HUMAN RIGHTS, CITIZENSHIP AND PARTICIPATION (LOCAL AWARENESS RAISING)
Category : Uncategorized
Youths in action! Like it is commonly said, the youth are the backbone of every country. It is in that spirit that about 30 youths between the ages of 20 to 35 met at the EISERVI conference hall in Yaounde on the 27th of November 2017. Each of them present came with a strong interest in human rights and a hope to make their country a better place.
The workshop was organised by Local Youth Corner Cameroon (LOYOC), the Community Centre for Integrated Development(CCID), Above and Beyond, Cameroon Human Rights Fellowship (CHRF) and co funded by the Erasmus Programme of the European Union.
The first session of the program was led by Mr. Valerie Viban. His section covered several areas of human rights, introduction to human rights, determinants of human rights culture, stereotypes and culture, the next step towards a human rights society. (Let me add here that I was one of these participants and some feedback will be based on my point of view). This module was taught in a very interesting manner. Everyone felt included in the teaching and learning process and no response was considered a wrong answer. Participants went from playing a ball game at the start, to identifying violations of basic rights from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Next, sitting on the carpeted floor playing a game of cards, was a session which served as a means to understand how nobody actually tells us about our rights but we are expected to know them.
This training was designed to be everything except a regular classroom style session. Hence, the next learning style was with the use of a human rights tree. We each had to write down determinants of human rights to stick to the roots, the way forward on the stem and the leaves for the outcome. This continued with a video projection which presented human behavior in the light of people’s incapacity to empathise towards the needs of others because they are always so focused on themselves. This ended the first session and there was a lunch break with prayers led by Musa, a participant of the Muslim faith, a change in the typical way of doing things and quite a sign of the open-mindedness of participants.
The next speaker Mr. Achaleke Christian, LOYOC National Coordinator came up to talk about peace building youth approach and countering violent terrorism. Being an expert in the domain of peace and governance participants had the note books. This session was done via role play. The story was set in Bakassi a dispute between the Mengi and Bafo people.
A fight on market ownership one party accusing the other of mismanagement and the other claiming they had rights over the market because they built it. The role of the government, the media and the NGO in the conflict were shared among participants. The lessons learned included the fact that in peace talks one party must be ready to compromise. Unfortunately, our villagers refused to and the dispute continued. Like it is said in law ‘anyone coming to equity must come with clean hands’. The NGO that came in to help resolve the dispute had a record of leaving projects unfinished or siding with one party. This breached the trust the people had in them. The government made a decision based on superficial facts. Lastly, the media reported on news which sometimes they weren’t sure of. The leadership lesson learnt here was that you can’t always please everyone as a leader. So leaders are expected to emulate humility, tolerance, hard work and fight stereotypes.
This training, aimed at enhancing a practical knowledge of human rights for participants achieved its expected end based on participants’ feedback. The road to peace is paved with the respect of human rights and this is the message Local Youth Corner passed across.
Tatianna Lechindem Katume Nkofo
Participant at the Human Rights Worskop.