Due to the crises in some countries bordering on it, and also to crises within its territory, some areas of Cameroon’s territory are experiencing an influx of refugees and internally displaced persons. This has led to a number of fundamental problems, including housing, health, education and nutrition. Some issues related to cohabitation and security are not left out especially when newcomers to these areas, have no occupation or are out of school.

It is therefore in order to help these refugees, that the National Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Association, (Cameroon-YMCA) has set up the project of integration of young refugees in Cameroon (PAIJEREC). The results of the pilot training phase were presented last May 29 at the closing conference held at the headquarters of Cameroon-YMCA in YAOUNDE.

For this test phase, it was therefore asked to train 50 young people, ie 40 Central African refugees and 10 hosts from the city of BERTOUA, on skills such as living together, citizenship, personal development and entrepreneurship. This activity, which is part of the citizenship training program, allowed the beneficiaries to acquire the skills necessary to promote their social development and integration, “rather than to give them foodstuffs and basic necessities, which will only help them for a limited time”, said the president of the National Council of Cameroon-YMCA, Dr. Alain-Douglas WANDJI, to the Cameroon daily MUTATIONS who took part in this ceremony.

The project, which was coordinated by Mrs Lavette WANDJI, lasted one year (2018-2019) with the creation of a Power Space, which is a framework aimed at encouraging the expression of young talents. During the project, they were introduced to screen printing, painting, the manufacture of cassava-based artisanal paint, and so on. As a result, 116 young people including 87 refugees and 29 locals benefited from this training. “In addition, three young refugees have benefited from the DAFI program of the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, which aims to help them reveal their potential through access to higher education, the costs of which are borne by the said program”, said Mrs. Lavette WANDJI.

The PAIJEREC project is part of Cameroon YMCA’s VIE EN ABONDANCE program, which focuses on vulnerable young people in our society and also includes a project to support and support young detainees in Cameroon. Its pilot phase was made possible thanks to the financial support of the World Alliance of YMCAs based in Geneva, Switzerland, Administrative Authorities and international partners present on the scene. Far from wanting to stop in this way, Cameroon-YMCA is in the process of seeing to what extent to perpetuate the PAIJEREC, with a view to the training of a larger number. As a result of the influx of IDPs in several other cities in Cameroon, Cameroon-YMCA plans to do similar work there.