Since November 2016, the North-West and South-West Regions of Cameroon are facing crises which have left hundreds of thousands of persons more vulnerable especially women, girls and children. The unrest has caused significant destabilization of economic and social livelihood and security situation as well as the safety nets and protection system of families. It has caused multiple waves of population displacements, various forms of violence and abuses on the populations especially gender based violence on children, women, girls and persons living with disabilities. It has limited access to social services and increased the challenges in addressing sexually and reproductive health needs. According to UNFPA -GBVIMS reports from January-September 2020, the majority of cases reported (40%) were cases of sexual assaults and rape and 88% of survivors were female (including 5% persons living with disability), 28% were children including those who were unaccompanied or separated children. More than a half (53%) of the GBV incidents was reported in North West Region.
It is within this context that COMINSUD with the support of UNFPA has been working to provide lifesaving GBV and sexual reproductive health prevention, response and interventions since mid-2018 particularly for IDPs, returnees, host and affected communities. When we talk about Gender based Violence we are refereeing to acts that fall within this six broad categories: rape; sexual exploitation and assault; denial of resources and opportunities; early and forced marriages; physical violence and; psychological and emotional violence. Sexual reproductive health were focused on family planning, menstrual hygiene, safe delivery, STI and HIV/AIDs.
The scope of our work in this domains that been extended to over 20 councils of the North West Region and 2 towns (Bafoussam and Bagangte) in the West Regions. Activities carried out reached out that have contributed to the transformation of tens of thousands of lives are;
- Provision of GBV multi-sectoral support to survivors of GBV and those with SRH challenges, where in over 40,000 persons have benefited from various psycho- social packages.
- Setting up and running 6 women and girls safe spaces that has provided case management, social cohesion and recreational activities and skill development to over 11,000 vulnerable women and girls
- Production and dissemination of over 20,000 copies of the referral pathways to improve on access to services for survivors
- Distribution of dignity kits to over 15,000 vulnerable women and girls of reproductive age while carrying out sensitization on GBV prevention, response and COVID-19 prevention.
- Production and broadcast of radio programs on GBV prevention and response services and COVID-19 prevention reaching over 200,000 persons
- Production and distribution of over 10,000 copies of various IEC materials to aid in the community awareness raising programs.
The actions have contributed in transforming social norms and practices that perpetuate gender-based violence and gender inequalities through provision of quality multi-sectoral GBV response services and empowerment of women. The interventions have improve access to quality and timely response services with particular emphasis on Clinical Management of Rape, were in any case reported is referred for emergency medical attention within 72 hours. Through the GBV case management approach, the project have improved holistic care for survivors with various service provides working in synergy. The provision of appropriate mental health and psychosocial support, health care including clinical management of rape (CMR) and relevant reproductive health services, cash assistance to meet urgent protection needs, legal assistance and options for safety/security are aspects and thousands of beneficiaries across the Region testify about. The interventions allow the reinforcement of survivor-centered prevention approaches that has been at the center of the success.
COMINSUD in 2012 will continued to offer lifesaving GBV and SRH interventions to vulnerable IPDS, returnees, persons in communities hosting IDPs as well as persons living in communities affected by the conflict. It will as well engage in local advocacy actions religious, traditional and opinion leaders to increase actions that reduce the prevalence of GBV incidences and enhance accesses to SRH services. Community leaders and youth especially men and boys will be specifically targeted and will benefit from refresher trainings on key GBV concepts, causes and consequences. With the support of local authorities, community dialogues will be organized on a regular basis to publicly discuss gender inequalities in society towards changing perceptions and attitudes the promote GBV especially among men and boys.
COMINSUD is pleased to be establishing a memorandum of understanding with the University of Bamenda Medical Students Association (UBaMSA) as community outreach partner that will take the ideals of the project in the university milieu as well as into communities during their health campaign. By working together, we hope to strengthen the capacity of the Association to enable it be more sensitive to respond to GVB and SRH issues from the community perspective.
Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) was founded in 1996 by five young graduates. It has evolved from a local group taking direct action to improve waste management to a leading organization in Cameroon’s Civil Society space
Contact Address: P.O. Box 356, Mankon, Bamenda Telephone: +237 677 66 64 86