Cameroon Youth Engage for the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of violent offenders.
The engagement to Counter Violent Extremism has been one Local Youth Corner has strongly devoted itself to pursuing since 2014. Over the years, the youth-led organization has devised several strategies to attain this goal standing from the perspective of aftermath reparation and that of early-warning or prevention. This has been done through projects such as the “Creative Skills for Peace”, “The Sports for Peace” football tournament, the “Peace at your Door” campaign and most of all the program on the “Rehabilitation and Reintegration of young persons with a history of or propensity to violence.”
It is in the light of this program that about 20 youth leaders operating in this space were convened to Yaounde in January 2017 for a two days residential training on best practices they could implement in their communities to make their work more efficient. At the end of these two days, they all took the engagement to carry-out a Pass-It-On activity in their Regions in a bid to propagate the message of rehabilitation and reintegration as a means to prevent violent extremism. Prominent among these PIOs was that of the West Region held on Saturday 29th July, through its Regional Head Donfack Many Noel, with the assistance of Local Youth Corner’s Communications and Advocacy Officer, Miss Mambou Happy Kelly. The media and most precisely the radio was the means to be used to reach out to the youth in the West Region.
Hence, thanks to Mr Alphonse Tebissi’s radio program “Le Gala des Champions” on Radio Batcham in Bafoussam, the team was able to make an outreach to over 4000 listeners from across four administrative divisions in the Region. Of course, the key message on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism was at the centre of the discussion. This was targeted towards youth who have had a difficult socialization process or who have the propensity to join violent groups such as armed robbers. The 60 minutes show was full of rich discussions on the issue and also invited other youth who have been evolving in this space to join the movement and work towards countering Violent Extremism in the West Region. “No matter the situation rehabilitation and reintegration of violent offenders will always be less costly than having to go through the reconstruction process after discussions.” Said Miss Mambou Happy. The RR advocacy is still ongoing all over the national territory towards reaching out to more youth. In the mean time, Local Youth Corner has gone a few steps further to lobby for the government to put in place a National Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration. You will read everything about this in our next articles.