During armed conflict, it is but a fact that GBV/G sky rocks the scale. Mostly affected are women and girls who are most often taken as sex slaves, forced into early marriage, forced to be bush wives, raped and possibly unwanted pregnancies because of such acts. Denial of resources and property characterizes the plight of women and girls during conflicts. Men, who are most often than not caught between being the perpetrators and victims of such acts, also have their own plight. Child soldiers, targeted killing of young men and boys is also a course for concern. The Anglophone crisis, which has bedeviled the North West and South West for the past three years, is no exception to this.
For a better preventive and response strategy, UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA), partnering with LUKMEF Cameroon, decided to take the bull this time by the horn by organizing a 2 days training of 35 community workers in the South West Region of Cameroon. These training which took place on April 23rd and 25th at Mariton Hotel in Buea had community workers from all over the 6 divisions that make up the region. These Community volunteers were drawn from partners who are actively implementing GBV programs in the field, which are closely working with community volunteers to deliver effective GBV prevention and response strategies. Participants came from; LUKMEF, INTERSOS, REACHOUT Cameroon, AMEF, CARITAS Mamfe and IRC.
The main objectives of this training were;
- Strengthen knowledge of community volunteers in GBV Core concepts and Guiding principles to support daily community activities in the field as such increase their understanding of GBV in emergencies;
- Understand the basic principles of psychol-social first aid to appropriately counsel, refer and arrange follow-up for GBV survivors;
- Strengthen community volunteer’s knowledge on PSEA and how to ensure that communities are supported to report and seek assistance from the PSEA taskforce in South West humanitarian response;
- Identify available service providers and draw a plan of action in further pursuing meaningful coordinated community mobilization in the South West humanitarian response.
- To realize these objectives, facilitators full of knowledge on GBV such as Ms. Harriet Adong, Gender Based Violence Programming Specialist for UNFPA, Sindie Frederic – GBV AoR Coordinator, Mr. Cristian Tanyi CEO Lukmef Cameroon, Madam Egbe Arrey Franca GBV specialist Lukmef Cameroon piloted the two days training.Before the end of this two days training, participants already came up with their plan of action for their various communities ranging from mobilization to awareness raising to safe referral parth ways. Be it as it may, this plan of action were not without anticipated challenges such as communication barriers; no network and internet in some areas and in crisis context; insecurity/lockdown, random movements among others. Solutions such as use of churches, town crier and maximum safety measures, proper information about area of work were proposed respectively.While encouraging these community workers to work for the betterment of humanity, they were also encouraged to rely on God our ultimate creator for strength.TEGHEN BIH