Buea – October 28, 2022, 17 civil society organizations (CSOs) drawn from across the country gathered at Mountain Hotel for a joint strategic workshop in line with the Women Peace Security Agenda implemented in the country. The one day training centered around encouraging the involvement of more women in security processes.
“Women have been critically hit by violence but we want to also put them at the forefront of decision making and prevention of violence”, says Hilde Deman, Senior Manager, Global Programs at Search for Common Ground.
Search for Common Ground is an international non-profit organization that promotes peaceful resolution of conflict, with mission to transform how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict.
The Buea joint strategic workshop was organized by Search for Common Ground in collaboration with their Cameroon partners, Hope Advocate Africa.
“Our role is to go back into the communities and bring young organizations to be empowered especially on how to have access to funding in order to carry out their respective activities on the field”, Caryn Dasah, Executive Director of Hope Advocate Africa told News Upfront.
The Women Peace Security (WPS) had added one pillar to its agenda, that of partnerships with donor communities. To most civil society organizations in the security sector, this is good news.
“One of the main challenges in the fight against violence in our country is lack of finances by organizations”, Caryn Dasah said indicating that the ‘Women Inclusion in New Security (WINS) Project has come to fill the gap.
Throughout the workshop, the participants mostly executive directors and financial officers were schooled on how to consolidate fruitful partnerships between the CSOs and donor community.
“… I have learned that once you are working with a community, you are accountable to the community”, Ruth Abunaw Besong, from Investing in People Worldwide – Cameroon said.
To her, “when ever you carey an activity in a community, you must go there back with feedback of the activity to justify it.”
This according to the organizers will promote trust and accountability between the organizations and their communities, and between the organizations and donor partners. It will Go a long way to generate trust.
The Women Inclusion in New Security (WINS) Project of the Women Peace Security Agenda is timely as it comes when the National Action Plan in that domain had expired.
“The first generation action plan expired since 2020, the second generation plan is under review and will be out soon” Nicoline Nwenushi Wazeh, from Parthways for Women’s Empowerment and Development (PAWED) revealed.
At the end of the workshop in Mountain Hotel Buea, the take home message was clear.
“I would be going back to my organization to start implementing the skills aquired here from the drawing board”, Ruth Abunaw Besong said.
“We cannot give up, we are not going back, we are not shutting the doors until we ensure that we all live in a community free from violence”, Caryn Dasah added.
The implementation of the agenda in Cameroon is within the framework of the United Nations Security Councils Resolution 1325.
It is been implemented across five target countries in the world. Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.