A Workshop for Single Mums and Girls on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Computer Knowledge in Communities Bamenda.

No Computers!! No Women!! No Development!!

Access to affordable and relevant health services and to accurate, comprehensive health information are fundamental human rights. Yet, gender-based discrimination, lack of access to education, poverty, and violence against women and girls can all prevent these rights from being realized. Single mums and girls face a lot challenges when it comes to sexual reproductive health rights and safe motherhood.They lack accurate information about HIV transmission; the ability to choose whether and when to get pregnant; response to violence against women; and services for sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract illnesses, because they lack of computer skills.

Mother of Hope Cameroon (MOHCAM) in her fight to educate single mums and girls is organizing a three days digital empowerment workshop in the summer to raise awareness on single mums and girl’s sexual reproductive health rights and basic computer skills. They will be given the chance to learn leadership skills, build self-confidence and to better understand new marketable skills when using visual training tools.The programme is aimed at challenging prevalent gender stereotypes in communities, particularly those that reduce the aspirations of girls in rural communities, where traditions are firmest and patriarchal systems still remain very strong.For single mums and girls to fully participate in their communities and enjoy their rights, they need a life free from gender-based discrimination- a life with the opportunity to be educated, to work,to be healthy and to participate in all aspects of public life. However, millions women and girls are frequently beaten, raped, mutilated, killed and subjected to gender violence which limits their opportunities.

Our ongoing campaign is working to connect rural and underprivileged single mums and girls to the world. Also some educated women are computer illiterate and can’t properly handle leadership positions. Computer literacy will opens doors to share information and build like-minded ventures networks. Most rural single mums and girls who are engaged in farming and petite trading will acquire computer skills which will enable them to market their products.They will be able meet with other women and mentors who will direct them in their activities and businesses.They will find forums where they can showcase and gain global exposure for their work.

To enable these positive improvements in our communities, MOHCAM is organizing a training workshop to empower 30 single mums and girls from Mubang Ntsen Nkwen village and equip them with basic skills in information communication technology (computing), and also to educate them about women’s reproductive health to help them rise to meet the challenges they face daily.

This workshop will take place in Foncha-street Nkwen-Bamenda from the 28th–30th of July 2014 at the Ets.ALMA Cybercafé opposite Providence Clinic.

We intend to extend this training to fresh women and girls entering just universities. Due to the limited Internet access, high school students entering universities in Cameroon are not familiar with the Internet’s power use for research in their studies. Those who go on-line simply use it to send or read emails and chat.These women and girls lack the basic skills to access the vast learning materials available on-line.

When Cameroon’s women and girls succeed, Cameroon succeeds!
Women and girls in Cameroon make up more than half of the population. They are the breadwinners and the backbone of our economy, yet they still face harsh treatment due to outdated customs and traditions which hold them back. They are still regarded as their husband’s property, with limited rights in most communities. This workshop will enable them to become local community reporters who can share information and advocate for women’s rights and positive change for everyone.

Equipped with basic computer skills, like-minded people can come together to improve their skills and share their experiences. This will increase productivity and encourage innovation in their businesses and workplace. Togetherness and love will be fostered in young minds, who will then be positioned for the mentoring and training which will enable them to create and contribute to a better economic system in Cameroon.

Computers are tools needed by all women and girls for a rapid change! You Can Help!
There are plenty of steps we can take to strengthen our future, but first we need to take action. We shall be grateful if you would donate your used Internet-capable phones, computers or electronic gadgets to help women learn and participate effectively in our computer literacy workshop. We also need assistance in getting these devices safely to us in time for the workshop and would appreciate any suggestions or offers of help to bring donated devices to Cameroon so that we can make them available to the workshop participants.
Please email us at motherofhopecameroon@gmail.com or call +23733051311

Thank you for your support!
Computing is our Business!!!

Youth Violence in Schools and Communities in Cameroon: A Call to Parenthood.

Youth violence is Violence involving young persons, typically children, adolescents, and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24years. The young person can be the victim, the perpetrator, or both. Youth violence includes aggressive behaviors such as verbal abuse, bullying, hitting, slapping, or fist fighting. These behaviors have significant consequences but do not generally result in serious injury or death. Youth violence also includes serious violent and delinquent acts such as aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and homicide, committed by and against youth. In addition to causing injury and death, youth violence undermines communities by increasing the cost of health care, reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.
Youth violence is the second leading cause of death for young people in most communities in Cameroon. About 55 percent of the youth population in Cameroon is affected by youth violence. Youth violence comes from all socioeconomic levels. These youths face emotional and behavioral problems.
Most couples go through hell to have children but most children are not properly raised up. Most parents have failed in inculcating useful values in their children. These children from birth are closer to their nannies and grandmothers instead of their biological parents. They grow up hardly having affection for their parents. These so call parents who are still physically fit go about in search for knowledge and lucrative jobs. But of what use will this be come when you come back and don’t have children to spend your time and money with?

