Community Outreach: HIV/AIDS Information Session, Counselling, and Testing
CAEPA worked with peer educators and local radio stations to share information among mobile populations, namely Mbororo and other pastoralist communities, about HIV/AIDS, engaging 201 people in voluntary counseling and testing (VCT)
Widows rights activities
CAEPA organized a two-day workshop in December 2018, providing counseling for twenty community facilitators, to raise awareness to amend traditional widowhood rite practices. To date, more than 81 sensitization sessions, addressing 3,989 persons, have been completed.
A one-day ‘capitalization’ seminar introduced a code document inclusive of advocacy and lobbying rights of widows to 200 women and ten members of the traditional council. A widows’ federation is now created for the implementation of the new widows’ code with an election rule for governance members.
Some other efforts in this direction are CAEPAs’ radio program, “Let’s Speak Out!” which is designed to raise awareness about gender-based violence, a radio play “Widows Dem Get Rights” broadcast during the show, a radio talk with experts in the field on International Widow’s Day 2019, and a permanent ‘Hope Centre’, which provides emotional, physical and humanitarian support to victims of violence.
The project outcomes were positive with a significant reduction of the widowhood rite duration from six months to a week and in some villages from a week to three days. The postponement of the ritual process until after the burial of the deceased gave evidence of another positive change. Widows who were forced to be completely unclothed during the widowhood rite period are, today, dressed in white or black apparel with shoes and headscarves. This project has granted widows the basic human rights and agency to fulfill the widowhood rite with dignity.
Workshop for Leaders of the Widows’ Association on Lobbying, Advocacy, Group Dynamics and Resource Mobilization.
The workshop was attended by 25 leaders of the widow association from Balikumbat, Baligansin, and Baligashu in the Bali Chambas community. The group leaders were taught on lobbying, advocacy and negotiation skills for human rights advocates. The audience were also taught on human rights, an advocacy campaign, and its characteristics, the advocacy cycle, strategies, skills methods in advocacy campaign and negotiations. Some reasons were given out on the successes and failures of groups, the various roles they held as leaders were explained and it was an interactive & participative session. Participants have distributed training manuals on the above topics. Speakers in the workshop also took financial management sessions for the participants so that they can learn how to manage their money. At the end of the workshop, the group leaders were awarded participation certificates.
Workshop on Sexual and Reproductive Health
CAEPA Cameroon has organized four workshops for youths in Nkwen-Bamenda 111 Sub Division on sexual and reproductive health and rights on a wide range of themes, including child protection (early and forced marriages), physical and sexual abuse, and volunteering counseling and testing (VCT), which reached 80 boys and 142 girls. At the end of the workshop, the youths expressed gratitude and satisfaction for having been invited and requested that such initiatives be organized more often. At the conclusion of workshops, menstrual pads & condoms were distributed to participants
At CAEPA, there are currently about fifty internally displaced children, most of whom are orphaned and many of whom have not had access to education. At the moment, CAEPA offers health, vocational and educational classes and workshops catered mostly to women who are victims of SGBV and war (internally displaced), as well as Saturday literacy classes at the head office in Bamenda, thanks to Book Aid International’s donation of 500 children’s books. We teach phonics, word recognition, and writing to our youngest readers. Our developing readers are assessed weekly on the reading progress.