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!!

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.

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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.

Mayors in 5 Municipalities of the North West Region raised Voices for Peace and better education facilities

The Mayors of Bali, Belo, Ndop, Oku and Balikumbat hosted 5 Municipal Round Table Discussions that brought together councilors, educational, religious, traditional and civil society representatives. They should reflect on the relevance of the theme of the 2015 “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign” and take action for improvement on the ground. The theme “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All” is very relevant to these municipalities because over 10 communities within these municipalities had witnessed in the recent past some of the worse forms of violent inter tribal/ethnic conflicts that resulted in loss of human lives, destruction of home, livelihood systems, educational materials and facilities.

The North West Region comparatively and proportionately benefits least from the national budget and development initiatives, is amongst the four poorest regions of the Country. However, its strong self-reliant and community development spirit is the driving force for the level of development it enjoys. Unfortunately a long history of tribal and ethic conflicts erodes these achievements of their many years of struggles.

It is against this background and the opportunity offered by the 16 day of activism campaign that the Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) collaborating with the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bamenda archdiocese (members of the Cameroon Civil Peace Service Network) decided to focus on these 5 Municipalities where they have been working to promote a culture of peace.

An average of 25 persons in each municipality Roundtable, reflected based on the situation in the homes, schools, neighborhoods, villages and municipality on the following:

  • The challenges concerning violence and education
  • How the spaces for education look like
  • Ways in which conflicts and violence have affects young people and the educational situation
  • Can you make a contribution towards positive and sustainable peace?

The participants were provided with an opening paper prepared and presented by COMINSUD on the background and objectives of the Campaign, the context and forms of violence and how women and girls suffer. They also had information on the 2015 theme with global statistics on the effects of violence on education. COMINSUD also presented to them excepts of a rapid assessment carried out in December 2014 by UNICEF and the Ministry of Basic Education (MINEDUB) in 110 schools and 93 households in four Divisions (Diamare, Logone et Chari, Mayo Tsanaga and Maya Sava) most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Far North Region. All those information enabled the participants to better appreciate the importance of the 16 days campaign and do an introspection of their local context.

These events which were covered by five community Radio Stations achieved the following:

  • The participants gained plenty of insights on the 16 Days Campaign with particular focus on violence and its effect on women and girls and the need for a culture of peace and how to build it via the opening presentation and materials handed to them.
  • The participants gained deeper insights of the challenging and difficult educational setting in which their children learn via guided discussions and exchange of practical experiences and how this affects the education of girls. Simple, low cost and practical actions were discussed that could make the school environment safe for learning such as: providing potable water, green the school, constructing separate latrines for boys and girls, speaking out and sanctioning actions that violate children especially girls.
  • Participants recognized the lack of tolerance amongst communities in conflict and how inadequate use of non violent approaches to conflicts resolutions reliance on external solutions have brought several negative consequences on in their municipalities. They strongly resolved to strengthen local conflict and dispute resolution structures within the communities and to create Municipal Peace Committees and Peace Desks to deal with conflicts and emergencies.
  • Participants committed to widen actions within their spheres of influence to promote a culture of peace. In this respected, over 500 copies of packages designed to stimulate discussions where shared out to be distributed to religious leaders, schools and groups within each municipality

Using the packages and communicating the content amongst others, called on people to make a peace action such as:

  • Wearing the white ribbon during the 16-day period as a commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.
  • Use your skills, knowledge and influence to help the victims of violence and abuse.
  • Speak out against violence toward woman and children and encourage silent female and children victims to talk about abuse and ensure that they get help.
  • Encouraged men and boys to talk about abuse and discourage abusive and violent behavior.
  • Also try to understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate violence.
  • Use social media (telephone, facebook, email, whatsup etc) to exchange messages of peace and reconciliation.
  • Use religion worship service, cultural gathering etc to exchange messages of peace and reconciliation.
  • Promote mobilization and actions of individuals and communities to promote reconciliation or eradicate violence via exchange visits, peace talks, peace gestures etc.
Deputy Mayor of Bali Municipality with Peace Volunteers

Deputy Mayor of Bali Municipality with Peace Volunteers

Fon Nsoh (COMINSUD) introducing Peace Volunteers at the Municipal Roundtable in Bali

Fon Nsoh (COMINSUD) introducing Peace Volunteers at the Municipal Roundtable in Bali

Peace Volunteers at the Municipal Roundtable in Bali

Peace Volunteers at the Municipal Roundtable in Bali

Deputy Mayor Ngwe Mary Assumpta opening the Municipal Roundtable in Balikumbat

Deputy Mayor Ngwe Mary Assumpta opening the Municipal Roundtable in Balikumbat

Mr Fon Nsoh introducing the 16 days campaign and giving out the handouts prepared by COMINSUD in Balikumbat

Mr Fon Nsoh introducing the 16 days campaign and giving out the handouts prepared by COMINSUD in Balikumbat

Deputy Mayor Ngwe Mary Assumpta with the Peace Volunteers of Balikumbat

Deputy Mayor Ngwe Mary Assumpta with the Peace Volunteers of Balikumbat

Commemorating Human Rights Day

COMINSUD joined the rest of the world in commemorating the Human Rights Day on the theme “Our rights, our freedoms, always”. We joined the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom in an early morning walk to sensitize the population on the significance of the day. Later in the day, we did an exhibition of all what we have done in the domain of human rights.

Especially women were interested in knowing more about their reproductive rights. There are many cases where wives are forced to have as many children as possible and men refuse to do family planning. Women wanted to know how they can come to an agreement with their husbands without fighting over the number of children. One convincing argument they could use, is the financial implication but also the immense load on the wives who are the only caretakers of these children and beside they have to do all the farm work and household chores.

It was a interesting exchange which ended in documents and information sharing between participants.

Celebration of WORLD AIDS DAY 2015

Under this year’s theme “Getting to ZERO: ZERO New HIV Infections, ZERO Discrimination, ZERO AIDS Related Deaths” the day’s commemoration in Bamenda was one of Celebration. Celebrating the progression and advancement made over the decades in addressing HIV/AIDS. COMINSUD actively took part this day in promoting the “90-90-90 Target” through an exhibition and use of materials to sensitize the public on the importance to help end the AIDS epidemic.

That is by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

The Governor threw more light on enhancing infected persons’ adherence to treatment, stating clearly-collecting the antiretroviral treatment from the Health center is not enough but taking the treatment correctly, every day and on time.

Yes! We can do it and we must do it” was a strong concluding emphasis made by Dr. Tayong of the Regional Technical Group (RTG) for the Fight against HIV/AIDS, to commemorate the World AIDS Day which is not just for a day but for a season.