Peace Initiatives: Draufsicht Bamenda evaluates Community Journalism Project, sampling thoughts of participants

Over 30 persons; both journalists and artists were part of a session in West Cameroon on September 11th to 13th 2022, to evaluate Draufsicht's project - Community Journalism, implemented  in a crisis hit region, within an ongoing armed conflict situation. 
According to the communications officer for Draufsicht Bamenda, Sama Mildred the main intention was to have an evaluation of the project and to do this out of the base so as to give participants a new environment, void of tension to think and reflect on how the project has been on impacts to them

"The goals were achieved and we are grateful with the feedback and recommendations given for future projects. The project has ended but the network of Community Journalism stays through the networks built; the reporting by journalists, and community intervention by community leaders".

"The films that the young adults produced will remain impactful and will be used always. Also, we hope for project activities through the networks created", Communications officer, Draufsicht Bamenda. 

Tantan Patience is a journalist practicing in Bamenda, Northwest region of Cameroon and has been using her talents in productions, films: to make impact through Peace oriented films in her community. She is involved with productions at different levels in Draufsicht's Community Journalism project.

"I have during the community journalism project learnt during one of the sessions that information should not be published if it can cause harm in a community, one should also be mindful of information sent out for public consumption. The project has helped me explore my talent of acting and shaped my view of how i see society", Tantan Patience, participant in Draufsicht's Community Journalism project.

Participants spent time in Foumbot, West region of Cameroon relaxing and brainstorming; involving themselves with games like hiking, swimming coded with discussions arround the impact of Draufsicht project in the crisis hit community, Bamenda. 

The opportunity to discuss impact was provided and for most journalists taking part in the exercise, it remains a responsibility to gatekeep information and avoid causing tension through reporting. 

Godlove Dzebam, coordinator of Draufsicht Bamenda, a youth-led organization that focuses on local solutions to global questions through film making in Bamenda -Cameroon, was satisfied working with young people with positive mindsets. He observed that the energy was positive and huge, noting that the trip was timely, with goals achieved.

He regretted that participants couldnt return on time as seperarists initiated an unexpected one week lockdown that kept the crew out for some days, giving room for further experience.

"Draufsicht organized a workshop in Foumbot from 11th to 13th September 2022, unfortunately we couldn't return home because of a lockdown called by armed groups. Spending 4 extra days out of base, i started loosing myself but ended up being grateful".

He chuckled while explaining... 

"We turned lemons to lemonade, produced one film during this time, bonded well as a familly, yet my pressure remained about how to feed extra the over 30 persons i was coordinating im these extra days. Thanks to Mama Heike and Pa Michel, Mirabelle for being spontaneous in response, we spent time in a Guest house in Bafoussam with an overcrowded community", Godlove Dzebam, Coordinator Draufsicht Bamenda. 

The project evaluation excercise was longer than expected and involved other productions, these excercise made participants to understand the peace concept even more and learn about the different ways one could intervene, living in an armed conflict situation.


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