the owner of three motorcycle. I can even support my family financially!"
Thanks to your donation, we can continue this important work and support people in need. Many thanks for everything you give!
On a global level, the war in Ukraine has had many consequences and Chad is no exception. In Chad, this has led, among other things, to an increase in the price of bread, cereals and certain basic necessities. The scarcity of diesel on the market leading to higher prices at the pump and untimely power cuts. For young people this also means increased cost of living and study fees. Youth are very actively engaged with life skills sessions and after school activities as they see the benefit of seeking solutions in challenging circumstances.
One of the life skills participans said: "I ask that the establishments in the south of the capital which do not have life skills sessions could have it, because the animations allow young people to discuss different subjects that they cannot discuss with their families." (CN, 2022)
Life Skills sessions in the classrooms took place from January to June 2022. For this 1st half of the year 2022, three hundred and seventy-six (376) lifeskills sessions carried out out of 432 planned in 51 classes . Two thousand seven hundred and ninety (2790) participated out of the 2500 targeted. Among these participants, there are 1,568 boys, 1,006 girls and 216 teenagers, including 138 boys and 78 girls under the age of 15 . Fifty-one (51) classes from the twenty (20) beneficiary high schools participate in the program. Each of four facilitators, including two men and two women, intervenes in 12 to 13 classes spread over 5 high schools each at the rate of at least two sessions per class per month.
Seven themes were discussed during the period. The first focused on alcohol (Remaining critical in the face of advertising). The second on the modes of transmission of HIV / AIDS (Are you threatened?), the third on gender and gender-based violence with various headings (Discrimination and gender-based violence; Masculinity: clarification of values; Discrimination in marriage and interreligious relations The fourth on young people and drugs Fifth theme on young people and tobacco , the sixth topic on the Reproductive Health of adolescents and young people, early pregnancies, how to avoid them. Finally, the seventh focused on corruption in schools. All these themes look at the current sociatal circumstances and how the inflation and insecurity effect on peoples health behaviour.
Life skills session participant Ms Nessang says "My motivation is to see young people have a healthy and alcohol-free behavior in order to limit violence in schools or young people around me because in my neighborhood young people indulge a lot in the consumption of alcohol and cases violence become more recurrent. "
Youth in Chad need this support and we are most thankful for your contributions. We hope you can support us further so we can make Ms C.N's dream of additional life skills sessions to come true.
Conflict Sensitive Programme Management (CSPM) allows organisations to work in contexts of conflict, minimize negative and maximize positive impacts. Since Chad is a country with different religions, religion can be a potential dividor. Blue Cross Chad as a Christian value-based organziation must therefore always refelct if it maximizes positive impacts and avoids negative impacts. Blue Cross Chad strives for integration, non-discrimination and a peaceful society which is fostered through interreligious dialogue.
But how do we promote interreligious dialogue? Blue Cross Chad includes the topic of religions in their Life Skills sessions and peer educator camps. Main aim is to break stereotypes against the other religion and how to enhance contacts and friendships between youths of different religions. Another key factor is to make sure that muslims and christians benefit mutually from the Life Skills Sessions. For this reason, we have hired an additional Arabic speaking Life Skills animator to be more present in Arabic speaking public schools in Muslim neghbourhoods of N'Djamena.
Mahamat is a 20-year old peer educator from Chad whose mindset about youths from the other religion got transformed by the Life Skills Sessions: “I joined the Life Skills Club at my school in the 10th grade. I took part in many activities of Blue Cross Chad. When I look back, all these activities contributed to change the way I interact with my colleagues and friends at school and in the neighbourhood.
Before, I had only Muslim friends because this is the way we were raised. Our fathers used to tell us that we should not eat with Christians, that it was Haram (unlawful/forbidden). It made me avoid the Christian community and increase my negative perspective of them.
When I joined the Life Skills Club, I learned a set of new skills which broadened my perspective. Today, I am very happy and thanks to BC Chad, I have learned peaceful coexistence and I have new friends from other schools, Christians and Muslims.”
If you want to support us in building a more peaceful, just and inclusive society in Chad you can support us by donating to our project. We warmly welcome everything you give to invest in friendships between different religions and foster interreligious dialogue among youths.
"Men, women, boys and girls, let's mobilize to say no to gender-based violence in all its forms. No to female genital mutilation. No to early and forced marriage. No to sexual harassment. No to female exclusion. No to rape in general, rape of minors, and marital rape. No to domestic violence. No to physical, psychological, institutional and economic violence. No to harmful traditional practices. Yes to gender equality. Yes to gender equity. Yes to the empowerment of women and girls, who constitute an important demographic dividend for sustainable development" (Blue Cross Chad).
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campagin, that takes place between November, 25th and December 10th. It first started 1991 at the inaugural Women's Global Leadership Institute. Ever since organziations and individuals all over the world organize different events to call for the prevention and the elimination of violence against women and girls each year. Over 6000 organizations in about 187 countries have participated in the Campaign since 1991, with a reach of 300 million people (UN Women, 2021). The theme of this year was: "Orange the world: End violence against women now!". The color orange is a symbol for a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls and is used as unifying theme running through all global acitvities of the campaign.
Gender based violence is one of the core themes of the Life Skills programm. We think that it is really important to sensitize people about this topic and raise awareness all over Chad. Blue Cross Chad took part in the campaign together with other organizations and the Chadian government. They organized several activities about gender based violence and one large mobilization on december, 10th at the Don Bosco youth center.
Chris Small is an upcoming artist, who also works as a Peer Educator and an editor for the journal "Echos" from Blue Cross Chad. In his egangement against gender based violence, he wrote the following poem:
What if we stop raping them and respect their dignity
What if we stop beating them like tom-toms but instead protect them from all dangers
What if we give them more love than contempt
And if we stop ridiculing them but rather encourage them to go to school
What if you and I fight for them to have the same rights as us
And if we treat them like queens and not like slaves
They are human, they are not robots
They hurt like we hurt
Let all these crimes against women stop
If you want to support Blue Cross Chad in their fight against sexual gender based violence, you can support us by donating. Thank you so much for everything you give!
Source: UN Women, https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/2021-11/UNiTE-campaign-2021-concept-note-en.pdf
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