Girls in Cameroon take the lead in the development of their community
To support youth, especially girls’ participation in the development of their communities, Plan Cameroon has been offering arts, media and leadership training to young people through its Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and Media (YETAM) project since July 2009.
Empowering Cameroonian girls
“Thanks to the YETAM project, I have learned leadership skills. I also gained lifelong skills as I can use a digital camera and a computer. In addition, I am not scared to speak out,” said Lil, an 18-year-old youth delegate from Bamessing in the North West Region of Cameroon.
Through the YETAM project, 166 youths, including 80 girls, have been trained on leadership. The training empowers young people and helps them perform leadership roles in different community structures and projects. Through a variety of lectures and practical sessions on themes such as: effective communication, leadership styles, and qualities of a good leader; participants gain business, managerial and leadership skills that will benefit them in the future.
The youth also benefit from art and media trainings during which they are gathered in groups and encouraged to create their own arts, theater, songs, poetry, photos, and videos on topics they choose in relation to their everyday life. Journalism clubs have also been set up to provide youth with verbal communications skills.
These activities help young girls become more confident and active in the community decision-making processes. Some of the girls involved in the project even became members of the Village Development Committee.
About the YETAM project
The YETAM project was established in its first phase in July 2009 to empower youths and provide them with skills for the future. For the second phase (April 2010 - December 2010), the project targeted 150 youth, including 80 girls, 50 youth from each of the three targeted programme units: Garoua, Bamenda and Biteng. The project gave Cameroonian youth access to new information and communication technologies to help identify solutions to develop their communities. It also provided them with computer skills.
Following the success of the two phases of the project, the YETAM project will be extended to two more communities within Plan Cameroon six programme units in 2011. It will target 250 youths.
Recently, two girls who are part of the project have been selected to represent the youth of Cameroon at the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women that will be held in New York, USA from 19th to 27th February 2011.
“We are grateful to Plan for helping to promote girls. Now, we are determined to protect our rights and we will talk about our problems at the UN meeting,” commented Mercy, a YETAM youth.
Read more about Plan's work in Cameroon.