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Mental health at the heart of professional reintegration

In the Far North of Cameroon

 

The Far North Region of Cameroon has been facing attacks from armed groups for several years, leading to population movements and contributing to the pre-existing problems of chronic malnutrition and food insecurity.

Since September 2017, this situation has made several thousand internally displaced people in the country and generated an inflation of 30 to 60% on certain foodstuffs [1] . The four communes of the intervention zone of the RESILAC project, namely Dargala, Koza, Mindif and Mora, concentrate 56% of the population of this region living below the poverty line [2] .

The most affected are young people and women. The economic difficulties that the latter encounter in the region (precariousness of the labor market, limited natural resources for production, insufficient income) frequently generate a state of psychological distress. This is often coupled with traumas linked to the upsurge in insecurity, intra-family conflicts and gender-based violence. Thus, young people have great difficulty in drawing from them the resources necessary for their economic reintegration [3] .

The RESILAC project deploys new strategies on a daily basis to enable young people and Cameroonian women to draw from them the necessary resources to reintegrate into the job market on a long-term basis.

Regain confidence in the future

 

Psychological problems greatly affect the ability and willingness of those affected to cooperate, to live together, to project themselves into the future in a confident and solid manner. Post-traumatic stress disorder is considered to be "the main factor at the origin of the persistence of mental disorders after emerging from conflict situations" [1] .

Mental health programs are therefore necessary to enable individuals and populations to recover, to be more resilient and to embark on a project for the future with greater self-confidence.

This is why RESILAC integrates psychosocial support into economic recovery activities, allowing young people who integrate the training-reintegration system to benefit from the Problem Management + (PM +) protocol. This is a protocol originally developed by the World Health Organization, which, through individual weekly sessions, lasting approximately 90 minutes, for five to seven weeks, supports individuals in the management of their health. psychological problems, subsistence, their family conflicts and traumas. Training of health workers from on-site medical centers also enables them to develop their skills in psychosocial care, in a region lacking mental health care.

The individual results are very encouraging in the municipalities where this monitoring has been implemented.

This is particularly the case for Maimouna, 29 years old, mother of 2 children, resident of the village of Djamboutou (commune of Dargala). " I suffered from insomnia, a lack of appetite, general fatigue and difficulty concentrating ." Symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety were observed during her clinical evaluation. Maimouna was accompanied by the PM + for 7 weeks, during which she learned " several strategies for stress management and gradual return to activity" . In the middle of the journey, she was able to identify an IGA selling food in a market. RESILAC helped her to build her business plan and start her activity. Since then, she says, " I finally got back to sleep, and the anxiety of being alone all day long has disappeared ."

Dans la zone des polders : un système d’irrigation solaire efficace

Les forages avec pompes solaires ont pour objet de permettre l’irrigation efficiente des cultures irriguées en exploitant une énergie potentielle gratuite : l’énergie solaire !

 

Ce type de forage est constitué d’un équipement spécial permettant  la production et la distribution d’eau pour l’irrigation des cultures maraîchères[7]. Il est innovant car il met à disposition une source d’énergie pour l’équipement d’exhaure (il s’agit de l’énergie solaire produite à l’aide des panneaux), ainsi que plusieurs tuyauteries de distribution de l’eau qui vont directement dans les parcelles d’irrigation.

 

Les avantages de ce système sont un coût d’exploitation faible, une facilité d’entretien lorsque les communautés y sont formées, une source d’énergie propre et autonome, et une économie de l’eau d’irrigation à travers la réduction de la perte de l’eau par infiltration, grâce aux tuyauteries de distribution de l’eau.

 

A ce sujet, Mahamat, un cultivateur de 49 ans qui réside dans la commune de N'Garangou, au Tchad, a participé à un processus d’apprentissage de nouvelles techniques agricoles, dispensé sous forme de Champ Ecole Paysan.