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Preventing violence in young people is a critical public health goal to all Cameroonians because violence inflicts a substantial toll on the youths, their families, and communities. Young people may often experience multiple risk factors, which may be interdependent. For example, family breakdown may be a factor which may itself contribute to other problems such as offending behavior. They also are more apt to create discipline problems in class, use drugs, and engage in criminal activities. Those who engage in youth violence may engage in other risky health behavior or become victims themselves. Most of our youths now take a drug known as tremor and they possess deviant behavior. They now beat up their teachers and move with knives in schools. School violence is a subset of youth violence, a broader public health problem. Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, against another person, group, or community, with the behavior likely to cause physical or psychological harm. Youth Violence typically includes persons between the ages of 10 and 24, although pathways to youth violence can begin in early childhood. Examples of violent behavior include: Bullying, Fighting (e.g., punching, slapping, and kicking) Weapon use, Electronic aggression and Gang violence.
School violence may occurs on school property, on the way to or from school, during a school-sponsored event and on the way to or from a school-sponsored event. High-profile school shootings have increased public concern over student safety. The students at higher risk for a school-associated violent death include those from racial and ethnic minorities who attend urban high schools.They are involved in rape cases, prostitution, tattooing, cigarette smoking and a high consumption of alcohol and sachet whiskey commonly called kitiko, fighters and lion Dore which is high in methanol. A good example is the case of the upper sixth student of Starlight College Nkwen who was sapped and killed by another student with a knife. Another case was reported in CCC Mankon and GHS kejimkaku where the discipline master was beating up by students, his Okada destroyed and offices invaded report cards and official documents destroyed. Students now deflated the tyres of their teacher’s cars. In other schools we find student slapping discipline masters and kicking the principals. Adolescents can experience violence within the context of a dating relationship. This may occur when one person in a relationship uses abusive behaviors to demonstrate power or control over the other person. Dating violence includes physical violence, sexual assault, and verbal or emotional abuse. High dating rate of young girls with okadah riders. Some youth are afraid to go to school because they feel unsafe. The health of most communities is also negatively affected by youth violence.
Youth Violence begins from childhood when we are not there to shape the minds and behavior of our children. Most youths have lost the security and protection their parents. Most of them feel rejected and lonely. We are hardly there for them. We need to understand the situation of our children and show them more love and attention especially to those that come from families that are plague with poverty, ignorance and irresponsible parenthood. We are Imagine a world where all children born by 2015 needs to walk through homes and schools which are ready to equip, empower, respect their rights and keep them safe from violence.
We as Parents may be the cause of our children’s predicaments.

Beware! Be warned!

Family Rape!! My Father wants to Have Sex with Me!

 

“My Father wants to Have Sex with Me! I don’t know when this will ever end”, Martha cried.

Family rape is an issue commonly happening in our homes. This typically includes sexual activity between people in a consanguineous relationship (blood relations), and sometimes those related by affinity, such as members of the same household, step relatives, those related by adoption or marriage, or members of the same clan or lineage.

Incest is sexual intercourse or other sexual acts such as fondling, molestation, exhibitionism and sexual abuse, either physical or emotional, when it occurs between family members. It can affect both males and females and more than one member of the family can be abused.It is not, and should not be confused with, the normal physical affectionate contact which is essential in a loving family relationship.

We live with very close family relations who abuse our children daily and go unpunished.Most often the victims are beaten or killed if they would dare complain.They live under fear and are stigmatized  through out their life’s.They keep silent and at some level engage as something normal because of its cultural pervasiveness.The high unemployment and poverty-alcoholism rate in Cameroon is a root cause of incest in most families. Remember “an idle mind is the devils workshop”

 

MOHCAM is a nongovernmental organization where we strive to educate people and raise awareness against all sort of abuses geared towards women and girls.Most children in our community (Cameroon) are not looked upon as human beings capable of expressing their wishes and feelings. In Cameroon children are often spoken to as “do as you are told”.

Incest is a criminal act and must be punishable. If is not father, its mother, aunty or uncle, it’s a nephew or cousin. Incest is so rampant but no one talks about it. Our girls/boys are losing their virginity and abused.Some have had children out of this evil relationships and are frustrated in most communities.

Martha had come to the end of herself and felt that she should share her story with me, maybe I would know what to do.
Martha is a young girl of 16 whose father has been longing to have sex with her since she was 12.She has lived in fear and has not been able to share her story with any one.

