By Emmanuel F. Sanosi, The Catholic Bilingual Daily Newspaper, L’Effort Camerounais
The Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy, CHRAPA, with headquarters in Bamenda, has won the United Nations Grant for participatory Democracy in Cameroon. CHRAPA director, Joseph Chongsi Ayeah, disclosed the information during a recent CHRAPA Night in Bamenda.
Addressing guests invited to the occasion, Mr Chongsi said his organisation won the UNDEF grant for strengthening democracy and gender-related issues in Cameroon. CHRAPA, he explained, competed with 1.873 civil society organisations from 137 countries around the world.
UN entity, public institutions, global and regional bodies and government agencies, are presently working in Cameroon to step up civic education, sound electoral practices and political party’s involvement in governance.
Applications for the second round of project grants within the ambit of the United Nations Democracy Fund, UNDEF, came from different parts of the world, a third from Sub-Saharan African countries. Forty-six (46) applications came from different organisations in Cameroon. CHRAPA emerged successful based on what CHRAPA director considers, “—his organisation’s brilliant track record and technical force.”
Other international institutions which participated in the contest included, The National Democratic Institute (NDI), CIVICUS, Transparency International, Action AID, OXFAM, and NED IDEA. The project goals are to increase political participation by 35 percent and to reinforce, promote and protect human rights and the rule of law in Cameroon.
Project activities include fighting voter apathy in partnership with Elections Cameroon- ELECAM, training paralegal officers, raising awareness among cultural and youth groups on the importance of participatory governance and providing legal representation to victims of human rights violation whose cases would otherwise be abandoned because of the financial burden involved.
CHRAPA has implemented projects in collaboration with UNIFEM, the UN Sub-regional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, the Dutch Embassy, and the U.S National Endowment for Democracy.
CHRAPA is also a member of the Conference of Non-governmental organisations in consultative status with ECOSOC (Congo), the UN Non-governmental Liaison Service (NGSL), and heads the union of the North West Human Rights organisations.