Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Religious Leaders called to Differentiate Church Activities from Humanitarian work



 Over 100 Religious Leaders drawn from different church denominations from all 7 divisions of the Northwest Region have met in a 2day workshop, under the canopy of LUKMEF, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation, on November 15th 2019  to discuss and build a synergy between themselves and other bodies involved in the Humanitarian Phase

A program funded by UNICEF,  the workshop trains to help service providers within the humanitarian aid circle understand Humanitarian principles and standards according to international levels; the risk involved, Neutrality in report and transparency. Understanding Humanitarian response , UNICEF in the domain of intervention in the Northwest,  GBV and structures providing assistance in the different domains.

The presence of Organizations like United Nation, Local NGOs and International NGOs have been observed in the conflict hit zones in Cameroon, and these trainees will have need to understand the people they serve and their needs, before providing aid.

Eventhough churches are seen as safety ground for people in times of crisis, but some churches in the Northwest Region have turned to abuse their followers, using their weakness to enrich themselves. Mr Tanyi Christain , CEO of LUKMEF says working in a humanitarian aid domain shouldn’t be an air ticket to win more souls nor an evangelism exercise,  or crusade to get an increase in followers for their churches.



He throws  more light on the Principles guarding Humanitarian aid activities; Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, and  independence, explaining that if a particular community benefits from the humanitarian basics provided,  the act bridges the principles guarding humanitarian aid. 

 LUKMEF adviced Religious Leaders to revamp Structures like njangi houses, cultural or social groups, still existing in different conflict hit communities, to instill hope and unity in the minds of the people.

A Press conference granted by LUKMEF questioned the practical modalities of all that was done theoretically and the security measures taken to protect the trainees while on the field.   Mr Tanyi Christian explains why the training was necessary,  during the humanitarian  phase  of the Ongoing armed conflict in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. 

“The engagement with the civil society was necessary given the crisis situation we find ourselves in, with over a million people affected, 34000 as refugees, more than 4000 people internally displaced, which is a call for a collective action. There is no association that can effectively respond to the needs of the people affected because their total needs are huge. There is need to improve humanitarian efficiency through proper coordination.” CEO  LUKMEF

“Engaging the religious bodies and traditional rulers is a priority, to have them integrated in a humanitarian response because faith based organizations are found even when a community is broken.  In terms of access, these religious leaders and Imams need to tell service providers what their communities need and how the needs needed will be to be handed. Within the framework of UNICEF’s intervention in the 2 English speaking regions, this international organization understands the roles religious , as well as traditional leaders can play in humanitarian response. UNICEF is embraced by,most humanitarian actors. Religious bodies have to be accountable and be at the center of the humanitarian response.

Mr Tanyi Christain CEO of LUKMEF Expects the religious bodies to understand and incorporate humanitarian principles in their weekly sermons, so that acceptance of humanitarian actors will increase and the rate of receiving the aid will be high.  what prompted the coming together in humanitarian activities, according to LUKMEF it is an activity including everybody and its survival mechanism put in place for sustainability of the initiatives ,Is according to what actors design.” CEO LUKMEF

Madam Ndiforba Schneider from Ramah Christian Centre says the training was timely. "I learnt that I should not engage in humanitarian  work based on politics, and that with Humanitarian  aid we must be neutral, impartial, helping all those suffering without considering their background. " She said. 

Madam Bouba, an Imam says peace ND unity is priceless. "I learnt that we should encourage brothers and sisters to live together and through this, these organizations  will find it easy to give aid to those suffering  in crisis hit zones" Imam. 

Mbofong Roys  from Christ Embassy under the campus industry says the knowledge acquired will be passed on to his peers. "As a servant in the church, the idea of Humanitarian  aid automatically comes in. The training is very beneficial, because I have learnt about humanitarian  aid principles and how to carry out the activity professionally".he said



 


    

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