Opened Doors; Remembering Our Custom of Solidarity in this Time of Great Need For Our Anglophone War Victims.
Internally displaced persons from the Anglophone crisis will be provided safe spaces to live while engaging in productive activities.
youths with arms in a rural community
Recruited youths in the ranks of the Ambazonian Defense Force
displaced victims living in a cocoa farm in Mbalangi
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
The idea is to set up a network of volunteer family homes and a camp to serve as safe spaces where internally displaced victims of the ongoing Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon can live. Week in week out, thousands of women and children are forced to abandon the safety of their homes to seek refuge in bushes and forests. Government forces in an attempt to disband armed militia groups are killing and burning down entire villages indiscriminately. The Ambazonian Defense Forces on their part are terrorizing rural communities for financial support, foodstuffs and fresh supplies of youths to join their ranks. This leaves women and children in the cross fire. Some have either being raped or kidnapped while in hiding in bushes.
To solve this challenge, a resettlement camp will be constructed far away from the high rural insecurity in an ideal locality that is secure, has access to portable water, is close to cheaply available farmland and accessible to victims from both Regions. The idea is to purchase a large piece of land where houses can be constructed to host as many as 500 victims, while a good portion of the land will be used for agriculture. The victims will also be taught easy-to-learn skills like the production of coconut oil, making of bracelets and necklaces using African beads. From incomes generated, the women will be able to provide the most basic needs such as healthcare to their kids.
Beneficiaries will be empowered in such a way that in the long run they will be able to leave the camp and take care of themselves thanks to skills acquired and savings made. The camp upon their return will continue to serve as vocational training and peace promotion centers for youths facing stigma from society such as former prisoners.
Additionally through various media, we shall identify families willing to open up their homes to internally displaced persons and support such families to accept and live with an additional 500 victims
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
The beneficiaries will be children below the age of 13 and their mothers who have been internally displaced as a result of the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. These will be victims whose houses have been burnt down; crops destroyed and lost their husbands and fathers. These would be the most vulnerable victims especially those who do not have any viable relations in other towns to run to. The choice of beneficiaries expressly and consciously avoids targeting already radicalized children or women in order to make the camps and family homes safe and keep it away from further attacks by government forces. This way the beneficiaries will be those who will focus on the economic benefits of settling in the camp and will also not be a cause for concern to the inhabitants of the resettlement communities.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
So far no organization or government agency is providing homely spaces and life skills to hundreds of women and children hiding in bushes across the affected regions. Most organizations are engaged in peace advocacy. But this does not actually take care of the internally displaced persons in a manner that they can have access not just to basic needs such as food, but also to vocational training and life skills.
Our idea is unique in that besides providing temporal relief or aid in the form of food supplies to victims, it goes further to empower them such that in the long run they will be able to take care of themselves and families. It will provide a safe space while at the same time will promote peace in the regions by sharing evidence that victims can be economically empowered to be useful to their communities rather than becoming radicalized.
Uniquely, we will identify and support a network of volunteer families who shall take in a large number of displaced persons beyond the camp
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
Action Foundation Common Initiative Group (AFCIG) is an award winning youth-led Non Governmental Organization with a mission to take action to address topical issues plaguing Cameroonians especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged women, children and youths.
Organization Filing Status
Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
I hail from Bawock, a village in the outskirts of Bamenda in the Bali sub division of the North West Region and had to experience first hand what it means to be internally displaced when in 2007 the people of Bali Nyonga burnt down the entire Bawock village and destroyed their crops. Earlier this year when the people of Pinyin were in crisis, some had to run to near by Bawock where we mobilized and housed most of them for awhile.Both experiences have inspired me to take action to help.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
Peace has been impacted due to radicalization of persons resulting from the refusal of the government to recognize the grievances of the Anglophone community and violence by military against the population. Armed groups have risen up against government troops and both factions are perpetrating grave violence and summary execution of unarmed civilians.
In terms of Prosperity, the general insecurity, with rural localities mostly affected has resulted in the closure of schools and training centers, the burning of properties, the closure of many businesses and general economic inactivity. The transportation of goods between affected villages including foodstuff has become very expensive due to insecurity.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
Families willing to show solidarity towards their internally displaced compatriots shall be our key partners. They shall serve as part of an enduring network of patriots providing relief to suffering internally displaced persons.
The traditional rulers of targeted villages from where beneficiaries will be sourced will use their network to circulate information and gather victims hiding in hard to reach bushes.
The offices of the government authorities in the North West and South West Regions will have to facilitate the process of constructing the camp by eliminating lengthy construction administrative bottlenecks and also provide security in order to reach out and source beneficiaries from insecure communities where these beneficiaries are trapped.
At the outset of the current crisis, we implemented one of our projects sponsored by UNOAC entitled ‘One Cameroon’ in 2016 to advocate for peace between all persons in the course of which we partnered with most of these communities.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
The key strength identified in these communities is that they are peaceful and safe from the insecurity witnessed in the rural communities.
The people of these communities are accustomed to showing solidarity and compassion to strangers in times of need.
As a cosmopolitan city the population is dynamic and will be very tolerant and sympathetic to the resettlers. With its economic viability, it will serve as a ready market to the agricultural produce and other products made by the beneficiaries
Africa, Cameroon, North West Region. Target communities will be Bambui and Mankon which are safe.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)