9-28-11 Mofako Visit

Yesterday, Njume, Ebeny, Tessa, and Daniella headed to Mofako for their weekly CAM’s Project visit. The team had a packed agenda, including scheduled meetings for the gender equality and mob justice initiatives.

The team conducted its regular observations of the traditional council, noticing a marked absence of palm wine consumption during proceedings and overall calm, controlled behavior on behalf of the councilors. Mediation processes also went smoothly.

To further cement the anti-drinking and anti-rowdiness directives issued by the Chief two weeks ago, Njume delivered a brief speech to the councilors about proper conduct and executive duties. He then proceeded to conduct surveys with councilors outside the hall for the rest of the day, investigating the process and impact of national elections in the village.

Tessa held an introductory meeting with the vigilante group, formally introducing herself as the leader of the mob justice initative and outlining her plans for the next two and a half months with the group. The vigilante group is the security force in Mofako Bekondo, due to the absence of a police station or official security outpost. CAM’s seeks to work with the vigilante group to prevent instances of mob justice and to make them leaders in promoting safe criminal justice procedures. The group was very excited about their partnership with CAM’s, even going as far as to request training sessions about criminal investigation and suspect interrogation techniques.

Daniella met with both the executives of the Gentlewomen Social Group and the entire Women’s Traditional Council to deliver her introductory remarks about the future of the programme. Both groups were very enthusiastic about the prospect of improving female political participation and gender equality in Mofako, especially with respect to overall development. In order to launch this new initiative, GCI is first holding discussion sessions with the women to list problems with gender equality in the village and then to collectively brainstorm solutions. After Daniella touched on this subject at the meeting with the Women’s Traditional Council, the Secretary began to express some of her initial ideas about improving the welfare of women in the village, including mass education and practical application of gender equality theory. She told GCI, “We’ve attended many meetings at the Women’s Empowerment Centre in Kumba, so we’ve learned about women’s rights. But, we haven’t been able to practice the ideas.”

GCI will return to Mofako next week to conduct the aforementioned discussion sessions.