Improving social cohesion and combating Gender Based Violence in the Archdiocese of Bamenda
Since the 15th of June 2022, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Bamenda has engaged 6 communities (from Bafut, Akum, Bambui, Mankon and Azire parishes in Mezam division of the North West region) in raising awareness to help reduce incidents of GBV, experienced in local communities, improve social cohesion and promote peace.
This initiative dubbed “Reduce the incidents of Gender Based Violence (GBV) of vulnerable persons affected by the ongoing Anglophone Crisis in the Archdiocese of Bamenda” has enhanced the capacities of 30 community leaders who have carried out awareness raising in their communities, using sports as a rallying medium. this has seen hundreds of persons- women and men, come out to relax during fun filled football encounters organized.
The sporting activity harnesses a good number of participants and spectators from all age groups of the community with the objective to create laughter and excitement.
Sensitizations have focused on creating awareness for community members on the manifestations of the different forms of GBV, emphasizing that GBV harms the victim and our community as a whole. Equally, the spirit of tolerance as demonstrated through football has been the take home. The first level matches have been concluded with one team emerging from each of the 6 parishes. The second level is slated for the weeks ahead.
84 women /girls have participated in football matches as either players or match officials out of about 1200 persons (550 women and 750 men) involved, who had the opportunity to interact in an atmosphere of relaxation in their communities, amidst the tense situation in the region.
Interviewed participants appreciated the initiative which comes at a time when there is an increase in the incidents of GBV and non-tolerance among local communities in the crisis hit North West /South West regions of Cameroon. The 30 trained community leaders within the action are charged with the responsibility to identify GBV victims and survivors in their communities who are in need of assistance and link them up to the Justice and peace office for proper assessment and support.
Appreciations to the Diocese of Portsmouth England for their support.