For the launch of activities for the “Y-Peace and Living Together Camp” organised by the Cameroon-YMCA, the atmosphere that was perceptible this morning among the participants who attended the IPONI College was tinged with joy and happiness for new exchanges aimed at the quest for peace in the country.
This is the first major rallying event organised by the Movement since the beginning of the Corona virus pandemic announced last March in Cameroon. Due to the pandemic alerts that are still up to date, the site was completely disinfected by competent services on the eve of the event.
The agenda and goals of this camp, which is the first of its kind organized by the Cameroon-YMCA, comes within the framework of exchanges and reflections aimed at contributing to the awakening and awareness of Cameroonian youth on the values of peace and living together through mechanisms seeking conflict resolution by the non-violent method. This takes place at a time when Cameroon, already concerned about its political agenda, is also a central concern of the international community (African Union, UN, European Parliament, …) which has been calling for appeasement of tensions for a long time now, because of the armed conflicts that have been raging for for a while in some of its regions (North, East, North-West and South-West) and social tensions that seem to be gaining ground within society. All these problems reflect a malaise that needs to be addressed.
The activities of this day of Wednesday began with the announcement of the official launch of the activities of the camp by Mr. Isaac EBWELE NDOBO Member of the National Executive Committee, representing the National President who was unable to attend at that time. This was done in the presence of about sixty leaders and members of youth associations from all regions of the country. They were selected from more than 150 people who expressed their interest in attending the camp by filling in the registration form that had been made public on the internet for the occasion.
The first workshop of the day entitled “Culture of peace and living together in democracy” was led by Ms Adeline DONTSOP, Assistant Director for the Promotion of National Integration at MINJEC. After recalling the contexts of armed conflict and social tensions that the country has been experiencing for quite some time, she highlighted the place of young people in the development and peace-building process because of the important role they can play in their family, social, professional or academic environment. She has also been keen to raise awareness among young people about the opportunities that MINJEC offers them to promote their empowerment in order to alleviate their problems of frustration and unemployment.
The two other speakers, namely the National President of Cameroon-YMCA Dr. Alain Douglas WANDJI and the National Treasurer Du Prince TCHAKOTE, shared with the audience, in turn, reflections on “the notion of conflict” and “Economic Development, Good Governance and Building Social Peace in Cameroon”.
The first edition of the “Y-Peace and Living Together Camp” of this year 2020, which started today 26th August and will end on 28th August 2020, is the continuation of the Project to Support Youth Participation in Legislative and Municipal Elections and Peace Building in Cameroon and it is financially supported by the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon. The first activities at the beginning of this year were marked by the organisation of three seminars in the cities of Douala, Dschang and Yaoundé. The main themes that were addressed included responsible citizenship, non-violent conflict prevention and resolution, culture of peace and peaceful coexistence.
The last activity of this project dates back to June 29th with the publication of a declaration on responsible citizenship and non-violent conflict resolution. It should also be recalled that during the month of June 2020 and still within the scope of this same project, the Cameroon-YMCA had already set up a platform for reflection on peace building and living together in Cameroon, with the participation of young leaders who are members of religious organisations, associations and political parties. An awareness campaign for Peace with a call for massive registration on electoral lists etc. is currently underway on social networks and through public posting.