2016 Training of Peace Volunteers

The Civil Peace Service (CPS) Unit of COMINSUD hosted 26 volunteers from five different communities of Mezam Division for a training workshop on “Peace Work and Conflict Analysis”.
First part in this training was clarify and define key words that are very often used but not well reflected on like peace, violence, and conflict.
Angwafo Peter suppored the trainng as a ressource person, presenting the Mankon peace approach

Angwafo Peter from the Mankon Palace supported the trainng as a resource person, presenting the Mankon peace approach

Second part was to analyze conflict examples within the participants communities. Therefore we used tools like the conflict history and actors mapping, the onion model, and the ABC triangle. Based on this analysis participants could see the angles from which a conflict could be tackled.
Looking for entry point for the conflict between graziers and farmers in Wum

Looking for entry point for the conflict between graziers and farmers in Wum

 Most of the conflicts we have in the North West Region are about boundaries and natural resources. Since some participants came from two communites in conflict the workshop was also a good opportunity to see, how your neighbours look at the same issue.

Discussion with trainees from Bambalang

Maja discussing with trainees from Bambalang

At the end of the training, certificates were awarded to our new Peace Volunteers and we are looking forward to see their achievements in the next months.

Participant with facilitators Maja Mueller, Ambe Bruno and Fon Nsoh

Participant with facilitators Maja Mueller, Ambe Bruno and Fon Nsoh

 written by Bii Della and Maja Mueller

Official close of the hand washing campaign

Over 2000 school children have participated at the official close of a week long campaign to promote hand washing in schools across Bamenda.

Three Weeks ago COMINSUD in collaboration with the regional delegation of water and Energy for the North West Region launched a sensitization campaign to promote the habit of hand washing in schools.This campaign officially ended on Friday the 14th of October 2016 during the commemoration of global hand washing day with soap in the North West region of Cameroon.

During the campaign period,COMINSUD reached out to 19 schools,approximately 4000 school children and 36 teachers with information on the importance of Hand Washing with soap.The campaign period was also used to assess facilities available in schools to promote the habit of Hand Washing and together with school children develop possible solutions where necessary.

At the end of the handwashing campaign, a global handwashing day event was organised by COMINSUD and the delegation of water and energy for the North West, and celebrated in Government high school Bamendakwe.This event which was presided at by the Regional Delegate of water and energy for the North west region brought together over 200 school children from 5 participating schools from around Bamenda 1,2 and 3 subdivisions.The event was articulated by sketches,poems and quizzes which focused on the theme of the event “make hand washing a habit”

Representatives from the regional delegation of health present at the ceremony,also staged demonstrations of proper hand washing with soap alongside students and pupils from participating schools.At the end of the ceremony,participating schools,winners of the quiz and poetry competition were awarded prizes which will also facilitate the process of hand washing with soap and clean water.

International day for disaster reduction

41 key stakeholders including:members of the Regional Committee on Risk management, Municipal Council Officials, Administrators, Media practitioners and  Civil Society activist who hold responsibility in civil protection and disaster management in the North West Region, have participated in a one day Reflection Workshop on Peace and Disaster Reduction in Mezam Division.
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Cross section of some participants

The workshop which took place at the Presbyterian Church Centre, Bamenda on Thursday 13th of October 2016 was organised by the North West Regional Committee on Risk Management in collaboration with Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD), and was presided at, by the Secretary General at the North West Governor’s Office and Focal Point for the North West Region in the National Observatory on risk Management.

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Secretary General at the Governors office and Coordinator of COMINSUD At the workshop

The Coordinator of COMINSUD- Mr.Fon Nsoh in His opening statement situated the theme of the workshop within the Civil Peace Service Initiative (CPS) wherein the culture of peace is perceived as a vital pre-requisite for human and community development in the North West Region and makes a link between reducing Inter tribal Conflict sand related disasters to promoting a Culture of Peace. The address also dwelled on the lack of sensitivity to disaster by many Councils and the need for creating a system of respond.
In situating the state of Disasters, Civil Protection and Disaster Management in the North West Region alongside the Roles and Functioning of the Regional Disaster Risk Management System,the Secretary General at the North West Governors office in his keynote address stressed on the need to reflect on disaster Reduction while encouraging municipal Councillors and mayors present to establish  Municipal Alert System.
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M.Ambe Bruno-workshop facilitator,presents different forms of disaster

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The workshop was articulated around panel discussions, presentations and exchanges of
experiences on; the state of Disasters, Civil Protection and Disaster Management in the North West Region,the Roles and Functioning of the Regional Disaster Risk Management System and its link with other actors, The role of actors (Red Cross, Army Rescue Unit, GIS) in disaster management,Recommendations and the Elaboration of a model Prototype of a Municipal Disaster Alert

At the end of he workshop the representatives from the North West Governor’s Office resolved to send out circulars to all councils instructing them to create functional Disaster Management Units at the Councils meanwhile mayors and representatives of councils in attendance made decisions to take responsibility for the creation of framework conditions that will bring villages/communities with intertribal conflicts to settle their differences in order to avoid disasters from violent conflicts.

 By Ngobesing Linda

COMINSUD welcomes her staff after one year fellowship program.

On Friday 23rd of September 2016, current Staff and Volunteers of COMINSUD organised a social event to welcome home her staff-Ngobesing Neh,who spent the last year from July 2015 to August 2016 as a volunteer under the weltwärts fellowship program organised by the Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). During this year,she was based at the head office of Brot-fur-die-Welt protestant development service located in Berlin-Germany.

