Workshop on the role of Local Governance Centers (LGCs)

DEW Project: In February and March a series of sensitization workshops will take place. Out of 25 Local Governance Centers (LGCs) there are some whose capacity still seems to be low. 15-02-27_02The first workshop took place on the 26./27.02.2015 in Santa. The members of the LGC Santa were informed on the origin of the DEW project and the role and responsiblities of an LGC. The revised “Local Governance Center Guide” (2015 edition) has been distributed amongst the LGC members. Furthermore an introduction to the LGC focus areas (promoting respect of Human Rights, promoting good governance practices, promoting the empowerment of women and girl children) was given by the facilitätors of COMINSUD. For all the topics case studies have been elaborated. The next step for the LGC Santa is now to develop their own action plan for 2015, and for COMINSUD to accompany closely these activities.

15-02-27

Participants of the LGC workshop in Santa

 

Youth and Enterprise Development Workshop

In view of rising youth unemployment and the increasing lack of labour demand, promoting youth entrepreneurship can be a valuable additional strategy to create jobs and improve livelihoods and economic independence of young people.

Therefor COMINSUD organized a 2-days workshop (25./26.02.15) to:

  • Strengthen youths’ capacity in entrepreneurial initiatives
  • Encourage self-reliance through self-employment initiatives
  • Enable youths to gain knowledge on support programs for enterprise development offered by some key government services

After the information from the various delegations the participants presented their own business ideas. All of them were quite interesting and inspiring e.g.

  • creating a multipurpose girls empowerment center
  • opening a fast food business serving natural juice, tea, coffee and less fatty sandwiches
  • selling locally made slippers and employ at least 2 more youths
  • provide authentic and scientifically effective standardized herbal products

We look forward to start future activities with these ambitious people!

15-02-25

We thank our financial supporters of the workshop: Ntarinkon Cooperative Credit Union Limited (NTACCUL), Bamenda I council.

We thank also for the technical assistance the Regional Delegations of Youth affairs and civic education NWR,  Youth employment and vocational training NWR, Small and medium enterprises, social economy and handicrafts NWR as well as the National Employment Fund (NEF) and the  Regional Delegation of trade NWR.

Presentation of position paper on land reforms

COMINSUD is member of the civil society working groupon the on-going land reform in Cameroon. This group was established as one of the organs of the “National Engagement Strategy on Land governance in Cameroon” (NES), and is made up of nine independent experts and representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), networks and platforms who have valuable experiences on land policy issues.

15-02-27The working group presented the “Position Paper on land reforms in Cameroon” on the 23./24.02.2015 in Yaounde to the Prime Ministers Office, to the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEP), to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), to the Ministry of Economy, Planning and regional Development and to the  Ministry of Land Tenure (MINCAF).

Introduction into the Civil Peace Service in the North West Region

Since 2014 COMINSUD is a new partner in the Civil Peace Service (CPS). CPS is a personnel service for peace and civil conflict transformation agreed between the German ministry of economic development and cooperation (BMZ) and civil society and churches in Germany.

To inform about this Programme a 2-days workshop took place from 19th – 20th February 2015 in COMINSUD’s office.

Participants, ressource persons and facilitators

Participants, ressource persons and facilitators

An important part of the workshop was an assessment of the conflict management situation in the North West Region. Over 30 hot conflict zones were reported already during the workshop. The participants presented their own approaches used so far to deal with the conlicts and were introduced to the context of peace building.

Discussing about the history of a smple conflict

Discussing about the history of a smple conflict

One of the participants is presenting the group work

One of the participants is presenting the group work

Ecokids: Handing over of environmental educational material

The mayor of Gorinchem council in The Netherlands, Mr Barske accompanied by two of his colleagues, Tom Hoogerwerf and Gerda Bosdriesz, visited four schools involved in the Eco-kids project to observe what these pupils and students have done so far.

While on the field, the mayor expressed his satisfaction about the Micro initiatives implemented by the schools with very little support.

gorinchem02

During the hand over ceremony at the COMINSUD office where they were warmly received by Mrs Chambi Julie; the board chair, the mayor explained the use of the educational materials he handed over which included four posters and wooden mango trees with their different contents.

