Wednesday, 12. 12.12, members of the group Y0CEN took the maiden step and reached out to over 150 young women and men, sensitizing them on their civic rights and responsibilities towards democratic practices in Cameroon with emphasis on them registering for elections 2013.
The whole idea of the community outreach was to rebuild youth confidence in the 2013 twin elections; Municipality and Parliamentary, encouraged them to register and make sure they vote. And so far it is one of the first person-to-person civic educations led by youth for youth in Cameroon.
It’s no doubt that youth voters turnout over the years has dropped. According to the Mo Ibrahim Good Governance Facts and Figures, 2012, reveealed that less than 50% of African youth, cameroonian in particular has confidence in the honesty of the elections. 56% are more interested in current affairs with urbans youth having greater interest than rural youths, ironically, 37.7% use TV as the secondary source of information.
Y0CEN, created 2012 is a youth-led Civic Education Network, composed of unique group of youth activists and leaders from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and NGOs here in Cameroon, which aims to promote young people’s civic rights and participation in democracy practices.
Y0CEN believes that young people are active change agents. They make the impossibilities possible. And thus it’s important that young people take the frontline to shaping their community for good. But in doing so, youth must be empowered with the knowledge to make informed choices.
What Y0cen observed?
The observation gathered is that many young persons felt connected with y0cen team. They could share their fears and worries without feeling intimidated. Though many had not registered yet for the elections but assured to register and vote. As usual, some still lack the willingness to register. Meanwhile to those who have registered, many said they did it just because they saw people registering or because their parents asked them to register. Y0CEN sees lack of election enthusiasm among the youth.
What y0cen recommends?
Y0cen sees the urgent need for more community engagement, a door-to-door sensitization before the registration deadline in Feb 2012. Yocen urges more youths network to join the movement to encourage young people to register and vote in the elections.
Y0CEN is apolitical and doesn’t receives funding/supports from any political party. Y0CEN is niether a campaign party but a youth-led civic education network.
For more information about Y0CEN...
Visit Y0CEN on Facebook here or twitter @Y0CEN