The one day visit which took place on the 12thof May 2015 beganat 9:00 am at the Justice and Peace Office, Archdiocese of Bamenda. The EEC women in the persons of Mme. Mbatchou, Mme. Priso Marie and Mme. Pochamgou Lucie were warmly received by the JPC staff.
They had a briefing with the Coordinator of the JPC during which they disclosed the purpose of their visit; to understand how the Justice and Peace Commission functions, know more about its projects, visit one of the target communities so as copy some best practices which could be implemented in their own organization for better results.
The Coordinator of the JPC presented the structure of the organization and its various projects to the guests. They were very pleased with the information they got about the Commission,and how its activities in general are touching the lives of the beneficiaries and the society as a whole.
The women were then led by a team from JPC to Backyit, one of the communities in Balikumbat Subdivision where the JPC of the Archdiocese of Bamenda is currently implementing its “Women in Peace Building Project”. Here, they were welcomed by the Women Peace Committee (WPC), represented by 21 women, in dancing and joyous singing. After this warm welcome, the Coordinator of the JPC then introduced the guests to the WPC and thanked them for their massive turnout, given that it was a farming day in Backyit. Sheencouraged the WPCmembers to feel free to discuss with the women from the EEC and ask questions whenever they found it necessary.
In a word from the president of the EEC Women, Mme. Mbatchou thanked the JPC for this opportunity and equally thanked the WPC of Backyit for showing up, even at short notice. This she remarked was a sign of seriousness and commitment on the part of the women. She was enthusiastic to know how the initiative of “Women Peace Committees” all started, what changes they had made in the community since the creation of the WPC, and the nature of conflicts they have handled so far.
The WPC members responding to these questions highlighting the fact that conflicts which they had been handling were mostly family conflicts and minor boundary disputes between neighbours. However, some of the conflicts which they identify, but could not handle were forwarded to the civil or traditional authorities directly or through the JPC Office. The women went ahead to highlight a few difficulties they had been facing in their endeavor to carryout joint farming.
Fascinated with the work the JPC and the WPC were doing, the EEC women supported the Women Peace Committee of Backyit with the sum of 50,000fcfa.The committee was very excited to receive this gift, and promised to use it efficiently to push forward the activities of the group.
The Visit ended at about 4:00 pm with a general appraisal of activities of the dayat the JPC office. The Guests expressed gratitude for the warm welcome they received, hoping that this could be a beginning of collaboration between the EEC and the Catholic Church, through the Justice and Peace Commission.