As she told me her story I could see how desperate she was.
Her looks could tell how much she needed my help,

Tears were streaming down her face as she told me “I love my family and wouldn’t want my mother to be hurt and have problems with father. But father would stop bothering me. He wants to have sex with me or stops sending me to school”. She said something that touched my heart profoundly.

There was such a sadness in her voice, I could tell she was speaking from the depth of her being. It was the cry of her heart, her frustration, her inner war of values; she wanted to be free. She is not the only one going through such trials and tribulations. There are many young girls out there like Martha and they are in a dilemma.

Martha asked me, “What should I do? What can I do?
How can I survive and keep my family?
She doesn’t want to stop going to school,
Neither would she want to have sex with her father,
Or even tell mother or the police.
She loves her father and wants him to change.
She is confuse and needs your help too.

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For security reason her names and identity have been changed and Martha is one of the girls in the picture. If you want to help Martha you could contact us through our email motherofhopecameroon@gmail.com or call +23733051311.

https://www.facebook.com/motherofhopecameroon

The Challenges of Youth Unemployment: The Slaughtering and Skinning Of Chickens by Girls.

Do you slaughter and skin your chickens?

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A group of young women age 18-25  have decided to render their services through the killing and skinning of chickens. This activity is carried out in the food market in Bamenda. When you buy your chickens these women help in slaughtering and skinning of the chicken for just a token of 300frances per chicken. They have volunteer  for the contribution and growth of our economy by offering their selfless services to other women while promoting the chicken business.

The rate of consumption of chickens in most communities today is very high.Most at times we consume the chicken from our homes, restaurants and occasions without bothering to knowing how and who is involved in the processing of the chickens to our tables. Many women are faced daily with the oddly of killing, skinning and cutting of  the chickens into the desired shapes.  Most women preferred  the men to help them in kitchens with the slaughtering and skinning of the chicken When they want to prepare their chickens.  In the old, in some traditions it was a taboo seeing a woman killing a chicken. The slaughtering and skinning of  chickens was believed to be a man’s job.It was strongly believed that when the men assisted their wives in the kitchens, this fostered  love,solidarity and family harmony. But today things have changed and most women are concerned and involved in the killing and cooking processing of chickens without the men. The killing, skinning and cutting of the chickens into shapes may sound easy. But so far we know that the process of preparation either by roasting or dipping in hot water, brushing off the feathers  and chopping of the chicken into pieces is not an easy task for most women.

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Nchang and Bih are two Cameroonian girls who are struggling with the challenges of unemployment to feed their families daily in the mist of other young girl’s from the ages 18-25years. Nchang is i8 years old from Eshimbi village, married to a taxis driver and a mother of two girls. While Bih is 23years old from Bafut, married to a business man and she has three boys. They say, they have being in this business for one year and testify that it’s a profitable business. They confirmed that they make a maximum profit 10000-14000 FRS during festive periods. The young girls said they have a profit of 2000 FRS per week after playing their Njanji and daily saving contributions.They have decided to render their services through the killing or skinning of chickens. This activity is carried alongside with other women who sell the chickens in the food market in Bamenda. When you buy your chickens the women have girls with whom they work as collaborators when it comes to the processing of the chickens to our pots. The young girls love their jobs and are readily available for a token of 300frances per chickens. They volunteer their time for the contribution and growth of our economy by offering their selfless services to other women while promoting the chicken business. 

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The devotion of Nchang and Bih has earned them  with many customers. The profit made may be small but to a greater extend their lives and families have been touched and transformed Many unemployed women and girls could be encouraged to join this business if developed by the government of Cameroon.The Councils  could provide a slaughtering houses and enough space for the chickens in the markets. They could also provide chicken plucking machines which will go long way to foster this industry and serve more women and time in the preparation chicken.

“Little drops of water may makes an ocean.if  We act together and learn from each other to engage with the shaping and empowerment of lives of women and girls”

 

Young Mothers On Strike!