The event was presided at by the Lord mayor for the Bamenda II council, Mrs Balik Awa Fidelis.

gorinchem01

16 days of Activism against gender based violence

The 16 days of activism against gender based violence is an international campaign that was started by the Centre for Women Global Leadership (CWGL) in 1991. The 16 Days runs from November 25, (International Day on No violence Against Women) December 10,(International Human Rights Day) to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16 day period also highlights other significant dates including December 1, which is World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre in 1989, when 14 women students were massacred by a lone gun-man opposed to the affirmative action policies promoted by feminism at the University of Montreal.
This campaign hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level.
This year’s theme is “Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women”
COMINSUD together with hercommunity based volunteers in 22 Local Governance Centres (LGCs) in the North West Region will focus on ending violence against women and girls through community education using round table discussions, street walks, drama and awareness raising over community radio stations. Orange ribbons, posters and banners will be used join the “ORANGE YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD CAMPAIGN” to fight violence against women
Since it began, the 16 Days of Activism has been used as an organizing strategy by women’s groups to call for the elimination of violence against women by raising awareness about gender based violence as a human rights issue at local, regional and international levels; strengthening local work around violence against women, demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against women and creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.

Combating emergent food and nutrition problems in the North West Region

Following the Food and Nutrition Survey carried out in the North West Region by COMINSUD, findings have been presented in a regional workshop in Bamenda with a cross section of stakeholders including District Medical Officers, Mayors, Delegates and heads of institutions in related works.

Findings were presented on Friday 26 September following the survey carried out by COMINSUD from the 21st July – 15th September 2014 sponsored by SNV. The study sought to understand the stakes and vulnerability factors of population groups with the aim of supporting policy making and development.

The survey was carried out in 10 councils where 30 villages were chosen and distributed in a proportional manner based on the population size of each Division. This activity reached out to 3067 persons in 510 households.

This task was carried out by 20 trained field staff with the expertise of Nutrition specialist and Data analysts. The Surveyors administered two sets of questionnaires to community households; Food security questionnaire which covered households in general and Nutrition questionnaire which covered children (5-59months) and women while taking weights, heights and arm circumference of mothers and children.

The survey used the SMART Methodology, a generic method that provides timely and reliable data in a standardized way for prioritizing human assistance for policy and program decisions.

Mr. Kacho Charles WASH Supervisor of SNV, elaborated on the fact that Nutrition security became a thematic issue consequently there was need for SNV to work on this to device strategies to combat emergent Food and Nutrition problems.

The presentation elaborated on the fact that Food insecurity is generally one of underlying causes of malnutrition or nutrition insecurity. Nutrition security is however a condition when all people at all times consume food of sufficient quantity and quality in terms of variety, diversity, nutrient content and safety to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life, coupled with a sanitary environment, adequate health and care (CFS 2012).

The survey recorded a prevalence rate of global acute malnutrition of 2.6% and 1.0% for severe acute malnutrition. Boys had a lower global acute malnutrition rate than girls by 1%, while severe acute malnutrition was highest in age group 30 – 41 months. A number of primary and secondary causes can account for the high food insecure and malnourished population ranging from poor food consumption patterns, outdated agricultural practices, low education levels, poor sanitation practices alongside distant and inadequately equipped health facilities.

17.6% of the households in the surveyed area face alarming situation of food insecurity. This contrast with the Comprehensive Food Security Vulnerability Analysis Report for Cameroon carried out in 2011 which reported only 0.7% of the population in the North West Region with poor food consumption and 5.5% in 2007.

The population could have a low level of household food production and less diversity, poor storage and conservation system and high poverty levels to access sufficient quantities of food items from other sources consequently leading to food insecurity.

Mr Matoya Cletus, North West Region Delegate of Commerce emphasised on rejuvenating mindsets of farmers to do things with long term vision citing the case of the Bamenda- Ekok high way leading to Nigeria where buyers come right into the farm to purchase farm produce.

Following presentation findings, a number of recommendations were put forward for action some of which were;

A broad multi-sector and integrated approach is implemented in the North West Region to improve food security and reduce the vulnerability of both rural and urban households.

An increase agricultural output targeting agriculturalists and develop vocational skills and capacities targeting labourers and vulnerable small holder farmers such as limited access to land

More research to find out methods used in food preparation which could influence the nutritional content and sensitization on food preparation methods to retain required nutrients

The need to educate adults especially in rural communities on disease prevention including treatment of drinking water through boiling as 89% of households reported not using any method of treatment on drinking water.

And on mother and child health, families should be educated on the importance of hospital deliveries that ensures specialised medical attention not leaving out Constitution of balance diet using locally available food stuffs.

It is worth noting that similar studies were also done in the East and Far North Regions and all three results will be presented in a National Workshop to be held in Yaounde this October.