The Coordinator for the Justice and Peace Commission, Ms. Laura Anyola Tufon was honoured by the United States Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) for her work with the fight against human trafficking. As a result of this honour, she participated in a ten-day program in the United States from June 16 to June 26, 2013. This included the “Trafficking in Persons” Report roll out on July 19, 2013 and the handing over of awards to TIP heroes from Croatia, Guyana, Iraq, Nicargua, The Phillipines and Cameroon from Secretary of State John Kerry.
Ms. Laura Anyola Tufon has had an exceptional commitment to fighting child trafficking and forced labor. Justice and Peace has established community-based protection mechanisms to identify trafficking victims, prevent them from being re-trafficked, and other vulnerable people from leaving their communities. Ms. Anyola and Justice and Peace Commission have provided assistance to hundreds of victims, including shelter, legal assistance, school fees, placing them in foster families, as well as helping recover the money traffickers promised in order to lure their victims. Many of the “returnees” have resumed formal education and are being used as peer educators.
During the program Ms. Laura Anyola Tufon visited Washington, DC. She met with a number of officials; His Excellency Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and Ms. Soumya Kanatmnei, Report and Political Affairs Officer for Cameroon and other Central African countries. The group of TIP heroes visited the Whitehouse where they met with Ms. Tina Tchene, who is the Executive Director of White House Council on Women and Girls, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Chief Staff to the First Lady. They participated in a round table discussion with the American Bar Association to combat human trafficking worldwide, barriers against the effective enforcement of anti-trafficking law and policy and best practices in addressing issues related to trafficking. They also conducted interviews with CNN (Cable News Network).
On June 19th the TIP heroes met with Secretary of State John Kerry for the launching of the TIP Report and the Hero Award Ceremony. His Excellency For Atagana, the Cameroon Ambassador to the United States was also in attendance. The recipients received the TIP Hero Award which spells out efforts to end modern day slavery and contributions to the TIP Report.
The group of TIP heroes then travelled to Cincinnati where they met with End Slavery Cincinnati and Cincinnati FBI and were presented with the “Human Trafficking 101 Curriculum and training guide. They visited a shelter, Cincinnati Union Bethhel where they heard testimonies from 2 young ladies who benefited from the shelter’s programs and Crossroads which provides shelter and aftercare to victims of sex trafficking. They had a panel discussion and dinner with Bert Lockwood of the Urban Morgan Institute, University of Cincinnati College of Law.
They also travelled to Dallas, Texas where they visited the North Texas Anti-Trafficking Team (NCATT) and participated in a round table discussion with representatives of U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Dallas Police. They met with Salbre Holdings, a major multinational Travel Industry and learned about the “Passport to Freedom Project”. They also learn from Sergeant Byron Fasset of the Dallas Police Department, a member of the Child Protect Squad. Serena Simmons Connelly, the director at the Harold Simmons Foundation hosted a hospitality dinner where they spoke to other University Professors about their work.
Congratulations on this tremendous honour!
Read more at:
2013 Trafficking in Person's Report and read the press release below:
JPC BAMENDA PARTICIPATES IN A CIVIL SOCIETY WORKING GROUP MEETING AT THE U.S EMBASSY
The Cameroon Civil Society Working Group on Governance and Accountability met on October 4th 2012 and agreed to submit the four policy recommendations below to its counterpart working group in Washington. The group deeply appreciated the opportunity to contribute, and suggested that American policy regarding governance and accountability should:
The Working Group decided to convene at least quarterly with the next meeting planned for early January. The members also look forward to the web chat on governance and accountability planned for November. As noted in the vision paper, with many thematic civil society groups already operating in Cameroon, the Cameroon Governance and Accountability Working Group will serve as an umbrella group as a reflection of the cross-cutting nature of the issues.
Civil Society Working Group Participants:
Abdoulaye Abdoulrazak National Youth Council
Gilbert Ewehmeh Youth Employment Service Cameroon
Gilles Lewat Youth Business Cameroon
Marie Tamoifo Jeunesse Verte du Cameroon
Fidele Djebba Rayons de Soleil (Women & Girls)
Friede Rolande Aban Un Monde Avenir (Democracy)
Maximilienne Ngo Mbe REDHAC (Human Rights)
Omar Mbadi Otabela Budget Information Center
Thompson Fangwa Sama Transparency International/Cameroon
Louis Merlin Tsamo TAW/Positive Generation (Health)
Ofir Drori Last Great Ape Assoc. (LAGA) (Environment)
Laura Anyola Tufon Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
Esther Omam Reachout (Health/Community Development)
Maxine Moffett BridgeAfrika (Social Media)
TRAINING WORKSHOP ON PROJECT CYCLE MANAGEMENT
Ten participants from the Justice and Peace Commission and Social Welfare\Caritas in the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda benefited from a capacity building workshop on Project Cycle Management (PCM) from the 21st-23rd August 2012. The training which took place in Bamenda was facilitated by a Senior Consultant, Apollinaire ETONO NGAH of the Development Capacity Building Centre (DCBC) Yaoundé. The opportunity for the workshop was offered by Mensen Met een Missie (MM) in The Netherlands a Partner organization to Justice and Peace Bamenda.
