It is in the city of Yaoundé, more specifically at the headquarters of the Cameroon-YMCA National Office in the locality of Mendong, that was held on August 21, 2019, a press conference on the occasion of the official launch of phase two of the Program of Assistance and Support to Young Inmates in Cameroon (PAAJEDEC).

Several guests were expected at this press conference, namely association leaders, members and supporters of C-YMCA, national media, ministerial partners (MINJEC, MINJUSTICE, MINPROFF and MINAT). This second phase of the program began in July and will end in December 2021. The particularity of this new phase is that it takes into consideration the families of the detainees and the psychological support of the latter, said Mrs. Lavette WANDJI, Head of the Research and Development unit in Cameroon YMCA.

The first actions of the PAAJEDEC project were launched thanks to the Local Union of Monatélé three years ago (2016), in the South Center zone of the country. The YMCA Club created by this Local Union in the local main prison had the initial objective of conducting activities such as Bible studies, citizenship training and income-generating activities. In the same year and in the same vein, a second club was created in the Mfou prison still in the South Center, thanks to the local union of Biyem-Assi.

These clubs have enabled the implementation of the first phase of this project, which began with an identification of the difficulties faced by prisoners to address them through the PAAJEDEC, with the support of its partner, the YMCA-YWCA of Denmark. It is also in this same vision that the program was launched in the prisons of the cities of Ngoumou and Bangangté where clubs have also been created for the same purpose. And so today it is a project of which Cameroon YMCA can be proud.

I am glad that Cameroon YMCA has contributed significantly to our release. From time to time they came to the prosecutor’s office to follow the procedures for our release and also involved the Chadian embassy on our behalf. The memory that I keep is that of these formations that Cameroon YMCA gave us during our detention, told us the young Hosea, former prisoner.

I am very happy to be part of this team and also happy to have allowed many of our prisoners to join their families and better integrate into society through small jobs via training received during their detention. Comments made by Mrs Ironki Otoko, paralegal in the project.

All this has generated a lot of interest from the participants in this press conference, and a greater hope from the Cameroonian prisoners, who will henceforth be able to benefit from greater support thanks to this evolving program.