MBOSCUDA trains Youth leaders to Promote Intercultural Diversity.

Some Youth Leaders within the Northwest Region , have attended a capacity training workshop under the framework of Bridging the Gap Project by MBOSCUDA, sponsored by the European Union, to acquire training on effective responsibility in decision making arenas.

The workshop takes place on April 18th, to strengthen the purpose of promoting intercultural diversity, explaining the roles and responsibilities of youth leaders in the different communities, as a way of resolving conflicts existing in many communities.

Sali Django, Coordinator and head of the MBOSCUDA office Bamenda, talks about the project and the expected achievements of the project, which focuses on the conflicts in most communities.

"The workshop is coming within the framework of a project we have, sponsored by the European Eunion, called Bridging the Gap(BTG), safeguarding Peace and human rights and promoting intercultural Dialogue. We did a project in the past trying to resolve a conflict between these two; the bororos and the farming communities."

"We focused mostly on the natural resources, but the cultural dimension was not addressed by the project, reason why we needed to do so because if cultures of the ethnic groups don't understand each then there is a tendency for the conflict to come back" Sali Django explained.

He also said it is important training the youths, which according to him is a key aspect, making them understand their roles and responsibilities in their different communities given that the form a good majority of the population and are willing to implement new ideas.

"We are focusing now on promoting intercultural Dialogue, as we target many groups, targeting women groups, farmers and graziers, as way to solve these different conflicts, while the workshop is targeting youths, youth leaders, so that they understand the cultures of the ethnic groups existing in their communities, as key aspect; what are cultural rights, to understand and tolerate these in their communities." Sali Django added.

Shei William, one of the facilitators in the workshop, says the workshop is timely, given the situation faced in the Northwest Region, as a result of the armed conflict and believes that the youths can contribute a great deal for peace and calm to return.

"We are in a workshop that concerns mainly leaders of youth associations within the region, it is timely and important because, the youths play a very important role in community development. They are the most agile group of persons and with the conflicts in most communities, youths are mostly the front line actors. The workshop only comes to remind the youth leaders about their roles and responsibilities, and the role that cultural diversity is playing, as far as their reponsibilities as leaders is concerned, reason because most of these conflicts come up because of cultural differences". Shey.. said

"The youths present here at the workshop, cut across the society, and the conflicts come from the misunderstandings these groups have. We think that if they understand themselves, they will be tolerant to interact with the others without having conflicts occuring" he added.

Participants were convinced that after understanding the objectives of the workshop, they will be able to mediate in their communities, while promoting intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity. Mbuh Derrick Ticha, is a national youth volunteer and is representing the Santa- Mesaw Youth Association in Santa.

" we are schooled on the role and responsibilities of youth leaders within their communities, as a young person and a youth leader, I learned that, working In a community, I must be considerate, see into it that other cultures are at peace with each other, i need to learn their culture in order not to bridge their human rights, because we are working on the project Bridging the Gap, to solve conflicts existing within our communities". He said.

Mbahiru Adamu, Secetary General  representing the Fulani Student and Development Association says it has been a productive workshop, because participation was high and alot of questions, worries have been answered, on what olis expected of youth leaders.

"I learnt about tolerance towards different cultures, accept cultural diversity and the responsibility we have as youth leaders to ensure that our communities, our people live together. I will sensitize on the values of cultural diversity, having a sense of responsibility by educating the people on what is right and the essence of living together" he said.

According to Sali Django, Youths are a key component of the society for development, undermining women and youths will be a failure to a project that needs implementation, he adds that MBOSCUDA is working with them to promote social intergration.

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