In the course of the workshop, participants were schooled on the life cycle of a project which include; policy setting, identification, formulation/appraisal, contracting/commitment, implementation and evaluation. The following terms and their differences are very important in PCM; the Impact (which is the overall objective of the project), the outcome (which is the project purpose or short term objective), outputs (results or products), and activities (actions).
The workshop is part of a package of training workshops on Institutional Management and Organizational Strengthening for all partners of MM in Cameroon within the framework of a network known as “Faith and Liberation.”
It was quite an enriching experience as participants were all engaged in working towards developing common projects.
SEND FORTH OF ELPHIE AND GABRIEL
On the 10th of July 2012 the Justice and Peace Team all gathered at the Handicraft Centre (below the up-station hill) to have a farewell supper with Elphie (the Peace Building Officer) who was leaving back to France and Gabriel (the Accountant) who will be leaving the Commission by July ending.
The Coordinator in her welcome note thanked the staff for coming and especially the family members of Gabriel who set aside this time to come and share with the Commission. Taking into account the good work done by Elphie and Gabriel, she really wished that they could have stayed longer. She concluded by telling them to always remember the Justice and Peace Office wherever they go.
The floor was then given to those departing. Elphie started by thanking the Coordinator and the staff members for organizing such an occasion on their behalf. She was very happy to have worked with the JPC and prays that the staff members should continue with the good work they are doing while Gabriel thanked all present especially the Coordinator because she was to him like a mother. He said he has learnt a lot from the Justice and Peace Office especially when he was assigned to do work which was unrelated to his job. He wished success to all. The last speaker; Justice Atabong Angelina (transferred to Kumbo) said she was not really saying goodbye because she still has some work to complete in the office and will only leave when she is done with it.
Gifts were handed to Gabriel and Elphie. The event was interesting as it gave the opportunity for the JPC Team to know some family members of Gabriel. It was really a time of relaxation and fun as the day ended with a sumptuous meal.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Bamenda commemorated the Day of the African Child in Mbessa on the 6th June 2012 instead of the 16th of June, in order to meet and celebrate with the children and their teachers in school before they go on vacationand also to mark the end of a monitoring and evaluation exercise from which lessons learnt will be replicated in other communities and at a higher level. It took the form of a Peace Competition on the theme, ‘Children Agents of Peace’. We decided to work on this theme for obvious reasons; Mbessa is one of the several communities in the North West Region in a post-conflict situation, transiting to a stable community.
Our contribution to this transition in Mbessa is children-centered through a pilot project we carefully designed to meet the needs of the Primary and Secondary School children with their teachers as mentors, - the Peace Education Program. The program was aimed at enabling pupils and students to acquire positive skills and attitudes for the promotion of peace and non-violent transformation of conflicts in the environment and the country at large. It was not an additional subject in the school curriculum but an effort to mainstream peace building in their lessons.
The event was focused on pupils of Primary Schools in Mbessa with whom we have been working for the current academic year. It comprised of Arts and Drawing competition, singing, sketches/role plays and other interesting exercises drawn from 4 Articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Articles 2 (Non-discrimination), 13 (Freedom of expression), 18 (Parental responsibilities) and 28 (Right to education). In response to this, the children were awarded prizes to boost them up and were treated to a common meal with all the invitees/participants.
The Justice and Peace Commission went on a field visit to Mbesa on the 25th and 26th of April. This visit was for monitoring our activities there and to organize our first Peace Competition. As for monitoring, we interviewed the teachers of the schools of Mbesa who are involved in the Peace education program.
Concerning the Peace competition, it will take place on the 6th of June as to celebrate the International Day of the African Child which is on the 16th of June, and will involve all the children from the classes who are following the Peace education program. It will include an Art competition with drawings from the pupils, role-plays, songs, etc… on different Children’s rights from the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
The Justice and Peace Service had the honour to receive Mr Peter Crossman from the Netherlands on the 4th of April. He visited our office and discussed with the JPS Staff of our projects in the prospect of a possible future collaboration.
The JPS Staff is thanking Mr Crossman for his visit in our premises.
The Justice and Peace Service participated to the NGO Fair in the Congress Hall of Bamenda. This event was attented by 76 NGO, 10 donors, and nearly 500 participants over the 24 and 25th of February 2012.
It was a good occasion to meet with the NGOs of our sector and even more with the ones that are not. Several conferences on NGOs business were given, and voluntarism amongst the Cameroonian youth has been encouraged.