 

« Avant le projet RESILAC, j'étais un Maître communautaire. Je faisais du maraichage mais de manière traditionnelle sans beaucoup de techniques. Le projet RESILAC est alors arrivé dans ma région, et a aménagé un site maraîcher de Ngarangou. J’ai décidé de m’inscrire à des ateliers d’un Champ Ecole Paysan, au cours desquels on nous a enseigné de nouvelles techniques agricoles. Par le passé, il nous était impossible de faire du maraîchage dans de grandes superficies. Mais depuis, grâce à l'installation du système d'irrigation solaire qui fait jaillir de l'eau à tout moment, nous avons réussi à faire du maraîchage sur plus de 4 hectares ! »

[1] Brochure « Impacts contrastés de la crise sécuritaire sur les situations foncières dans la région du Lac Tchad » Octobre 2020

[2] Anthropique : se dit d'un paysage, d'un sol, d'un relief dont la formation résulte essentiellement de l'intervention de l'homme.

[3] Rapport de l’étude sur les potentialités d’introduction des pratiques agricoles innovantes et adaptées au changement climatique dans le canton NGuéléa 1 et 2, cantons Bol et NGarangou dans la province du Lac Tchad, Avril 2020

[4] Le polder est une vaste étendue endiguée et asséchée, conquise sur la mer, sur les marais littoraux ou sur les lacs, située à une côte inférieure au niveau maximal du plan d’eau

[5] https://www.resilac.net/recherches: Revue sur les « Impacts contrastés de la crise sécuritaire sur les situations foncières dans la région du Tchad » à télécharger

[6] Il s’agit un groupe de 20 à 25 personnes se réunissant une fois par semaine pour cultiver une parcelle de formation tout au long d'une saison de culture et apprendre ensemble à résoudre des problèmes de production], aux cultivateurs et producteurs de la région.

[7] Fiche technique : Forage avec pompes solaires pour le maraîchage, au Tchad, Avril 2020

La santé mentale au coeur de la réinsertion professionnelle

A l'Extrême-Nord du Cameroun

 
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La Région de l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun est confrontée depuis plusieurs années aux attaques des groupes armés qui entraînent des mouvements de populations et contribuent à amplifier les problèmes préexistants de malnutrition chronique et d’insécurité alimentaire.

Depuis septembre 2017, cette situation a fait plusieurs milliers de déplacés internes dans le pays et engendré une inflation de 30 à 60 % sur certaines denrées[1]. Les quatre communes de la zone d’intervention du projet RESILAC que sont Dargala, Koza, Mindif et Mora, concentrent 56% de la population de cette région vivant sous le seuil de pauvreté[2].

Les plus impactés sont les jeunes et les femmes. Les difficultés d’ordre économique que ces derniers rencontrent dans la région (précarité du marché du travail, ressources naturelles limitées pour la production, une insuffisance de revenus) engendrent fréquemment un état de détresse psychologique. Ceci est souvent couplé avec des traumatismes liés à la recrudescence de l’insécurité, aux conflits intrafamiliaux et aux violences basées sur le genre. Ainsi, les jeunes ont beaucoup de mal à puiser en eux les ressources nécessaires à leur réinsertion économique[3].

Le projet RESILAC déploie au quotidien de nouvelles stratégies pour permettre aux jeunes et aux femmes camerounais.e.s. de puiser en eux les ressources nécessaires pour se réinsérer durablement sur le marché de l’emploi.

Reprendre confiance en l'avenir

 

Les problèmes psychologiques affectent considérablement la capacité et la volonté des personnes affectées à coopérer, à vivre ensemble, à se projeter dans l’avenir de manière confiante et solide. Les troubles de stress post-traumatique sont considérés comme « le principal facteur à l'origine de la persistance des troubles psychiques au sortir des situations de conflit »[1]

Les programmes de santé mentale sont donc nécessaires pour permettre aux individus et populations de se relever, d’être plus résilientes et se lancer dans un projet d’avenir avec une plus grande confiance en eux-mêmes.

C’est pourquoi, RESILAC intègre une prise en charge psychosociale dans les activités de relance économique, permettant aux jeunes qui intègrent le dispositif de formation-réinsertion, de bénéficier du protocole Problem Management + (PM+). Il s’agit d’un protocole développé à l’origine par l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, qui, à travers des séances hebdomadaires individuelles, de 90 minutes environ, pendant cinq à sept semaines, soutient les individus dans la gestion de leurs problèmes psychologiques, de subsistance, leurs conflits familiaux et traumatismes. Une formation des agents de santé des centres médicaux sur place permet aussi de développer leurs compétences dans la prise en charge psychosociale, dans une région dépourvue de soins en santé mentale.

Les résultats individuels sont très encourageants dans les communes où ce suivi a été mis en place.

