COMINSUD at the Employment and Career Discovery Week

The National Employment Fund invited young workers, graduates and volunteers to the Employment and Career Discovery Week from 8th to 10th of February 2016. Enterprises and Job opportunities were presented, representatives from enterprises and organizations talked about the changing requirements on applicants and desired skills and qualifications.

COMINSUD was invited to introduce its application procedure and present a general overview about good quality application documents. We also used the opportunity to talk about our own experience with job seekers and the failures and traps that can happen during the application process.

The young people had many questions after our presentation:

“What answer can I give if I am asked to explain the reason for leaving the previous job?” or “What shall I do, if the work description does not fit the work I am actually doing?”

Some answers were given by other participants  and Mr. Fon Nsoh (COMINSUD) could also enlighten people about the perspective and needs of an employer.

Fon Nsoh: "In your cv - be very clear and honest: use only words that have the same meaning for the writer and the reader."

Fon Nsoh: “In your cv – be very clear and honest: use only words that have the same meaning for the writer and the reader.”

Youth day discussion panel

“Youth citizenship and the fight against insecurity for the Advent of an Emerging Cameroon” is the theme for the celebration of the 50thedition of the National Youth Day (11th of February) in Cameroon.

In view of this years celebration, COMINSUD commemorated this day through a panel discussion with youths. 32 youths (students from higher institutions, university graduates, employees and job seekers) identified the forms of insecurity which they face with job, social, health, political, economic, and environmental insecurities.

Brian Shuazieh (COMINSUD) empowers youth with his experience as a youth

Brian Shuazieh (COMINSUD) empowers youth with his experience as a youth

Brainstorming group proposing some measures to curb insecurity

Brainstorming group proposing some measures to curb insecurity

The participants exchanged ideas on how to fight the various forms of insecurity to first attain self sustainability and promote the emergence of the nation. With a strong determination for a change, these youths took pledges to create impact in their communities by taking actions and not talking only. They made pledges of being good future leaders by going entrepreneurial to create more jobs, attain self sustainability and enable the country to emerge.

Group picture at the end of the day

Group picture at the end of the day

Mechanized Farming- a step into Second Generation Agriculture for Smallholder Farmers

Farming in the North West Region is still one of hard human work and use of crude tools.

It is in this light that COMINSUD has taken a move to look into the situation for smallholder farmers in the Bamenda II Sub division through the enhancing of agricultural mechanization.

In a meeting which held on the 22nd of January, 2016 at COMINSUD hall, a number of 26 smallholder farmers were brought together to discuss strategies to enhance “second generation agriculture“.

Mr. Fon Nsoh, Coordinator of COMINSUD in his presentation, stressed on the need to modernize Cameroon’s agriculture so as to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers:

The use of advanced farming techniques and machinery to encourage the growth of second generation agriculture is very necessary. However, smallholder farmers must first of all organize themselves so as to take advantage of these modern farming inputs and enhance second generation agriculture.

Mr. Kombuwo Michael, Sub-Divisional Delegate of Agriculture for Bamenda II giving an expression of appreciation to COMINSUD for the meeting

Mr. Kombuwo Michael, Sub-Divisional Delegate of Agriculture for Bamenda II giving an expression of appreciation to COMINSUD for the meeting

Looking at Agricultural mechanization out of Cameroon, Maja Mueller of COMINSUD gave participants a full insight on mechanized farming in Germany. It is worth noting from her presentation that growth of mechanization of agriculture from the 1950s till date have involved structural changes, dramatic performance and yield increase, lower prices but a higher income.

In the words of a participant: “If Germany could get there, then we (Cameroon) can get there!”

Mr. Kombuwo Michael, Sub-Divisional Delegate of Agriculture for Bamenda II giving an expression of appreciation to COMINSUD for the meeting

Maja presenting the types of agricultural machines used in Germany presently

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Mr. Angwafor sharing on the type, specifications and use of the available tractor

Likewise, the excitement of the participants mounted upon the presentation of Mr. Tse Angwafor on the availability of a privately owned tractor at the service of the community in the Bamenda II Sub-division.

Given the comparison presentation between the use of human labour and a tractor, it was glaring that using a tractor is better in terms of performance and output.

Taking the case of some key elements of a one hectare maize farm (estimate):

.  Human Labour  . .  Tractor’s Labour  .
.  ploughing (time) 470 hours 2 hours
.  ploughing (cost) 240,000 frs 25,000 frs
.  yield (quantitiy)  . 1500 kg 2400 kg
.  yield (amount) 225,000 frs 360,000 frs

Conclusively, it was an interesting interactive meeting which served as an eye opener for farmers to shift away from their current traditional farming practices to mechanized farming come the next farming season- this February!!

Capacity Development for the implementation of Human Rights

COMINSUD’s Ambe Michel Bruno C. attended a capacity building workshop in the Human Rights and Governance sectors on Planning, Monitoring and Denunciation within the framework of COMINSUD’s position as the North West Regional Coordinator of RECODH.

