By Helen Ayamba, camlink RadioEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqueline Toupin, a Farm Radio Board memberrecently visited Cameroon to appreciate the on-going partnership and outcomes of interventions. She was accompanied to Douala by members of the Cameroon Model Forest Project, Patrick Nyemeck, who is IT and Communication Officer, Gladys Otou, a VSO volunteer and communication specialist working in Yaoundé; and Eva Mouzong, who is the Coordinator of Reseau de Radio Communautaired’AfriqueCentrale (RERAC). Cameroon Link hosted the team during the stop over and working sessions.
Jacquie Toupincoordinated a tripartite working session at IBIS Hotel Bonanjo-Douala to find possible linkage between FRI Cameroon, Cameroon Model Forest Project and RERAC after a visit to Littoral regional radio located in Bonanjo.
The participants at meeting discussed possibilities of working with the vulnerable Baka Pygmy communities in Lomie, east region of Cameroon, where community radios exist, but the volunteer broadcasters have had not even elementary training on broadcast techniquesand community radio management.
Cameroon is part of the African Model Forest Network, AMFN,affiliated to the International Model Forest Network. This is part of an established community of vision and practice on five continents, with proven record in the governance of vast landscapes and complex multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Model Forests fulfil diverse aspirations for better livelihoods through joint actions and projects. In 2005, the Cameroonian sites of Campo Ma’an and Dja&Mpomo were selected as pilots for Central Africa. In both mode forests, stakeholders are building large scale development and management platforms based on voluntary partnerships.
Campo Ma’an is the south of Cameroon has 770.000 hectares of forest rich in biodiversity, elephants, buffalo, gorilla, chimpanzee, and pantherwith over 300 bird species. The 60.000 inhabitants are divided into seven ethnic groups that peacefully co-habit in the area. The main occupation of the population is farming, fishing and hunting.One third of the landscape is a national park, a quarter is an agro-forestry zone with rubber and oil palm as the main produces. Two logging companies have implanted activities in the region.
At Littoral FM Radio in Bonandjo, Mrs.Toupin discussed with the Director, Serge NgandoNtone on the level of FRI collaboration and how the materials sent to the station is exploited. Jeanne Tchakounte who organised a guided visit of the broadcast installations had benefited from a FRI Canada scholarship to participate in training planned in Burkina Faso.
The FRI Board member accorded an interview to CRTV Littoral on her trip to the east region of Cameroon and the expectations from the visit of broadcast partners.
James Achanyi-Fontem, is a Senior Health Journalist and Communication Consultant. He worked as a health journalist and broadcaster for 30 years with Radio Cameroon and later Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV before retiring in 2005 to engage fully with Cameroon Link (Human Assistance Programme). Cameroon Link is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation involved in the promotion of community health, humanitarian assistance, promotion of women and child rights through involvement of communities in Cameroon for mother and child health care. Cameroon Link is a partner to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Farm Radio International (FRI), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Africa), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). As the intermediary of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Cameroon Link is engaged to implement a Cameroon Rural Radio story design Programming through an investigative research, which aims to discover through interviewing beneficiaries of health programmes on their interests, documenting and disseminating new ideas about how radio stations produce and air Healthy Communities Radio Programs in Cameroon.