SNWOT:Female Community Leaders Brainstorm On Peace Building Strategies

By Raymond Dingana

They came from the seven divisions of the Northwest region of Cameroon and assembled at the Faith Building at Ntarikon, Wednesday January 16,2022 with just one thing in mind, 'Peace Building'.

Grouped in two working clusters on a Focus Group Discussion on Peace, Negotiation/Mediation and Barriers/Challenges Women face in effectively engaging in Peace-building processes in Cameroon, the women sat and followed the deliberations with undivided attention.

They were eager to participate and that was exactly what they did. They shared ideas on the challenges conflict hit societies face,  adopted strategies to better function as peace builders especially when met with stumbling blocks. All these were coordinated by Mankah Tabuwe Akwo, head of Communication and Advocacy lead.

They also identified areas that are fertile grounds for seeds of discord to grow which include famer grazier, friction in the area of humanitarian responds, family issues, tagging, just to name but these.

Family Photo Of Community Leaders And Members Of SNWOT

As pointed out by Nancy Bolima who was lead person for the focus group discussions, bringing the women together was necessary,
We realized that we needed to have a one on one with the women so as to capacitate them to be better peace builders.We enabled them to understand what peace really means and the walls standing on their way to achieve their goals as builders of peace, Bolima said. 
She added that gender based violence like rape, husbands not seeing their wives as people who can go out and engage the communities in peace talks, children fearing for their mothers, women being accused of supporting the belligerents are some of the bitter pills they have been forced to swallow as they engage members of their communities in the search for sustainable peace.

Akinibom Sandrine and Deloris are all community leaders and peace crusaders.

Both have been active on the field contributing their own widows might for the returned of peace to their various communities.
My time with SNWOT has been a big gain because I have been equipped with the necessary tools to be able to work with my community to win peace. We have been organizing group talks to that effect though we face a lot of challenges, Akimibom indicated.
On her part, Delorise said,  neutrality and not taking sides have been my driving force. We try to make the belligerents understand that it is community first before any other thing. Insecurity is also a challenge as all the sides see us as spies which is not the case because our main goal is peace building.
The women also send a strong message to those envolved in humanitarian aid telling them to make sure what ever aid they are giving out goes to the right people.

They pointed out that this will avert situations that can degenerate in to quarrels.

Focus Group Discussions In Progress

They also expressed indignation on the lurk warm attitude of the international community as far as looking at the root causes of the current crisis in the two restive regions of Cameroon are concerned.

Worthy of note is the fact that SNWOT has metamorphosed from weeping in the streets especially when authorities are around to effective ground work for sustainable peace.


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