Tuesday, July 9

Bringing young people’s voices from Cameroon into the post 2015 review process

Throughout June 2013, over 1075 Cameroonians; 66% being women, 33% men and 1% belonging to different gender identities, all aged 18-35 added their voices by voting for their most priorities in ‘my world’ survey.  

The survey was conducted for the first time in Fako Division, one of the six divisions in the south west region of Cameroon.  A voluntary action coordinated by Ms Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo, founder│executive director of the organization; Women ForA Change, Cameroon (WFAC), a young women’s network that focus on the promotion and protection of women and girls sexual [human] rights, leadership capacity and development. 

 Participating youth-led organizations also included: Rural Women Development Center (RUWDEC), Movement for Democracy, Development and Transparency (MDDT), ZoFem and Jude’s Foundation.

The project was officially launched on June 07, in Buea, the capital city of southwest region of Cameroon. In all, it had two broad objectives, and this include;

  • To gather youth’s view on comprehensive education, sexual crime and rights; 
  • To bring the attention of Cameroonian youths to ‘my world’ survey, add their voices too in the reviewing of the global development agenda, particularly Cameroonians living within the remote/rural and urban communities in Fako Division. These include, Bwitingi Village, Mutengene, Tiko and Buea (which covers Molyko, Small Soppo, Check point, Mile 17, Mile 16, Bokova, Bomaka, Muea, Tole, Bokwango, great and small Soppo). 

The launching of the survey was also marked with the training of some 10 young dynamic women, mostly students and university graduates,who worked offline to mobilize and reach out to the 1075+ youth. From school dropouts to graduates, college students, grassroots villages, including marginalized localities, regions with no internet connection or electricity, road;[poor] household, markets and transport stations.  The views gathered in the survey cut across a wide range of people.

In Bwitingi Village, with the support of the Chief, closed to 75 young people; teachers, nurse, school dropouts, petite trade holders,assembled at the palace to fill the survey.  Facilitated by volunteers from MDDT, ZoFem,and WFAC who translated the survey into Pidgin English, a common language the people all speak and understand. 

In Mutengene, Tiko, Mile 16 and 17, WFAC’s volunteers reached out to about 500 young people [majority unemployed, farmers, traders].  And,in Buea, more than 600 youths filled the survey. Majority being students, civic society activists, young professionals and self-employed graduates, with many attesting to have heard about the ‘My World’ survey project likewise the post 2015 development review process for the first time as it’s been brought to them to fill. 

‘Bringing the UN survey to grassroots communities like ours makes us proud and happy; now,  I know I matter and that my voice matters too” one participating youth in Buea said. 

Rural youths are also part of the youthful population but most at times, they are secluded in global discussions. The reason the organization saw the need to lead an action that would bringthe survey right to the grassroots, capturetheir voices, and have it added unto the global development review agenda. 

At the moment, the results are being analyzed by a couple of young professionals, all under the age of 35. Final report to be out by September 2013.