CHRAPA Recruits and Trains 14 Paralegals to Work on the Project “Improving the Protection of Women and Girls Affected by the Conflict in the South West and North West Regions of Cameroon” Funded by #UN WOMEN from the 9th-11 October 2019 at the CHRAPA Conference Hall

This training involved 14 paralegals, 05 members of the press(from the Eden Newspaper, The Watch Dog Newspaper, NDEFCAM Radio, Abakwa Radio Station, Equinox TV) and 02 project partners, (that is MINPROFF and the Women Empowerment Centre) partially achieving objective one of the project document “IDPS and Host community are exposed to GBV prevention activities” with focus on educating IDPS and Host communities in GBV prevention activities and support educational outreach and communication activities through local media achieving.

The training took place for 03 days from the 9th of October through 11th October 2019, where project partners, journalists and 14 paralegals were trained.

The training was organized within the context of the project “Improving the protection of women and girls affected by the conflict in the south West and North-west regions of Cameroon” is being implemented by CHRAPA with support from to Italian Development Cooperation/ Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the Italian government, the main funder of the project via UN Women providing the direct funding, field technical support, and mentorship in the implementation of this project. It is meant for the protection of Women and girls affected by the Anglophone crisis in the North West Region of Cameroon. Although Cameroon has enjoyed relative peace since independence, the Anglophone Crisis that started in October 2016, as a result of a strike action orchestrated by lawyers and teachers, generated violence in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon. The violence that is still continuing has led to the loss of several lives, property, means of livelihood, destruction of villages, burning of schools and houses, destruction of basic social amenities and disruption of services.  According to a report by OCHA Cameroon as of October 2018, there were 437,000 internally displaced persons in Cameroon, of them, 246,000 in the Southwest Region 105,000 in the Northwest region and 86, 000 in the littoral region.

Early 2018, UN agencies (UNFPA, UN Women), local government institutions (MINPROFF, MINSANTE), and NGOs conducted a rapid GBV (Gender Based Violence) needs assessment in both the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon.  In November 2018, a cover survey was conducted in Bamenda I and II on GBV by Medicin du Monde Sussie in Collaboration with CHRAPA. The results of these assessments indicate that the incidences of GBV have increased and the most prevalent form was sexual assault and exploitation, rape, trafficking for economic and sexual exploitation. The effects of these have been untimed pregnancies, teenage pregnancies to trauma. Many IDPs, who have come into Bamenda, have lost their means of livelihood and it is difficult to come by jobs. The crisis has affected the economy and the economic susceptibility of women and girls has increased given that they are often the first to be retrenched from jobs even in normal peace times. This has forced some girls and women to resort to prostitution to meet basic survival needs, thus exposing themselves to STI/HIV/AIDS, and GBV. Some girls who have come to the urban centres to live with relatives are also being sexually trafficked. The situation has also increased the incidences of Child Sex Trafficking (CST) in the community. Findings from the survey equally indicated that, very few cases of GBV are reported.

 

To ensure that community members are adequately informed about GBV and the services that the project offers, public awareness and social mobilization activities will be carried out. For this reason, CHRAPA recruited and trained 14 community paralegal officers, who are also members of the communities, to reach out to the target population of 27,600 people including men and boys, traditional and religious leaders on GBV, HIV, women’s rights and available services.

Figure: Seminar Participants Seated and Listening to Facilitator

Thus the training of 14 paralegals was to achieve a very important phase of the project, so that they could conduct community outreach approaches would be used, including door-to-door, educational talks, group discussions, and identify most desperate and vulnerable cases for the livelihood support package. This number of community workers for this size of the project is meant to maximize the outreach and identify the most vulnerable as they were groomed to work with community mobilizers and sensitizers.

PROJECT AREAS AND COMMUNITIES MAP:

It is worthy to note that, the 14 paralegals were selected from 4 Division of the North West Region. That is, the project is strictly implemented in the following communities:

Mezam: Bafut, Bamenda I, II and III, Tubah Sub Divisions

Ngokentunjia: Babungo/Environs only

Boyo: Fundong and Belo Sub Divisions only

Figure 3: PROJECT MAP OUTLINING ALL UN WOMEN PROJECT COMMUNITIES IN THE NORTH WEST REGION

Momo: Mbengwi Sub Divisions only

LIST OF 14 PARALEGALS, WHY THEY WERE SELECTED AND COMMUNITIES OF INTERVENTION:

The paralegals were selected based on their previous experiences working with GBV projects or related projects. We advertised and received 67 applications from which we selected 14 paralegals.

SN NAME PLACE OF RESIDENCE/AREA OF INTERVENTION DIVISION GENDER REASON FOR SELECTION/SKILLS SCORE ON 20 CONTACT/OBSERVATION
01 Anoh Jerome Tanwani Mbengwi Momo Male ·         Experienced community mobilizer,

·          Owns a community radio station that we can benefit to use for our project in sensitizing and mobilizing the communities in those areas and

·         He is an elite in the community.