There is a new phenomenon cropping in town where we now find young men from 25-35years carrying their children around instead of women. They move with these children to their business sites, restaurants and beer parlors.
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One rainy afternoon, at about 2pm, I walked into a beer parlor at Ring Way Street-Bamenda, with a friend struggling to hide from the heavy rain pour. I realized some three men carrying young children ranging from the ages of about 1-4years. As we sat, I watched these men trying to keep their children calm while they were drinking and discussing. The oldest child was struggling to sleep in the arms of her father. She has being there since 12.30am when she had closed from kidder garden. The father had bought some food and fed her. Now it was time to sleep. The man was struggling to carry the child with a bottle of 33 Export in his left hand. I was curious to ask one of them what his child was doing in a beer parlor at 4pm when she should have been in the house resting after school.
The man replied Madam… levam so! My story long!
Then I asked if he could tell me.
He said his girlfriend had abandoned their baby when she was 6months old for green pastures in the South West Region.
Then I asked how old was his girlfriend and why she had abandoned her baby?
He replied that she was 20years and he had denied the pregnancy when she was pregnant. And did not prepare or buy anything for the child. The girl was maltreated by her parents who later assumed his responsibilities. So when the child was six month she came to visits him and left the baby on the chair in the parlor without a word. When he carried the baby he realized that it was his baby because he looked just like him, He said! I took the baby to my mother who refused to care for my baby because she has been sick and she is alone in the village.
So how old is your baby? I asked!
He replied 1year 9months.He concluded by saying he has being caring for him alone and taking him for antenatal. The baby was health but what will be the faith of this baby without his mother still alive?
The second man told me, his case was different because he was traditionally married and they had one child. He had invested and assisted his wife until she had learnt a hair dressing. He had opened her salon. Thing were moving fine but sudden she changed and they started having so much problems. She was coming back late and I got her beating so many times. She went and rented her own house. He said and I have tried to bring her back but to no avail. So I decided to raise my daughter so that she will never be like her mother. He said!
I asked if his wife was coming often to check on the child.
He accepted but said she could see her daughter but not take her.
Then I reminded him that the child has the right to live with the mother because she was too young to undergo such pain and trauma from their marital problems. Let him keep the child out of it.
I finally asked them if it was easy for them to raising those children without their mothers. They all accepted that they have suffered and they can’t manage the children. And that all mothers have a special role and obligations to care for children. There are some aspects in children which only the mothers can understand and handle. Take not that your mothers are not your nannies, they are also tired.!!!!!
NB: This goes to those who want to have children and run away from their responsibilities. Some of you just want to tell your friends you have children. Children which you don’t know how they are raised. But will come to claim them when they are matured and ignore to appreciate those cared for your children. Times have change the women will allow you with the children if you are irresponsible. So before you boys and men want to have children think well, these generational girls will abandon the babies to you. They no like suffer.
SO what do you think will happen to these young and innocent children who spent their time with their fathers in beer parlors?
Let’s all be responsible parents!

 

Endless Water Crisis In Foncha Street Nkwen in Bamenda.

Water makes up 75 per cent of the human body and most human activities involve water. But many homes in Foncha Street Nkwen do not have access to the regular follow of water. Even when supplied, the quality is very doubtful. The water that flows from the taps is very dirty, brown in color and contaminated at times.

But the situation is getting worst as people have to go for weeks and even months without potable water flowing from their taps. Fresh water has becoming increasingly scarce but we pay water bills monthly. Each day, before a majority of the inhabitants wake up in the morning, taps have already stopped flowing and water returns only after one or two days. This is when the situation is good. At times water stop following for one week and may start flowing again only after midnight when it comes back.

Drinking Water from the Taps in Homes in Bamenda.

Drinking Water from the Taps in Homes in Bamenda.

The population therefore must wake-up late at night or before 4:00 a.m. to fill containers with water. But the quantity of water stored is hardly enough for a day in a big family. The health challenges that result from these shortages are on the rise. The supply of pipe-borne water has become so unreliable. It is important that we focus on water-borne illnesses especially like diarrheal, intestinal worm infections, typhoid and cholera outbreaks. This focus will strengthen the capacities of community stakeholders so that they can perform their role in the improvement of clean water and sanitation standards.

Inhabitants of Bamenda buy water from Public taps. Public taps have been privatized and managed by individuals as private ventures in strict application of modalities laid down by the City Council, however many individuals around Nkwen who relied completely on public taps are finding it very difficult to get water. Some local authorities have constructed water catchments for their communities which they own and manage. But this is not the best for people.

The water supply body in Cameroon was first controlled by the National Water Supply Company of Cameroun (SNEC).It was created on May 13, 1967 and was entrusted the continuity. Production and the distribution of good quality water to the populations of Cameroon. But it failed. Then came Camerounaise Des Eaux (CDE),born out of the reform of the urban drinking water and waterworks sector undertaken by the Government of Cameroon in 2005, the firm Cameroonian Water WAS incorporated in December 2007 under Cameroonian law, with mission to provide drinking water services in urban and suburban centers. Cameroonian Water started it activities on the May 2, 2008 for a period of ten years and there has been no improvement till date. The dwindling water supply problems could be attributed to sale of government owned public utility systems to private, profit motivated corporations with ageing infrastructures.

Should Cameroonian all die of water born diseases before Billions CFA’S be set as side to rescue victims?
Enough of this hypocrisy!
Our lives are at risk!
Something Must Be Done!