Cameroon has been facing a high level of violent extremism with Boko Haram in the northern part, since more than six (6) years now. There have been violent problems with separatists (Anglophone crisis) in the Western part of the country for three (3) years now. These crises are generating many victims and displaced people. Most of the people perpetrating these attacks, killings and kidnappings are young people, and mostly not well-educated. The Cameroon government has been fighting them since then with guns, but with no good results.
As Malala said, “With guns you can kill terrorists but with education you can kill terrorism.”
We also believe in this useful quote.
Santchou, in the western part of the country, is hosting many displaced people from the Anglophone crisis who are affected by the separatists, terrorists and army killings in their villages. Due to this issue, we want to organize a gathering this 5th February during the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week to listen and learn from each other. The event will be both for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and the residents hosting them.
The IDPs are Muslims, Christians and Animists, who are facing some hate and exclusion in Santchou, being the host council, as some residents are stereotyping them by calling them Ambazonia (separatists) or terrorists (like Boko Haram). During the gathering, we will be highlighting those stereotypes. We will talk with each other, create friendships, and build a safe spirit of living lead by love and harmony between residents and IDPs. Moreover, we know that strong friendships lead to loving one's neighbors and exchanging values of peace. A size of 20-30 participants sitting in a circle and face-to-face talk will be the way to best express our goal of building peace in society.
Our objectives are to:
- Build strong friendships between neighbors
- Listen and learn from each other’s stories
- Create harmony and coexistence among Cameroonians
- Reduce extremism and violence in the community
- Build sustainable peace in Cameroon
Our criteria for eligible participants will be as follows:
- Be a Cameroonian citizen: IDPs or resident
- Be aged 18 years and above
- Be from any religion or faiths
- Be available to attend the event in full
- Accept that your image can be posted to our website or social media
- Be ready to join 20-30 participants for the dialogue
- Priority should be given to IDPs from conflict areas.
The program schedule: 8:35am-8:50am _Arrival of participants. 8:50am-9:00am _Welcome speech by the organizer (Clement Awanfe Ngueto). 9:00am-10:00am _Dialogue Session 1 (Getting to know each other, accept our differences and building friendships). 10:00am-10:20am _Coffee break. 10:20am-11:30am _Dialogue Session 2 (Listening to learn). 11:30am-12:00am _Lunch break. 12:00am- 01:30pm _Storytelling (Learn from others' stories). 1:30pm- 2:00pm _Final address and closing ceremony.
See more ways the URI community celebrated World Interfaith Harmony Week 2020.