Strengthening multi-cultural youth actions for combating Gender based violence and promoting social cohesion in Mezam Division of the North West Region of Cameroon
Funded by: APDEL Cameroon
The overall goal of this project is to use the soft power of culture and arts (music, mindfulness and sports) to create platforms for youths (including internally displaced and those of host communities) aged 15-35 years from different religion and cultural background to deliberate on issues of violence extremism and promote social cohesion and healing in the North West Region of Cameroon. The project is being carried out in three phases. Here’s how our project is making an impact:
Phase 1: Young Women Football Championship for Social Cohesion We organized a month-long young women’s football championship in Bamenda III subdivision, bringing together internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members. This initiative not only showcased young women’s football talent but also created a safe space for interaction and bonding between different backgrounds. This successful event was captured on social media platforms, engaging over 150 subscribers on WhatsApp and reaching an estimated 1,500 people on Facebook, further promoting unity and awareness.
Phase 2: Advocacy Peace Song Production: Ten talented young artists from the North West Region collaborated to create an advocacy peace song denouncing violence extremism and advocating for peace and social cohesion. This multilingual song, with messages in English, French, and local dialects, was streamed on various music platforms, reaching more than 500,000 music enthusiasts. The song is acting as a powerful tool against hate speech and promoting unity among IDPs and host communities.
Phase 3: Youth Talent Show for GBV Awareness and Peace: Our third phase revolved around a Youth Talent Show for Peace and Social Cohesion, focusing on raising awareness about GBV’s impact on girls and women in Mezam Division. Collaborating with the Black Swaga Poetry group, we organized a dynamic GBV ‘concert,’ involving debaters, poets, music artists, survivors, and actors. This event brought together 200 youths to use poetry slams, theater, and debate to educate the public about GBV’s effects and mitigation strategies. We produced a voice-over and five poetry slams on GBV for ongoing advocacy.
Through these creative interventions, our project is not only combating GBV but also fostering unity, understanding, and shared values among diverse youth, setting the stage for lasting change.