Localising the “Youth Positive Pracatice Memoire on Rehabilitation and Reintegration” in the South West Region.

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Localising the “Youth Positive Pracatice Memoire on Rehabilitation and Reintegration” in the South West Region.

Category : #NRRN

Localising the “Youth Positive Pracatice Memoire on Rehabilitation and Reintegration” in the South West Region.

In January 2016, the National Rehabilitation and Reintegration Network was createdby Local Youth Youth Corner Cameroon to bring together practitioners and civil society actors in the domain of rehabilitation and reintegration of persons with a history of violence. http://www.loyocameroon.org/rehabilitating-reintegrating-violent-offenders-and-violent-extremist-fighters-in-cameroon-yes-we-can-with-youth-civil-society/ This Network connects youth civil society actors and practitioners who have had an extensive experience working in prison facilities and correctional centres from all the ten regions of the country. With a membership of about 25 persons at the start, the network now seeks to enlarge its numbers by seeking to meet other youth who work in this space but were not present during the Yaounde Workshop in 2016. The aim is to ensure the harmonisation and share out the best practices in the work of these practitioners irrespective of geographical location towards building a more peaceful society.

The National Rehabilitation and Reintegration Network in the South West Region.

It is in the quest to accomplish  this aim that the LoYOC team made up of the National Coordinator Achaleke Christian Leke, Tangang Andrew-Secretary General and Tatianna Nkofo- Deputy Communications and Advocacy Officer  carried out a sensitisation and advocacy campaign in the South West Region from the 14th to the 16th January 2018. The target persons were traditional, religious and administrative authorities to advocate for them to give more attention to questions on rehabilitation and reintegration of persons serving or

Achaleke Christian reaching out to the community in R-R through the Eyole Program on CBS Radio.

who have served a prison term. Added to these was the need to address the general public towards sensitising them for a greater tolerance in receiving rehabilitated persons with a history of conviction. This sensitisation began with a radio slot on The Eyole program on CBS Radio. The message passed across was to encourage the community to be more receptive when they encounter persons with a history of conviction seeking to reintegrate the society. As it is, the reintegration process is usually made difficult due to the lack of receptiveness from the community as well as people’s tendency to attach tags and stereotypes to ex-convicts.

 

Presenting the YPPM to Mr Asaah-Ngu, Superintendent of the Kumba Principal prison.

Next was a visit to Mr. Asaah-Ngu Walter, superintendent of the Buea Principal Prison. This was an advocacy meeting to plead for a greater emphasis to be laid on the rehabilitation processes of detenees within the prison facility he manages. On the other hand, a copy of the “Youth Positive Practice Memoire on Rhebailitation and Reintegration” (YPPM) was handed to him to introduce the various models used by youth around the country and how successful they have been towards enabling a more efficient reintegration of former convicts into the society. Considering the fact that the church has been most consistent in carrying out such activities within prison facilities, a visit was paid to the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon Synode Office under the guidance of Ntui Oben. They were received by  Rev. Mokoko and Mr. Wolf Ram, both staff of the peace service of the PCC. At the close of the encounter, ground works were set for signing of a partnership convention between the two institutions for a greater impact in the domain of rehabilitation and reintegration in the South West Region.

Presenting the YPPM to Mr Njie Fidelis-Director of Borstal Institute.

A courtesy visit was paid to the Director of the Borstal Institute, Mr Fidelis Njie in abid to strengthen the long existing ties between the two organisations. As a time long practitioner in the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent offenders, Mr. Fidelis was glad to receive a copy of the YPPM which also contains a Borstal Institute Model destined to inspire the rest of the world. It is good to note that Local Youth Corner’s first steps in the domain of Rehabilitation and Reintegration began with the Creative Skills for Peace pilot project at the Borstal Institute. It is from this pilot phase that one of the youth in this correctional facility was trained in paper bag confection, a skill he later took as a personal trade. His paper bags were used to carry participants’ kits during the R-R workshop in January 2016.

Working session with the R-R Network in the South West Region.

Last but definitely not the least was the meeting with the members of the National Rehabilitation and Reintegration Network. The strengthening of the Network in all ten regions has been effected to ensure a harmonised approach to work in prisons and correctional facilities around the country. The members of the network present were Noela Lyonga of the Noela Lyonga Foundation, Ntui Oben of Action for Change, Chamango Blaise of Human is Right, Ngale David of ICENECDEV and Forzeh Felix. The objectives of the network were revisited and updates were given on each organisation’s progress so far. It was also important to bring out instances where members of the network collaborated in projects. As it is, Local Youth Corner seeks to encourage youth solidarity and mutual support towards building a peaceful society.

New objectives were set as the members reiterated their desire to push the network forward. With such a network in place, there is great hope to change the face of ex-convict reintegration in the society. With the participation of all stakeholders, the cooperation of the public and the passion in our youth, this will definitely be made possible.