C’est notamment le cas pour Maimouna, 29 ans, mère de 2 enfants, résidente du village de Djamboutou (commune de Dargala). « Je souffrais d’insomnies, d’un manque d’appétit, de fatigue générale et de difficultés à me concentrer ». Des symptômes avérés de dépression et anxiété généralisée ont été observés lors de son évaluation clinique. Maimouna a été accompagnée par le PM+ durant 7 semaines, au cours desquelles elle a appris « plusieurs stratégies de gestion du stress et de reprise progressive d’une activité ». En milieu de parcours, elle a pu identifier une AGR de vente d’aliments sur un marché. RESILAC l’a assistée pour construire son business plan et mettre son activité en route. Depuis, raconte-t-elle, « j’ai enfin retrouvé le sommeil, et l’angoisse de rester seule à longueur de journée a disparu ».

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Fatou, 20 years old, mother of 2 children and resident of the village of Gaboua (municipality of Koza), also testifies:

 

I was working in a local NGO as a 'peer educator' but my income was neither sufficient nor stable to take care of my family. For several years, I had tried to integrate the public service, without success. I also separated from the father of my children, I didn't have a stable job, I had a real sense of failure. "

 

Fatou found herself plunged into a state of intense psychological distress associated with psychosomatic pain. She then joined a community interest project (TICOM) of RESILAC and participated in the psychosocial care PM +. During the sessions, Fatou developed an action plan: register for an information group on public service competitions, get information from resource people, start a commercial activity, promote dialogue with the father of their children. Thanks to the savings resulting from the TICOM works and managed with her VSLA, she bought sheep whose resale will bring her an economic profit. The improvement in her condition also allowed her to renew social ties.

 

Some physical pain is still present, but I have regained sleep and appetite, and I feel a real improvement in my general well-being ”.

Save to stabilize

Young people and women are also monitored and supervised, thanks to an efficient education-training-economic integration system, which allows them to choose a promising micro-project and to strengthen their technical and management capacity in order to invest in complete safety. their savings.

Thus, during the months of June and July 2020, in the town of Mindif, the beneficiaries of a worksite were trained on new techniques for fattening and rearing small and large ruminants (oxen, sheep and goats), and simplified accounting themes - including the management of accounting tools (cash registers and inventory management), support for carrying out purchases in accordance with the standards of the Dziguilao market, the creation of purchasing commissions [1] , etc.

Marthe, mother of two, recounts the creation of an AGR for the production of peanut oil in the village of Maoudine (Mindif):

 

“We formed a group within our community, and we learned how to grow, spread, dry and crush fresh peanuts to turn them into oil and kibble. From now on, we sell these products and put the profits in the common fund of our VSLA [2] . At the moment we use pots and plates to press the oil, but our goal is to purchase specific pressing equipment. In the meantime, every Sunday, we organize meetings to see the progress of our contributions ”.

In addition, the project increases women's awareness of the leadership that has led to the occupation of decision-making positions within VSLAs [3] . This is the case of mixed VSLAs in the town of Mindif, whose offices are, for the moment, 46% women.

In any case, the psychosocial care carried out by the RESILAC project does not claim to definitively solve the beneficiaries' problems. On the other hand, it allows a psychological mobilization which makes individuals autonomous and puts them at the center of their own change by means of a reflection on the different ways of managing their emotional problems and daily life.

Find this article on the websites of our partners:

[1] World Bank 2020 data

[2] Initial baseline, June 2019 - Groupe URD / RESILAC and https://www.banquemondiale.org/fr/country/cameroon/overview

[3] Capitalization report, PM + for the benefit of economic recovery, May 2020

[4] Inception report of the SMPS RESILAC study - Groupe URD - November 2020

[5] Training report of the TICOM2 worksite in Domayo (municipality of Mindif) - June 22 to July 10, 2020

[6] Association Villageoise d'Epargne et de Crédit

[7] Village Savings and Credit Associations

Promoting dialogue to restore the land

Diffa's district, Niger

 
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  “Before carrying out an activity, the team always asks us if it meets our needs and our way of life. RESILAC's community approach converges with our local specificities. ".

 

This observation, drawn up by the president of a local CSO in the municipality of Diffa [1], highlights the approach carried by the RESILAC project, which operates in a complex security and climatic context.

