March Forward!

This month has been a busy one thus far and continues to provide challenges and accomplishments for each of the projects. Despite some obstacles, we move forward focused and innovative with new ideas.

On Thursday, March 8 the women of GCI left the men at the office and took to the field, dressed in the annual International Women’s Day material. They marched down Commonwealth Avenue and celebrated the Woman by attending the events the day had to offer in jubilation.

CAM’s. The first two weeks of March served as an observation and follow-up period for the CAM’s progression in Mofako Bekondo. The CAM’s team, though very proud of the accomplishments and recommended implementations from the fall’s workshop series concluded there are still some changes and transitions to be made. After speaking with the Traditional Council and Chief Ekumbe, the CAM’s team came to realize some of the difficulties of the implementation process for which Chief Ekumbe expressed the need of time as it is planting season and the community is working hard daily at their farms. By the end of March, he hopes to have implemented the final steps of including more women on the council and to have launched desired projects using the new committees geared towards specific community developments. The conditions being so, the CAM’s team will resume follow-up assessment once all of the transitions have been completed.

In the meantime, the CAM’s team has begun the needs-based assessment in a new community: Mbalangi. Upon first observation of the Traditional Council, they appeared very promising and already had much organization coupled with good mediation skills. The community seems to trust them as a fair and just local authority as they receive many cases of conflict each week.

The Chairman of the council has previously attended the three-day workshop series in 2009 and accepted with open arms our desire to resume working with the council and the community. After two sessions of observation, the CAM’s team began the needs-based assessment survey with the Council Secretary. This week, they hope to gain access to some of the community members for further inquiry of the community opinion of both the council and of Human Rights.

Prisoners’ Rights. Our PRP team is working away in their attempt to gain access to the Kumba prison system, which has proved to be a difficult task. Last week, the team and the Director, Mr. Ntebo, went to Buea to meet with the Procureur Général. As a result of past issues regarding the project, it will take some time to convince the authorities of GCI’s mission to work together, and not against the government in obtaining Human Rights as outlined in both the Cameroon Constitution as well as the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, ratified by Cameroon. In any case, the PRP team is brainstorming for a ‘Plan B’ if needed.

Human Rights Hour. As of last week Human Rights Hour is in full swing and will introduce a new series on the African Charter on Human People’s Rights where GCI will analyze and give examples of each article in the Charter. Tune in to Lake City Radio 91.8FM every Monday evening at 6:30p!