14/20 680314885
02 Yingoh Meekness Mile 06 Nkwen, Bamenda Mezam Female ·         First degree in law(good qualification for a paralegal)

·         Good reporting skills and passionate about development work

13/20 670568526
03 Ful Emmanuel Waifen Fundong Boyo Male ·         Post graduate in counseling

·         Has lots of experience in devt work, working as a community for COMINSUD

·         Pastor of Baptist Church in Fundong and an elite in the community

17/20 677770205
04 Ndifor Phebe Bafut Mezam Female ·         Medical personnel(nurse/midewife) with lots of experience in counseling and identifying GBV  cases,

·         Has been trained by the Presbyterian church on GBV and currently work as their GBV and HIV prevention officer for a local church Presbyterian church in Bafut.

16/20 677807080
05 Mufua Edith Bih Bamenda Mezam Female ·         Community trainer with good pedagogic, analytical and counseling skills 14/20 679362689
06 Feigua Jernifier Atuakom Bamenda Mezam Female ·         A teacher by profession from ENS, good data collection, community mobilization and reporting skills. Have worked on GBV projects for over 02 years for a local organization 14/20 681075457
07 Yuh Elvis Ntamulung Bamenda Mezam Male ·         Good community mobilization skills, training, reporting and counseling skills

·         A very focused and serious individual with lots of dedication and great to be a paralegal

·         Experience working with NGOs and a director of a local NGO,

16/20 67364424
08 Mokum Tchoungha Mercy Bamenda Mezam Female ·         Good analytical , statistical skills needed for the data collection

·         Degree holder with lots of commitment,/;

·         Good community mobilization skills

16/20 654790000
09 Anchimbom Theresia Belo Boyo Female ·         Good community mobilization skills, reporting, skills etc

·         Experienced in GBV project and have worked with lots of national organization on GBV

·         Had undergone courses in GBV

15/20 6759089982
10 Dzevela Lucy Nkwen, Bamenda Mezam Female ·         First degree in law(good qualification for a paralegal)

·         Good reporting skills and passionate about development work

·         Worked in a legal clinic  managed by Crown Law Firm, worked with the national commission for human rights and Freedoms on protection of children and women rights during Armed Conflicts

15/20 670042910
11 Kini Mirabel Upstation Female Female ·         Good community mobilization skills, reporting, skills etc

·         Experienced in GBV project and have worked with lots of national organization on GBV

14/20 675725314
12 Tamoh Felix Azire Mezam Male ·         Good analytical , statistical skills needed for the data collection

·         Master degree holder and great in Livelihoods

15/20
13 Takwi Judith Babungo Ndop Ngoketunjia Female ·         Good community mobilization skills, reporting, skills etc

·         Experienced in GBV project and have worked with lots of national organization on GBV

·         Have worked with Plan International Funded projects

16/20 670833004
14 Marie Loius Sirri Chobu Mezam Female ·         Experienced in GBV project and have worked with lots of national organization on GBV

·         A trained counsellor

16/20 651525867

 

 

 

CORE MODULES:

The main topics covered within the 03 days of training were as follows:

Day 01,

  • Understanding the basic principles of Human Rights,
  • Monitoring Human Rights,
  • Criminal procedure and Access to justice,

Day 2

  • Land and law,
  • Marriage and divorce,
  • Inheritance and will writing,
  • Conflict resolution /management,
  • Rights and duties of the individual to the community,

Day 3

  • Simplified recovery procedure of debts under the OHADA law,
  • Torts and tortious Acts,
  • Women Public participation and leadership,
  • Gender Based Violence(GBV), Sexual Gender Based Violence(SGBV)and Conflict Based Gender Based Violence(CBGBV) and Remedies
  • Analysis of Community Paralegals role on the field and the operationalization of project activities on the field.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Our heartfelt and deepest gratitude and thanks are poured out to the UN women for having enhanced and facilitated the training with their finances, follow up, words of encouragement and even their presence.

Special gratitude and thanks goes to Italian Development Cooperation/ Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the Italian government, the main funder of the project via UN Women to CHRAPA, while UN Women continuously provide technical support and mentorship in the implementation of this project.

Also goes to the Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy (CHRAPA) staff who facilitated the implementation of this activity and other project partners such as: Women Empowerment Centre, MINPROFF  who did not only participate in the activity but provided great technical assistance and support.

Our special thanks also goes to the various facilitators/Moderators: Mr. Toh Sylvester, Magistrate Mrs. Ebong Wilson , Barrister Banga  Martin, Mr. Kwai Joshua, Justice Babila Justin,  Madame Grace Ngwafor, Madam Bolam Agnes, without whose efforts this training wouldn’t have pulled through successfully, a big and heavy thank you goes to you for your efforts, support, witty insights long hours of efficient hard work. Your presence stamped an impactful place in our hearts and minds.

We want to heartily thank the 14 paralegals namely:

Mokum Mercy, Kini Mirable Nengtoh, Ngwa Ndifor Phebe, Yingoh Meekness, Elvis Yuh, Lucy Dzevela, Mufua Edith, Feigua Jenifer, Ful Emmanuel, Anoh Jerome, Sirri Marie Lois, Anchimbom Theresia, TahwiJudith,  who opted voluntarily to partake in the training and work as paralegals on the field.

We want to thank heartily, than each and every one who must have contributed to the success of this project and program.

REPORT WRITTEN BY TATA NELSON BERINYUY

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