 

For more than a decade, the Diffa region has suffered from a crisis with multiple causes. The structural weaknesses linked to a natural environment impacted by climate change, and the limited capacities of state services, lead to a lack of infrastructure and access to basic services. Added to this are the ongoing abuses and violence that armed groups bring to bear on the populations. This multifaceted and growing insecurity has several consequences: a drastic reduction in the use of fertile areas of Lake Chad, internal displacement of populations and the arrival of refugees from neighboring countries, demographic pressure on the scarce resources available in certain areas. already highly precarious and the exacerbation of community conflicts related to the sharing of natural resources [2].

In addition, in the region, States and their decentralized technical services intervene to a very limited extent in land management at the local level. The Nigerien land law contains provisions on land appropriation and conflict resolution in rural areas, but these are used very little, because the procedures are often restrictive and very expensive [3]. While land management remains globally in the hands of traditional chiefdoms, their powers are diminishing and the lack of dialogue sometimes freezes everyone's positions.

 

Moreover, the effects of climate change are an additional source of concern and tension by reducing their availability due to silting up, frequent droughts and the decline in the fertility of soils used for agriculture and livestock [ 4].

 

Faced with this situation, the RESILAC project set up targeted programs to restore land and help communities to self-manage natural resources. These programs are innovative because they promote multi-stakeholder debates at the local level, and formalize the rules for access to natural resources through local agreements for developed sites. These partnership agreements are signed between community leaders and elected officials responsible for regional administrative entities, or decentralized technical services specifically involved in an agricultural activity, always respecting the laws in force in the country. RESILAC's programs also aim to produce new techniques to define the fate of abandoned lands: to establish diagnostics to optimize the use of these lands, while being creative in order to guarantee environmentally friendly exploitation.

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A new approach to dialogue

 

In the Diffa region, RESILAC strengthens dialogue mechanisms between territorial entities (municipalities, cantons, chiefdoms) and provides them with data to enable them to make the link between the needs of the populations and the development issues of their localities [5] .

 

Thus, RESILAC has supported the municipalities of Maine Soroa, Chétimari and Goudoumaria, in collaboration with the decentralized state technical services, to initiate the process of updating the municipal plan to draw an overall vision of the challenges to be met over the next five years.

 

In these communes, the departmental authorities helped the project to create 22 community land commissions. These commissions are administrative entities whose mission is to lead development operations. In addition, the project has set up 7 consultation frameworks around high-intensity labor-intensive worksites (HIMO), which serve to improve mediation on recurring conflicts related to access to natural resources. This regularly takes the form of the signing of framework agreements to distribute the roles of all the players on the developed agricultural sites.

 

All these devices make it possible to strengthen community engagement, and to solicit a joint effort to reinvest abandoned land.

 

In addition, labor-based work sites provide work for young people, women and vulnerable populations who, through this, participate in the economic recovery of the community, can save money and meet the needs of their families. This stabilizes the populations in the region, promotes social cohesion and resilience.

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An inclusive program adapted to each village

 

95km from Diffa and 20km from the main town of Mainé Soroa, Adebour is a village which concentrates rain-fed agriculture, market gardening, livestock farming and petty trade [6]. The village has dune lands, for rain-fed agricultural production and extensive livestock farming in community grazing areas. It also has fertile valleys, suitable for market gardening and rainfed production. RESILAC teams carried out diagnostics there, with a view to identifying the natural resources that are subject to more demographic and climatic pressure [7].

 

Following these diagnoses, the groups of farmers mobilized to restore the land. These well-targeted works have resulted in particular in the construction of wire fences, permanent water points in the valleys, the fixing of dunes as well as the sowing with herbaceous plants and the planting of Prosopis plants (derived from Acacias) which slow down the advance of the desert. Soumaila Malam AWARI, member of the site management committee, explains:

 

"This site is important for us, because it will not only save our valley from silting up, but also allow our animals to find food just outside the village".

 

In addition, the project promotes equitable access to land on restored sites. Thus, on one of the village's community market gardening sites, among the 48 heads of households designated for land management, 12 are women. A real novelty, according to Gaptia Mai WANDARA, a young farmer and mother of three children:

“I now benefit from a 200 m² plot, where I cultivate potatoes, tomatoes, moringa and lettuce. Previously, it was my husband, alone, who looked after the household by volunteering as labor and selling charcoal. Now, the consumption of these market garden products has improved the nutritional security of my family. And above all, as a woman, having access to land is a source of pride and a chance ” .

