Hope for the Needy Association HOFNA Cameroon has engaged 100 girls in the fight against Human Rights Violations and Gender Based Violence in the North West Region Currently hit by crisis.
The Bamenda based not for profit non-governmental organisation engaged the girls during a one week training on Human Rights, Gender Based Violence and the use of ICTs in addressing Gender Based violence in Bamenda from the 2nd to the 8th of November 2018.
 
HOFNA Director with the participating girls

Justifying the training, the Director of HOFNA Christelle Bay C said “the ongoing political and socio-economic upheavals in the North West and South West regions have resulted in record numbers of girls staying at home due to insecurity and protests. This she added has led to “record numbers of child early and forced marriages, teenage pregnancies, child trafficking and other related forms of Gender Based violence.”

 
Barrister Fen Veronique Che (in black) after her presentation with HOFNA project manager and the girls
Throughout the training period, the girls listened to and participated in presentations delivered by well-grounded personalities amongst them; Justice Ngu Belinda of the Bamenda Court of First instance, Barrister Fen Veronique Che  Principal of Serenity Law Chambers Bamenda, Munteh Florence the Project Manager for HOFNA, Nfor Yembe CEO of Yem’s Group and Vumomsi N of Lead Visionary-VUVU. These speakers handled a verity of issues including; Understanding the concepts of Rights, Mechanisms for the protections of Human Rights, Gender boxes and its links with Human Rights violations, violence in the life cycle of a Female, social factors contributing to violence against women, situations of violence, impact of violence, power and privileges, getting acquainted with ICTs. The girls also had the opportunity for practical lessons like setting up a blog, local detergent production, understanding what it takes to start a business and painting.

 
Nfor Yembe of Yem's Group during his presentation
These presentations and activities according to Christelle Bay C, intended to meet the training objectives which were “to promote the sexual and reproductive health rights of girls in the North West region of Cameroon by educating the girls on human rights, empowering them to combat gender-based violence by building their leadership skills and self-esteem as a way to avoid unwanted pregnancies, STIs and the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

 
Bobo Linux and HOFNA Director with girls after the painting session
The Project Manager Munteh Florence who spent the entire period with the girls, explained that the various activities provided an opportunity “to strengthen the capacities of the girls to play their role as agents of change in combating Violence against women (VAW) using ICT, ensuring the girls have access to information about the laws, mechanisms and institutions which protect women’s human rights and address gender based violence, change the attitude of people  and build the collective responsibility in the community for ending violence against women and protecting women’s human rights using ICTs.”

 
Production of Detergent
As to how the participants were selected to meet the objectives of the project, she explains that the girls were selected from different parts of the North West Region based on their passion and commitment towards women’s rights issues especially violence against women.
The girls who participated in the training mostly school dropouts, internally displaced young women and victims of gender based violence have expressed satisfaction with HOFNA for the opportunity while promising to develop action plans to influence policy makers and to bring attitude shift in their respective communities in a bid to break the silence around the issues of violence against women and to create a conducive environment where women can speak for their human rights.

 
HOFNA Projects Manager Munteh Flurence handing certificates of participation
 “I am very happy living home. I wasn’t expecting what I met and how I wa taught. I met new people, inspiring like CEOs. It was so important for me. I am also an advocate for gender bias and I always advise people not to look down on persons or violate the rights of others and when I had this opportunity it was just like a dream coming true for me under the umbrella of HOFNA. Such programs should keep coming.”  Ngwafor Quinta a participant said.
 
HOFNA Director handing certificates of participation

Mokong Suzan another participant observed “I must express my gratitude to HOFNA for this program. I have learned a lot of things. First of all I am passionate about helping the needy in whatever domain particularly with my background in special needs education. I have been to other conference and being in this particular one had to boost my status and it encourages me to go there and make a difference by creating an atmosphere of hope, love and peace. It was wonderful will great facilitators.” 


HOFNA Cameroon working for women empowerment, gender equality and peace in Cameroon according to the Director “hopes to develop a data base of cases of gender based violence and to provide information, socioeconomic empowerment and counseling to victims of Violence against women and Gender based violence via the use of interactive community radio programs and constant follow up of the girls.”
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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