Friday, 15 April 2016

Transforming Young People with a History of Violence into Peace Ambassadors


Launch - Pilot Phase 

Local Youth Corner Cameroon on Saturday 15th of April 2016, launched the pilot phase of her project; Creative Skills for Peace at the National Youth Correction Centre; Borstal Institute, Buea. Over 30 young people aged 11 - 25, were trained on peace building, entrepreneurship development, and personality development, and  practical production of basic commodities like paper bags, beads and jewelleries, soap and detergents, poultry farming, information technology and photography. The beauty about this training was the use of the peer educator methodology. The trainers were made up of young professionals and entrepreneurs who are passionate to fight against violence and promotion of peace. Among our trainers was a young, talented visually impaired who trained the inmates  on the production of soap and detergents.

The Coordinator of the project, Achaleke Christian Leke said; “Engaging young people with a history of violence in the peace building process through developing their entrepreneurial, marketable and peace building skills remains a huge inspiration and a step forward towards promoting youth socio-economic empowerment and  participation in peace building, preventing /countering violence and violent extremism.”

This project is greatly inspired by the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security which emphasises on the “ investment in young people’s capabilities and skills to meet labour demands through relevant education opportunities designed in a manner which promotes a culture of peace.” 

This training equally included; Sports for Peace, Counselling/ De-radicalisation sessions and computer / books donation. After two hours of training, the result of this project could be felt on the training ground. Before the trainees could realise, they were already producing some of these products. By their own hands they were able to produce paper bags, beads and jewelleries, and manipulating the computer. "This is the first time I am doing something productive with my own hands", said one of the trainees.

Nevertheless, there will be a five weeks follow-up by the trainers with the trainees in this centre to perfect these skills and provide tangible results. Epie Marc Ndelle the CEO of Bring It On enterprise and trainer on paper bag production said; “I have discovered some gifted hands among them and am sure by the end of the training I will be sure of those to recruit to work with my enterprise.”

The event / training equally witnessed the participation of government officials from the Regional Delegations of Social Affairs, Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Basic Education and the Superintendent of the Regional Prison Centre.

This launch / pilot phase  was financed by Local Youth Corner Cameroon and the cash prize of the Commonwealth Youth Award of Excellence recently won by the  National Coordinator of the organisation; Achaleke Christian. We are convinced that, with more support and funds, this project has the capacity of frustrating violent extremist who prey on socio-economic challenges of young people to radicalise and recruit them as soldiers and equally transform young people into Ambassadors of peace and not agents of violence. 

       A big thanks to our partners; Action for Change Cameroon, Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network, Cameroon Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors, YouthCAN, UNOY and the Ministry of Social Affairs.


                                        Sports for Peace: Trainees  at the football pitch to build confidence and trust
                                    Visit of training points by young volunteer from Norway
                                     Valerie Moderating the opening ceremony

                                        Sports for Peace: Trainees  at the football pitch to build confidence and trust
                                      Achaleke in action - Counseling/ De-radicalization session with trainees
                                          " Can I be like you and others" ? "Yes and even better I said"
                                    Training on paper bag production: Trainer and Trainee in action

                                       Familly photograph with trainee, government officials, staff of the institution, organisers and other participants

                                    Director of the Center on interview by the media

                                                  At the ICT training corner: Trainer and Trainees

                                      Head trainer on basic entrepreneurship skills in action
                                    Visually impaired trainer on Soap and Detergents production
                                         At the ICT training corner: Trainer and Trainees

                                       Visually impaired trainer and trainee : Soap and detergent production
                                 Visually impaired trainer and trainee : Soap and detergent production


                                      Trainees producing beads in the course of the training
                                        Trainees producing beads in the course of the training

                                         Family photos of trainers and trainees

                                          Cross Section of trainees

                                          Photography training

                                          Unfolding the process of soap production

                                       Serving Breakfast to trainees and participants

                                      A view of the hall during the official ceremony of launching the project by the Representative of the Regional Delegate of Social Affairs
                                        Director of the center presenting his official remarks
                             Visit of training points by young volunteer from Norway

                                         Project Coordinator, Achaleke carrying out project presentation and pre- evaluation with participants

                                     Poultry farming beginners training
                                          Poultry farming beginners training

                                        Trainee producing his first paper bag after 1 hour of training

                                         Trainee presenting the work of his hands to a staff of the center 
" This is a dream come true", said the trainee

                                          Two trainees and staff of the Center show casing their product