 

The practice of innovative techniques adapted to climate challenges

In the region, soils are becoming less fertile due to continued land degradation, linked to poor farming practices, erosion and silting up.

 

To remedy this, RESILAC has set up “pilot activities” to test innovative practices. In Yambal (a village in the commune of N'Guigmi), in partnership with the University of Diffa, 20 leading producers, 50% of whom are women, participated in experimental studies. Ibrahim Hamidou OUMAROU, technical referent of the project, specifies:

A total of seven techniques and practices were tested alongside university students, focusing on the growth parameters and yield of corn, the effects of plant spacing on growth, productivity and efficiency. of a moringa hedge, the effects of compost on the growth and yield of corn and millet, the effectiveness of neem juice against insect pests of cowpea and the effects of the presence of basil on insect pests of cabbage ”.

 

When the results are conclusive, these new techniques will then be taught to the villagers, through Farmer Field Schools [8].

This is part of the process of transmitting / perpetuating innovative techniques on essential issues for the inhabitants: the consequences of the upwelling on land, the problem of the growing use of pesticides, and the future of abandoned land facing to drought.

 

In addition to the practical training of rural producers, the staff of the local state technical services are also mobilized. Thus, a training course on Intelligent Agriculture facing the Climate (AIC) was organized in March 2020, and renewed in June in Zinder with the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and the agents of the RESILAC project, in collaboration with the Institute. International Research on Crops of Semi-Arid Tropical Zones (ICRISAT).

 

 

 

While land governance has since improved, the region nevertheless remains the scene of unpredictable developments. The persistent fragility of the land, the movements of populations and the frequent takeovers of non-state armed groups, which in particular tax access to natural resources [9], make it necessary to redouble our ingenuity to think, together, the conditions of fair and sustainable sharing of resources.

[1] Iterative evaluation report with mini-seminar (EIMS) N ° 3 conducted in Niger, December 2020

[2] Report, Pillar 1 Referent Visit - Diffa Region, October 2020 - the visits date from August 18 to 26, 2020

[3] INSUCO regional research study, Contrasting impacts of the security crisis on land tenure situations in the Lake Chad region, 2020

[4] PASAM & AFD report, Food security for rural Sahelian households in Niger, in the departments of Gouré and Maine Soroa.

[5] Progress Report of August 31, 2019 - RESILAC Global Steering Committee

[6] Mission report of the regional technical advisor - visit from August 13 to 25, 2020 - villages of Mamari Forage and Adebour

[7] RESILAC interim execution report n ° 3 produced in Niger - December 2020

[8] Farmer field school: a group of 20 to 25 people meeting once a week to cultivate a training plot throughout a growing season and to learn together to solve production problems

[9] INSUCO regional research study, Contrasting impacts of the security crisis on land tenure situations in the Lake Chad region, 2020

 

Taking action for mental health is a matter for everyone
 

Dedicated to raising awareness and educating everyone about mental health issues, World Mental Health Day took place, as it has every year since 1992, on October 10 around the world. The theme of this year's event, which draws attention to an often neglected human dimension and aims to combat the stigmatization and discrimination of people with mental disorders, was "Making Mental Health Care for All a Reality".

Mental health and Sahel countries

Psychological care for people with mental disorders remains a little explored issue on the African continent where it is very weak or non-existent in some regions. According to the World Federation for Mental Health, between 75% and 95% of people suffering from mental illness in low-income countries have no access to mental health services. 

The countries of the Sahel, particularly those bordering the Lake Chad Basin, are experiencing an increase in mental health needs among their residents, exacerbated by the multiple security, socio-economic and climatic crises that have impacted the region over the last five years. While the need for care continues to increase, mental health is not yet a priority for most humanitarian or institutional actors.

