CAMEROON. It has been nearly four years since the start of the armed conflict in the northwest and southwest regions of the country. Coupled with Boko Haram insurgencies in the far north, the government of Cameroon along with several other national and international organizations have been putting all hands on deck to give peace a chance across the nation.
In that spirit, a group of youths are on the frontline to prevent community violence and promote peace through their organization The One Peace.
Empowering young people through non-violent activities
The creation of the organization according to the executive director, Francois Nyadi, is due to the war´s devastating effects in the English speaking regions. In some areas of the Donga Mantung Division of the North West region, back in 2017, Nyadi discovered that many young people had gotten themselves involved in illegal activities like drug consumption and theft. This served as motivation to develop a platform that could empower young people and help them avoid violent activities. Peace promotion initiatives have been active for two years through workshops, seminars, and door-to-door campaigns. Members of The One Peace have set out to empower youth through programs like livelihood improvement and non-violence education.
Combating hate speech
During a recent workshop held in Buea in August, some of the participating members were educated to recognize and combat hate speech. This comes at a time when the anglophone crisis persists, and the youth were called upon to shun violence and promote peace.
Although more than 800 young people across the country have benefited from the works of The One Peace organization, Nyadi believes they still have much to do.