This workshop, which took place from 19th to 22nd January 2016 in Mbalmayo, was the first national concertation activity geared towards ushering in a new partnership between RECODH and AGEH within the framework of the 3 year project titled: “Capacity Development with RECODH and its Member Organisations for better Accompanying the Populations in enjoying their Rights”. This project is part and parcel of the Civil Peace Service by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

COMINSUD joined 15 other participants (Regional Coordinators and the National Coordination) for the training that enabled the network and their organizations to better participate in the development of the 2016 Action Plan of RECODH at the National, Regional and Divisional levels. Participants were drilled and introduced to the planning tool “ROMA” (Result Oriented Management).

Group Work Exercise on Development of 2016 Action  Plans

Group Work Exercise on Development of 2016 Action Plans

This workshop and AGEH’s support will enable COMINSUD as the Regional Coordinator to effectively link and collaborate with other Civil Society Organizations involved in the protection and defense of human rights in the North West Region (NWR). Through this partnership, RECODH and COMINSUD will be accompanied to engage more effectively in constructive dialogues and influencing decision-making and practices related to human rights issues, and to engage with policy makers at the local level to improve the general environment for the local population in enjoying their rights.

Speaking shortly after the workshop, the Regional Coordinator for the Far North Region, Markeziah Ezechial, said that the training workshop was an important milestone in his work in Human Rights protection and defense and thanked AGEH for the opportunity.

On his part, the representative of COMINSUD said,

“The workshop has helped me; to get a better understanding of the tools and approaches used for monitoring of the implementation of fundamental human rights instruments at the local level; and to get the techniques used for systematic planning and evaluation. Now I am ready to infuse these newly acquired skills into our human rights work at COMINSUD”.

From February 1st, 2016, COMINSUD will join other regional focal points in putting in place the Divisional Focal Points of RECODH, paving way for what is considered will be a progressive and enriching step for the implantation of the network in the 34 councils in NWR.

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) presenting rights issues for the  North West

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) presenting rights issues for the North West

Contribution to the 5th Report to the UN’s Committee Against Torture

…funding by the state to the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom (NCHRF) is in figures and not in substance …

This was part of some of the challenges expressed by the Chairperson of the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedoms, Cameroon while facilitating the Day of Consultation with CSOs on the Elaboration of Cameroon’s 5th Periodic Report to the UN’s Committee Against Torture.

COMINSUD selected from the North West Region (NWR) joined 40 other participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the NCHRF from the 10 regions on January 12th 2016 in Yaounde to

  1. be informed on what the State intends to present to the UN Committee Against Torture within her 5th Periodic Report on all the new measures taken since 2010 to safeguard against torture;
  2. alongside enrich the quality and pertinence of the report to reflect practical field realities of the state of torture in Cameroon since 2010.

This consultation was organised on the heels of the fact that Cameroon had ratified in December 1986 the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishmen.

Torture basically means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person irrespective of the purpose (e.g. punishment, seeking information, discrimination. investigation etc.).

Ratifying this convention and its optional protocol requires Cameroon to submit periodic reports to the UN Committee Against Torture, after every 4 years, with the last report submitted in 2010.

CSOs in working groups had the opportunity to examine the 50-page draft of this 5th periodic report prepared by MINJUSTICE wherein they acknowledged the huge strides made by the state since 2010 in diverse domains such as sanctions against Forces of law and order who inflict torture on detainees and other persons and awareness raising efforts in curbing violence against women.

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) contributing in the working group on  Women's Rights

Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) contributing in the working group on Women’s Rights

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Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) contributing in the working group on Rights of Detainees

CSOs however decried inadequacies in the report following practical realities and examples with it lacking information on the reality of overcrowding prisons, difficulties of prisoners and detainees to have access to lawyers, doctors and even visits from family members alongside challenges which stymie the independence of the NCHRF.

With proposals made by the participants with the spirit of enriching the report, the fear still lingered on whether they will be accepted and corroborated in the report by the government in her submission to the UN Committee.

It was therefore unanimously agreed that an alternative report be prepared by the Civil Society and coordinated by the NCHRF pointing out with key verifiable examples some cases of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment happening in Cameroon, while proposing areas of improvement by the state.

Welcome in COMINSUD

We warmly welcome our four new volunteers. Ewokolo, Raissa, Terence and Derrick will stay with us for one year and support COMINSUD in the areas of agriculture, administration, public relations, project implementation and business development.

4-new-volunteers

COMINSUD in mourning

† 19.12.2015

† 19.12.2015

With great sadness we mourn the passing away of our friend and colleague Mrs Akwa Helendis.

She has worked for COMINSUD since January 2015 and was a big support in the administrative unit. She was also a true friend and adviser to her colleagues in the office. We really miss her.

May her soul rest in peace and may God grant the family the serenity to manage this distressed moment.