The RESILAC approach

In order to contribute to the response to these needs, the

RESILAC project "Inclusiv Economic and social Recovery 

of the Lake Chad" has integrated a mental health and

psychosocial support component and psychosocial support

component aimed at improving well-being and resilience and

social cohesion of the populations. Implemented by an

international consortium (Action Contre la Faim, CARE and

Groupe URD) in partnership with the CCFD - Terre Solidaire

network, Search For Common Ground and national organizations,

the project works on economic development through different

pillars in the four countries around the Lake Basin:

Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

Since 2019, through the establishment of psychosocial

support groups, individual accompaniment and community-based

education on the psychological symptoms of common mental

health disorders, the mental health and psychosocial support

component of the project is working to improve the subjective sense of well-being [1] of populations affected by the crises in the Lake Chad Basin. Between 2019 and 2021, RESILAC has treated 7,685 individuals in the region, trained 1,500 local actors in psychological first aid and 49 health workers in the integration of a psychosocial care protocol in primary health care structures.

Lack of human and material resources

Although the direct response to beneficiaries is important, the magnitude of the needs is far greater than the capacity of a single project to respond. Indeed, the lack of training for qualified personnel and the inadequacy of health centers do not allow us to cover all the needs. In the Lake Province of Chad, no psychosocial care center is available, and the ratio of health personnel per capita is edifying: one active psychiatrist for seventeen million inhabitants. In Niger, only two specialized psychiatric centers are efficient for the entire country, hundreds of kilometers from the Diffa region. In response to these observations, the RESILAC project, as part of a sustainable approach, has initiated the training of health workers in order to integrate psychosocial care within health structures. Similarly, advocacy with local authorities and the international community is a central axis for the sustainability of our intervention. 

[i]

 

Advocacy for psychosocial care for all!

Allowing everyone to have access to psychosocial support is thus a parameter to be taken into account within health and development programs, which will have the major result of strengthening the resilience of populations. However, this will only be possible if the importance of treating mental disorders is highlighted, as well as the impact of these disorders in their social and economic dimensions.

The RESILAC project has already begun to act to make this a reality by actively participating in this day through radio broadcasts, press releases and meetings with health authorities in all project countries, in order to raise awareness and initiate advocacy on the issues of mental health care.

Group psychological care

World Mental Health Day radio show

[1] Subjective well-being: the perception that each idividual has of his/her own state of well-being

RESILAC: Youth employment and local development at the heart of a multi-country workshop

The multi-country workshop on "youth employment and local development" which brought together experts in the field and stakeholders of the RESILAC project from Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad was held from November 9 to 12 via videoconference.

At the initiative of one of the consortium members, CARE Cameroon, the workshop brought together 44 participants including representatives of the communes concerned by the project, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), beneficiaries as well as local and national experts.

 

In the Lake Chad Basin, a significant proportion of young people have no access to employment and training. Two main problems stand in their way. The first is the lack of material and financial means which does not allow them to start a professional activity. The second is the lack of available training courses, which are too few in number and/or unsuited to the needs of the market and the professional prospects of the applicants.

In an economically and socially unstable region, the lack of structures and investment in vocational training combined with a low rate of employability of young people (50 to 60% of young graduates are unemployed[1]) would thus encourage some of them to leave their initial areas of residence or to join the ranks of non-state armed groups (GANE) in order to be able to meet their primary needs and those of their families, thus maintaining the vicious circle of violence and vulnerability in spite of themselves.   

 

The RESILAC (Redressement Economique et Social Inclusif du Lac Tchad) project contributes to the economic recovery and the strengthening of the resilience and social cohesion of the territories of the Lake Chad Basin most impacted by the security crisis and climate change.

Through its Pillar 3 "capacity building and institutional support", the project aims to strengthen the capacities and prerogatives of public authorities, local authorities and CSOs to help them play a central role in the implementation of development projects. It is therefore with the objective of increasing the involvement of local actors in the professional and socio-economic integration of young people through community-oriented governance that the multi-country workshop was designed.

 

The participants, who met for four days in the form of working groups, addressed the cross-cutting themes of decentralisation, governance and cross-border cooperation in order to achieve several objectives:

 

  • Identify the relevant mechanisms and tools for the socio-economic integration of young people made available to local elected officials within the framework of decentralisation;

  • Identify and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the main state and non-state actors involved in promoting youth employment;

  • Identify the potentialities and opportunities for sustainable integration of young people around Lake Chad;

  • Develop and produce partial logical frameworks to support the improvement of youth employment and professional integration by and between countries;

  • Develop advocacy plans for the mobilization of resources to strengthen the employment and professional integration strategies of the youth of Lake Chad.

