Community Outreach Program: Reforestation of the Tubah Upland Forest
CAEPA engaged farmers, pastoralists, hunters and students in efforts to prevent the exploitation of the Tubah Upland Fores. CAEPA’s community awareness and mobilization program in a reforestation project led to the planting of 5,000 native trees to bridge a forest corridor between Fitsen and Kubu. The establishment of a permanent tree nursery by CAEPA led to successful germination of 6,000 native trees.
Working with indigenous peoples in Cameroon
CAEPA Cameroon, with the support of the Minority Rights Group International, worked to enhance the participation of minorities, i.e. women in decision-making platforms where they advocated for the 30% quota for women in all levels of governance structures. To do so CAEPA organized five workshops with minority groups, which included the Mbororo Fulani pastoralist and women, during the 2013 municipal and legislative elections in Cameroon. After the election, the number of Mbororo Counsellors rose from 27 in 2007 to 48 in 2013. One of our main objectives was to raise awareness and increase the political confidence of women with the goal of increasing women's participation in politics and to achieve the 30% quota of women participation set by major political parties. The final election results for the North West Region in 2013 had 285 women in councils (up from 179), 2 female mayors (the first for the region) and 4 parliamentarians (up from 1). After 2 years of advocacy, there has been a significant and rewarding change with 26% of women now represented in councils in the northwest region. This shows CAEPA’s effectiveness in working with the community as well as all levels of government.
Information Sessions and Training: Agro-forestry in Balikumbat
CAEPA conducted several information sessions on agroforestry, which resulted in the plantation of 6,502 trees of 4 species covering 40 hectares of degraded land. 1,000 new trees were planted in the school environment and administrative structures and 10 tree nurseries were established in Balikumbat. Distribution of improved farming equipment to 20 women-oriented farming groups led to the increased production of maize from a previous 1.5 to 2.5 tonnes per hectare. This, in addition to CAEPA’s establishment of the women’s sustainable development fund, resulted in greater livelihood security and market diversification. Reduction in the farmer-grazer conflict was achieved by CAEPA as a result of mapping out transhumance routes and zones and carrying out restitution.
Workshop: Book-Keeping and Financial Management Classes in Balikumbat
39 women group leaders were trained for two days on group dynamics, which resulted in more effective women groups, having democratically elected leaders and an active secretariat.
Presently 10 young girls, 3 single mothers, as well as 4 school dropouts have been sent back to school, and 3 pregnant young girls are learning tailoring and interior design as a result of a scholarship scheme for young girls and mothers by the Balikumbat Mixed Farmers Cooperative society.
Information Sessions and Training: Agro-forestry in Bamenda 111
CAEPA’s roots in agroforestry continued as it works within farming and pastoralist communities to seed, grow and plant native trees and shrubs. CAEPA worked with environmental clubs in three schools in Bamenda 111 subdivision. CAEPA carried out four sensitization sessions on climate change and their causes in three school environmental clubs and 20 common initiative groups, reaching 832 women, 498 men, 325 girls, and 237 boys. 40 women common initiative groups were trained for four days on nursery establishment, seed collection, pre-treatment, storage, and agroforestry systems, and were provided with indigenous tree seedlings. As a result of the project, 40 smallholder women farmers from six communities in Bamenda 111 Sub Division have incorporated agroforestry into their farming systems covering 14 hectares of degraded farmlands with a total of 1255 trees of five species (Guava, pears, lemon, pawpaw, Plums).
CAEPA worked with Environmental clubs in two schools in Bamenda 111 subdivision. Two sensitization sessions on climate change and their causes were carried out. It talked to 413 visitors at the nursery and demonstrated tree planning to them. A total of 2193 trees of ten species were planted in degrading farms, school campuses, and administrative offices in the North West region of Cameroon.
Training on peacebuilding activities in Balikumbat Subdivision
A three-day workshop organized for 20 leaders involved in the peace and development forums and village savings-and-loan associations provided skills to the leaders on how to effectively represent the interest of the people when engaging with administrative and traditional authorities.
A two-day training was organized for 20 participants on how to utilize new communication technology to campaign and create networks more effectively, thereby building and strengthening alliances with a wider audience, which allowed for a stronger exchange of information and a greater understanding of the reality of the situation. It provides the extended community with a greater insight into what activities are safe to conduct on the ground and a clear method of communication with CAEPA.
Two-day training organized for 20 participants on use of audio-visual equipment enhanced the skills of CAEPA staff and community peace ambassadors by learning how to collect the evidence necessary to support legal case works for promoting access to justice for victims of rights abuse, as well as to address the challenges of fieldwork and document the actions of armed separatist fighters.
A four-day business training workshop was organized for 40 community members in Balikumbat. At the end of the training, the participants had developed drafts of their business plans that were to be finalized and submitted to the village loan and savings associations. This would enable them to get start-up loans to engage in small scale businesses to improve their livelihood.
An initial idea to create a central fund that would be able to administer loans at small interest rates to community members in the subdivision resulted in an agreement to create a savings and loan association for each village. As a result, five village savings and loan associations were created, one for each village.
40 trusted and respected community members were trained in a two-day workshop on tolerance promotion, reconciliation, psycho-social support, and peacebuilding activities. The knowledge of the participants was focused on enhancing forgiveness and reconciliation. Presently, there is relative calm in the communities and it is hoped that this will lead to a long-term foundation for reconciliation.
A one-day training workshop was organized for 20 participants on personal safety, risk assessment, and stress management. The knowledge acquired is helping them in continuing to carry out their duties with strict adherence to humanitarian principles.