MOHCAM launches project, targeting adolescent girls in Bamenda

"The Right to be a Girl" is a project implemented by Mother of Hope Cameroon is about strengthening the protection and rights of Adolescent girls in response to Child marriage.

The project is targeting adolescent girls living in conflict affected communities in the Mezam Division of the North West Region of Cameroon, who have been exposed to several forms of conflict related violence.

According to a survey done by MOHCAM, a non profit making organization shows that it is as a result of the conflict, they and their families have been forced out of their communities into IDP host communities in the city of Bamenda for safety.

More information from the said survey indicates that it is also due to poverty and hardship, that adolescent girls are forced to drop out of school and are pushed into early marriages by their parents in bid to make ends meet.

They are married off and sexually explioted, raped and abused, inpregnated and abandoned. For those who are not married off at at early age, the vulnerability to teenage and unplanned pregnacy is a

The project is going to run from October 2023 to March 2024. Thr project coordinator told civiclens that the project has 4 components; legal, psychosocial, economic empowerment and the community awareness component. During which they will carry out massive sensitisation against child, early and forced marriage.

Barrister Angu Maurine presentating on the legal implications of early and forced marriage

"Within the community, we are targeting atleast 500 in each municipality. During this awareness sessions, we just want to be able to question traditions, religions and norms that enhance child marriage and to make communities to aware and conscious about the consequences, legal and health implications of child marriage".

"During this 6 months we'll be running a girls' safe corner in each community and we are targeting 60 girls 20 girls per sub division. For 3months, we're going to have therapy for those of them who are either traumatized due to early pregnancy or early marriage. We are going to have sessions on peer education and mentorship with 3 girl coaches. We will educate these girls on self-esteem, body awareness, menstrual hygiene and many more to boost the mentally and morally".

The last part of the project will place these girls on vocational training in centers where the project will be paying for their training for a period of 3 months.

"These activities include; hairdressing, fabric Making and every little thing that can help financially to support their children and help them to go to school as well. After this, they'll be graduated and given a start up capital to start a business that can sustain them".

Participants who took part in the training have appreciated the project, coming at a time when many people talk about much the need for trauma relief.

Elizabeth Ewoh, Woman leader /Pastor

"I would like to appreciate MOHCAM for coming to our aid. It has not only impacted me but my community as a whole. I am equally happy that I am part of this and I know that I'm going back to apply what I have learnt, in regards to early and forced marriages".

"It's not all about praying, but also taking action. The Project Coordinator said that they're going to economically empower girls and I was very pleased because "idleness is the devil's workshop". MOHCAM has enlightened us and I hope that they can have a project to train us on how to be more present in the lives of these children in such a way that if we mothers aren't today, they can live on their own", Elizabeth Ewoh.


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