Building Communities for Better livelihoods and Peaceful Coexistence

On Wednesday 19th September 2018 CEP Cameroon organized a training workshop in Kumbo that brought together 22 community women, men and media with the objective of Promoting Peaceful coexistence and Community participation. An initiative conceived within the 2018 YALI IMPACT Project funded by the U.S Embassy Yaounde. Following the Current instability in the North West region of Cameroon, there is need for platforms where community members can come together, talk about peace, connect, bond and be equipped with skills to help them sustain peaceful and stable homes in the communities.

Participants present were a cross section of men and women from various denominations, non-governmental organizations and the media. The interfaith dialogue was coordinate by Executive Director of CEP Ngong Mirabel. She welcomed the participants and shared objectives of the event. She emphasized on the fact that "We are gathered here to share together, connect, grow and seek ways of living together peacefully despite these challenging times"

Promoting peaceful coexistence in the community

The first session was coordinated by Peace advocate Jane Frances on Promoting peaceful coexistence in the community. She elaborated on the meaning of peace, dialogue, religious/cultural consciousness and tolerance, causes of conflict and conflict resolution. The session ended with an exercise on conflict resolution followed by questions.

Community Participation and Breaking stereotypes

The session was led by Mirabel Ngong focusing on ways of participating in the community, elaborating on servant leadership. Following the presentation, the women sought ways of encouraging their children to be actively involved in the community like the YALI fellows. Fellows opted to connect with some of the young people and also gave links to connecting with the YALI network and exchange programs online.   The women all agreed to get more involved in the communities while breaking stereotypes, building bridges across cultures, cementing social ties of unity in Kumbo and beyond.

Economic Empowerment 

The last session for the day was on; income generation skills, led by Ntali Bridget an entrepreneur. She guided participants on building a business idea and stages of developing and marketing an idea/product. Following the presentation, the facilitators led a practical session on the production of shea butter body moisturizer that women can produce for their households and for sale. All the women participated in measurements, mixtures and production process. At the end of this fun filled activity, the women tested and shared their produce. Some contacted the facilitator as they looked forward to starting production after the workshop. 

The three hours interfaith dialogue session ended with participants pledging to invest efforts in sharing the message of peace, religious tolerance, development. Participants lauded this initiative and expressed the need for more of such forums for women and youth to strengthen peaceful coexistence and community building.