Localising the Youth Positive Practice Memoire in Rehabilitation and Reintegration in the West Region of Cameroon.
Category : #NRRN
The publication of the ” Youth Positive Practice Memoire on Rehabilitation and Reintegration” came in as LOYOC’s tool to sensitise a greater public on the stakes behind a proper rehabilitation of persons serving a prison term. This not only concerns prison staff but also other leaders of the community be they administrative, traditional or religious. Again, it came as a means to inspire other activists to use successful models in their own space. It is to reach out to all these actors that the LOYOC team carried out a sensitisation campaign in the West Region of Cameroon in both Foumban and Bafoussam. Of course in the process, there was an opportunity to meet more youth activists in the space and get them to join the National Rehabilitation and Reintegration Network as well as share with them all a copy of the publication as a toolkit in their work.
Experience has proven that a proper rehabilitation leads to a successful reintegration into the society. It is to spurr a more tolerant attitude and reaction towards persons with a history of violence that various actors were encouraged to include this message of tolerance in their speech and address to the community whenever the opportunity for mass communications showed up. To support this move, radio programs were also covered to ensure a wider out reach for this message of peace and towards the well being of the community.
The team, made up of Melissa Juisi Simo- Programmes officer, Mambou Happy Kelly- Communications and Advocacy Officer, Aichatou Chouwait and Mohammed Zedan our contact persons in Foumban began this sensitisation with a media outreach through the Noun Community Radio Station which was a means to reach out to the 9 sub-divisions which make up the Division. The set of visits in Foumban started with a visit paid to the Senior Divisional Office of the Noun Division, where Mr. Nyo’o Serge Lavy, the first assistant to the SDO received the team to discuss on the need for the public administration to give m0re value to the rehabilitation of persons in the process of serving prison term. This initiative was received with a lot of enthusiasm and the SDO assured us of his utmost support in activity LOYOC would like to carry out in the Noun.
The next meeting was with Sheikh Youssouf Ben Ali, the Imam of the Njindare Community in the town of Foumban. After sharing on the need for the community to be more tolerant towards ex-convicts as well as ensure that they actually feel welcomed back into the society to ease their reintegration, the Imam shared a great part of his work as spiritual leader which goes in the same light. According to the Imam, Religions in themselves are not a source division, however, human beings and their selfish interests tend to use these religions to divide than to unite. On this note he assured that he will insist on the aspect of spirituality to make sure the community he is in charge of develops a greater tolerance towards persons with a history of violence or crime. This gave more hope towards anticipating how other personalities would receive this message.
Thereafter, a visit was made to the Foumban Palace to meet with one of the King’s closest collaborators in the person of Manshut Nwefon (loosely translated as Minister), the Palace notable in charge of Land-tenure, accompanied by his two assistants. The message was delivered to these custodians of culture and tradition in order to carry this message to the community which holds its traditional authorities in very high esteem. Following the meeting with these traditional authorities, the next step involved meeting with administrative personnel.
We were ushered to the Office of the Divisional Delegate for Youth and Civic Education, Mr. Nji Chouwait, for our last meeting in Foumban. He appreciated the new dynamism of youth. According to him, youths are so innovative and full of energy that this needs to be positively exploited for nation building. He further appreciated LOYOC’s multi-faceted approach to peace building and mentioned how useful it would be for the Noun. Again, he reiterated the support we will receive from the public administration in general and his delegation in particular in this domain.
The next step was to reach the headquarters of the West Region to make thismessage heard. Hence, we had a Radio Slot on CRTV Bafoussam’s “Tout sur tout” hosted by Christelle Kemogne. The grounds were established as to why LOYOC has chosen R-R as a tool for peacebuilding and the interactions with the public on this live program gave way for a deeper insight on Loyoc’s upcoming projects in the field. This led to the presentation of the Creative Skills for Peace Project to be lunched in a few days. The project which entails the building of skills and aptitudes of violent offenders in prison facilities will be Loyoc’s first full involvement in Rehabilitation and Reintegration in prison facilities. This same message was therefore carried down to Radio Batcham where a radio program hosted by Alphonse Tebissi gave another platform to pass this message in Bafoussam and make a call for more youth to join the National Rehabilitation and Reintegration Network.
It is in the light of strengthening this Network that Indrick Wami, a member of the Network, joined the Loyoc team from Bagante, to meet the Regional Delagate of the Ministry of Family and Women Empowerment, Mr. Mzuafo Jean Claude, Inspector for Social Affair. Taking into consideration the fact that every successful societal change starts from the family unit, meeting such an authority was an additional asset for LOYOC’s successful activities in the West Region. The Delegate made known to us his intention to fully support LOYOC’s activities in the West Region towards building a successful society and ensure societal wellbeing.
Local Youth Corner has therefore broken new grounds in the West Region towards ensuring the successful implementation of its activities on the entire National Territory for a more peaceful Cameroon.