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Prior to the social event The Coordinator on Behalf of the staff expressed delight and satisfaction to welcome Linda Back to the organisation.He used the opportunity to encourage interns and volunteers to make the most of the platform which COMINSUD as a human development center offers to young people to explore their full potential.

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In her own words,Linda expressed delight to be back and thankfulness for opportunities which she has had to improve her potential.

“I feel delighted to be back to an amazing team,who wouldn’t be?.Of course it was interesting to be away for one year experiencing another culture and society but also it feels good coming back to a results oriented, focused team of young professionals who are passionate about their work and do it well. Working at brot-fur-die-welt protestant development service equipped me with incredible knowledge and tools and exposed me to the next level of development service.I hope to continue to share,learn,grow and above all to serve the communities with even more passion.

 

Kick off campaign of hand washing in schools

At least 30.000 persons are expected to benefit from a two week sensitization campaign organised to promote the habit of hand washing.

The campaign which is organised by COMINSUD in collaboration with the Regional delegation of water and energy for the North west-MINEE kicked off today at Government Nursery School Mbingfibeh Mankon, reaching out to 256 pupils and 4 teachers.

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During the sensitization session pupils and teachers were equipped with knowledge on the importance of hand Washing with soap and steps to wash hands properly as an affordable means of preventing diseases.

At the end of the session the pupils participated in practical demonstrations to prove their understanding of the steps for proper hand washing with soap.The pupils where delighted to participate in the exercise and expressed need to have hand washing facilities in their schools to promote the habit of Hand washing.As their own step to promote the habit of hand washing,some of them proposed to bring a bottle of water and soap to school daily while others promised to channel request for hand washing facilities from their parents,through their headteacher.

The Campaign is organised as part of activities to commemorate Global Hand Washing day on the 15th of October 2016,and will be carried out in schools around the Bamenda I,II and III council areas and via social and traditional media.

By Ngobesing Linda

Training on Communication and Mediation in conflicts

In June all the Peace Volunteers (PVs) that COMINSUD trained in 2015 were invited again for a 3-days exchange and training workshop.

Participants and facilitators of the training

Participants and facilitators of the training

What has been done during the past 12 months? What were the challenges and where did the PVs succeed very well? Those were some of the key questions during day one. Apart from phone calls to our office we could now hear all the stories at a great length.

For example in one village the PVs have opened a tomato farm. At the first sight that looks far from peace work, but in this farm previous enemies and sceptics are now united and continuous sensitization inside this group in ongoing.
In another village three PVs have trained more than 20 other local PVs for the different quarters of their area.
Apart from this, our PVs were involved in conflict resolution from household level up to inter-village level, as we can see in the Oku-Mbessa-Story.

To increase the capacities of the PVs they were given an insight into mediation. In group works or pairs they could learn techniques like “active listening” and the use of “grounding questions”. They were introduced to Schulz von Thun’s model of the “four sides of a message”, to the importance of body language and the phases of the mediation process.

Practicing emphatic listening and paraphrasing as a prerequisite for mediation

Practicing emphatic listening and paraphrasing as a prerequisite for mediation

Three participants practicing mediation with all the tools they have learned before.

Three participants practicing mediation with all the tools they have learned before.

The most exiting part was the practising of mediation, no matter whether in the role of one conflicting party or mediator or as observer with certain tasks – all were appreciating the role play very much and stated that they have learned a lot.

Participants in the "World Café" discussing implementation of training content

Participants in the “World Café” discussing implementation of training content

Presenting and discussing ideas from the "World Café"

Presenting and discussing ideas from the “World Café”

Prize awarding ceremony in Ecokids project

 

The Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC) 2015/16, a competition within the Ecokids project, is over. After big efforts in greening their schools, improving on hygiene and sanitation as well as access to potable water and better waste management the evaluation team went round all the 27 schools.

The evaluation took place based on a ranking system that has been developed together with all the stakeholders and participating schools. In each school development of the four areas of the campaign (school greening, waste management, WASH, access to potable water) was assessed e.g number of trees, length of hedges, cleanliness of toilets, availability of hand washing facilities, toilet tissue, drinking water, number of dust bins etc.

Among the 18 participating primary schools these were the prize winners:
1. Presbytarian School Mendankwe
2. Government School Alankie
3. Government School Alamandum

Among the nine secondary schools two prizes were awarded:
1. Government Technical High School Alabukam
2. Baptist High School Mankon

In addition encouragement prizes were given to:

    • Full Gospel High School Nkwen for efforts in providing drinking water
    • Government Technical High School Chomba for good example of tree planting
    • Cameroon Baptist Convention School Musang for good practise in providing drinking water in class rooms
    • Presbytarian School Ntamulung for good practise in hygiene and sanitation
    • Government Primary School Bamenda Group II for good practise in erosion control
    • Government Primary School Nibung for good practise in waste separation

Prizes were given in the form of material, depending on the needs of the school (e.g. cutlasses, buckets, dust bins, spates, hoes) worth 50,000 frs (first prizes), 35,000 frs (2nd prizes), 25,000 frs (3rd prize). The encouragment prizes had a value of 15,000 frs each.

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Financial assistance was provided to three schools because of extremely poor toilet facilities (20,000 frs each) and we are keen to see the improvement in the next academic year.

The host of the ceremony was BHS Mankon, that also offered a nice excursion through their premises, especially with regards to the environmentally-related activities.

In the school farm of BHS Mankon

In the school farm of BHS Mankon

Excursion round BHS Mankon

Excursion round BHS Mankon

The SSEC will be repeated in 2016/17 and we hope to have much more schools joining it for the betterness of our educational environment. The Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC), a competition within the Ecokids project is over. After big efforts in greening their School, improving on hygiene and sanitation as well as access to potable water