Driving exemplary peace-building and development in Cameroon
Peace connotes a state of security, order, and tranquility within a given setting. In line with BONET’s mission and activities in the domain of Good Governance, Democracy, and Human Rights, she advocates for and promotes peacebuilding in Cameroon. In fact, BONET strongly believes in a rights-based approach to fostering peace and nation-building cognizant of the fact that ‘’there cannot be any meaning development without peace and security, and there cannot be peace without social justice.’’ It is thus in line with BONET’s commitment to promoting peace, human rights, and democratic ideals in collaboration with other CSOs. The organization or its members have within the past 9 years organized, facilitated, and or participated in a number of projects and activities to sensitize the population and advocate for peace-building initiatives. Some of these projects and activities include;
- BONET recently participated and shared its contributions during the recently organized Cultural Blend Festival (CUBLEF) with the theme ‘’Leveraging our cultural heritage to foster peace and living together in Cameroon’’ organized by the Network for Solidarity, Empowerment, and Transformation for All (NewSETA) from the 18-19th September 2020.
- BONET also embarked on the “Stop Hate speech Campaign” which started in 2018 to 2019 with sensitizing Cameroonians to stop hate speech, violence, and extremism and embrace/practice love. This sensitization campaign was carried out on TV, Radio, blogs, and newspapers to ensure that it reaches a wider audience. This campaign also saw BONET being engaged alongside over 30 other youth-led organizations and media/social media influencers in Cameroon in a similar campaign under the auspices of the UNDP and UN Systems in Cameroon. The campaign further culminated in a workshop on ‘’Conflict resolution, peace-building and sustainable development in Cameroon with representatives of women organizations, religious and traditional leaders from the 10 regions of Cameroon in July 2019.
- Still, in collaboration with other Civil Society Organisations, BONET has participated in numerous workshops and consultations focused on seeking civil society perspectives and proposals towards resolving the ‘’Anglophone crisis’’ since 2016 and other socio-political conflicts ravaging the nation from all angles. Some of these workshops include the CSO consultation meeting on December 21, 2017, with Honourable Scotland the Commonwealth Secretary-General during a mission to seek lasting peace in the restive conflict-plagued Anglophone regions of Cameroon, the Nov 27th, 2017 workshop organised by Local Youth Corner Cameroon (LOYOC) to build the capacity of young peace ambassadors in Cameroon, the July 11th-12th 2019 workshop organised by UN agencies in Cameroon held in Yaoundé on conflict management, mediation, peace-building and the consolidation of peace in Cameroon. Similarly, BONET participated in another workshop at Douala to brainstorm on the Civil Society’s role in conflict resolution, mediation, and management in Cameroon. This workshop inspired a one-year joint research project on seeking lasting peace through evidence-based research findings across the Anglophone regions alongside other partners including Coventry University, University of Buea, Women for a Change Cameroon, etc.
- BONET equally launched a campaign “Not too Young to Lead” which aims at getting youths and women/girls from 18 years old involved in politics, policy-making and implementation processes, exemplary leadership that fosters democratic governance, and sustainable development in Cameroon. In the same light, BONET has been participating in projects and training aimed at fostering peace and democracy in Cameroon. Some good examples are the bi-annual training of 3o-40 young leaders from all 10 regions of Cameroon through a program dubbed ‘’Rebuilding Peace Actions With Inclusive Reach’’ (REPAIR) from 2014 to 2020 often organized by Network for Solidarity and Empowerment for All (NewSETA).
The quest for peace has been the cry of every Cameroonian most especially during this period when the nation is passing through a socio-political crisis. BONET will not relent in her efforts in advocating for and promoting peace in Cameroon.
BONET continues to re-echo the clarion call for peace founded on continuous and more inclusive dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, social justice, and driven by youth and women!
Peace is a weapon through which we can change the whole world!