Tuesday, March 12, 2013

COL CLP Targets Commonwealth Day for Outreach

Women’s Emancipation at the Centre of Open Day By Cameroon Link, Email: camlink99@gmail.com Commonwealth Day was an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth of Learning partners in Cameroon.The open door workshop at Cameroon Link aimed at highlighting the impact of the community of learning programming with the involvement of community radio broadcasters and women's development groups to improve the lives of citizens. Over the past years, the day has been an opportunity to learn and explore both the history of the Commonwealth association as well as current concerns that are common to all nations of the Commonwealth Family. COL Cameroon Link Partnership team joined the rest of the international community in celebrating the Commonwealth Day 2013 against a backdrop of what officials described as promoting the strides in women’s emancipation with the creation of labour opportunities. An open day was organised at Cameroon Link head office in Bonaberi-Douala, to show case the work realised with the community of learning partnersship since October 2010. Colourful events took place in most of the English speaking communities of Cameroon after the launching ceremony in Yaoundé presided at by the Minister Delegate in the Ministry of External Relations in charge of relations with the Commonwealth, Joseph Dion Ngute, during which he highlighted the achievements in Cameroon since its admittance into the Commonwealth family. Cameroon Link focused its presentation during the reception of visitors at its office on “Women as agents of change”. Its on-going community of learning initiative, outreach meetings and workshops, emphasis is put on the preparation of the PCF7 in Abuja, Nigeria this year. Talking to Canal 2 Tv International prime time news in English and French on Commonwealth Day, the COL Cameroon Link Partnership Liaison, James Achanyi-Fontem, highlighted was Cameroon has benefited and is benefiting by being a member of the Commonwealth family. The open door made it possible to review passed activities, successes and weaknesses, while planning for the future. The healthy communities’ activities including the involvement of community radio stations for informing and educating women on maternal and child health care issues is gaining ground as more mothers attend health facilities for medical check-ups. The issue on the agenda of story design training in Kumba, English speaking south west region and Melong, the French speaking territory of Cameroon was “Breastfeeding”. A good number of programmes have been conceived and in-house training within four selected community radio stations: Ocean City Radio Kumba, Radio Bonakanda in Buea, Radio Medumba in Bangangte and Radio Bare Bakem, has been planned to take place before the end of the project in June 2013. Cameroon Link received over 100 visitors on the Commonwealth Day and these were persons from media, women’s, youths’, and civil society development organisations. So far, 12 community radio stations have been engaged in the process of producing story design programmes on mother and child health on a weekly basis in the official English, French and national languages. Speaking to Commonwealth partners in Yaoundé, H.E. Dion Ngute, said Cameroon could not afford to be indifferent to the core values of the Commonwealth which among others include gender equality, development and good governance. He said although the number of women in positions of authority still remains low vis-à-vis their proportion in the country’s population, strides have been made and that with on-going reforms and programmes, there was hope in the horizon. Cameroon has a ministry in charge of Women’s Empowerment and the Family and women have been appointment to top positions increasing the number in decision-making bodies. Workshops are being organised regularly with the support of the Commonwealth of Learning to empower them on how to improve on their well-being. The British High Commissioner to Cameroon, Bharat Joshie, highlighted the non-negligible contribution of women in development, promising Britain’s unwavering support to girl-child education. Selected female artists and actors, in song and dance, showcased the prowess of the popular folk which was variously described as indispensable for socio-economic development of a country. One of the high points of the celebration was the reading of Queen Elizabeth II’s speech on the occasion in which she lauded the great role played in making society better. “While some people use this day to acknowledge the love, admiration and respect for the Commonwealth, others use it to remember the great social and political strides made. A gaint march past was organised in Yaounde Douala and Bamenda, to celebrate the Commonwealth Day. It was attended by several government ministers from External Relations, Youths and Civic Education, Basic Education, Culture, Secondary Education, and the Minister Delegate in Charge of the Commonwealth. High Commissioners and representatives from diplomatic missions of Commonwealth countries were also present at the event.

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