 

Building on previous and ongoing processes in the Lake Chad Basin region, such as the African Union Regional Strategy for Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Lake Chad Basin Areas Affected by the GANE Crisis and the Regional Stabilization Strategy developed by the Governors' Forum, the resolutions of this workshop will allow for the development of a proposal for a "regional youth employment programme".

 

[1] Source : https://webapps.ifad.org/members/eb/131R/docs/french/EB-2020-131-R-R-16.pdf

 
 

Press release - Forum on socio-economic development in the Far North region of Cameroon - May 25-27, 2021

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On the occasion of the Forum, the actors at the regional level met in a framework of reflection and consultation on the overall strategy of socio-economic development of the Region to :

  • Discuss more broadly the public policies implemented in the Far North region for the socio-economic development of the region;

  • Highlight the links between BIP achievements (often with a social input) and local economic development;

  • Relay the recommendations from the BIP survey, debate them and formulate new ones (in the form of advocacy for the communes) to local elected officials so that they can bring the voice of the communities to members of parliament and to national and international decision-making bodies.

This forum constitutes an act of advocacy in favor of development that meets the real needs of the population of the Far North.

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FODEREN 1 restitution and advocacy workshop: presentation of the "Socio-Economic Development Strategy Paper for the Far North Region

 

What is FODEREN 1?

Following an internal study on the Public Investment Budget (PIB) of the Far North Region of Cameroon, which highlighted the low rate of involvement of communities in the implementation of projects from which they are direct beneficiaries, and at the initiative of the Diocesan Development Committee (DDC), partner of the project alongside Action Contre la Faim and CARE Cameroon,the RESILAC (Redressement Economique et Social du Lac Tchad) project organized the Forum on the Socioeconomic Development of the Far North Region of Cameroon (FODEREN) in May 2021. The objective of this meeting, which was part of a strategic approach, was to bring together beneficiaries, actors and experts in the field and in the region with a view to drawing up a new development strategy for the Far North of Cameroon.

For six days, three hundred and twenty-five participants from the six departments of the region met to discuss more broadly the public policies implemented in the Far North of Cameroon for the socio-economic development of the region as well as to highlight the links between the implementation of the Public Investment Budget (PIB) and local economic development. The objective is to develop a strategy to strengthen the resilience of the population and consolidate decentralization and development at the local level. 

Elaboration of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy Paper for the Far North Region

The FODEREN restitution and advocacy workshop, preceded by a two-day presentation of the roadmap of the new local development plan to the ministers and authorities concerned, was held on 21 and 22 October in Yaoundé, Cameroon. One hundred and forty people participated in the workshop whose objectives were to:

-          Present FODEREN to donors, embassies and technical and financial partners;

-          Decline the socio-economic development strategy of the Far North region of Cameroon;

-          Present the expectations of the Far North Regional Council to technical and financial partners.

The Socio-Economic Development Strategy Paper for the Far North Region of Cameroon, drawn up following the FODEREN1 , aims to consolidate and sustain RESILAC's actions by supporting the region's economic growth and improving the living conditions of the population through four main areas of intervention:

  • Human capital development to facilitate access to health, education, water and basic social services;

  • Economic development through the development of local product processing industries and the modernization of the agricultural sector;

  • Modernization of infrastructure to facilitate development;

  • Consolidation of good governance and environmental preservation practices in order to improve the resilience of communities in the face of climatic challenges that threaten food security in the Far North of Cameroon.

This strategy will be validated by the regional councillors of the Far North of Cameroon during the December 2021 session. In order to enrich the strategy document, the Chairman of the Regional Council and his team have embarked on a tour, which will take place from 15 to 25 November 2021, with the active and sectoral forces of the six departments in order to gather their observations. The final adoption of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy Paper of the Far North Region will take place during the December 2021 session.

What are the issues?

For RESILAC, the workshop was also an opportunity to highlight the success of the project's inclusive methodological approach based on local actors (beneficiaries), active forces (community leaders, CSOs, local elected officials), public authorities and religious authorities, and to contribute to the implementation of a development plan defined for the Far North region of Cameroon, It also contributed to the establishment of a development plan for the Far North region of Cameroon, a pioneer among the ten regions of Cameroon, as well as to perfect the process of community diagnosis with the certainty that the real needs of the beneficiary communities of the various projects will henceforth be taken into account in the BIPs and other development projects concerning them.

The implementation of this strategy will particularly enable the real needs of the communities of the Far North of Cameroon to be better taken into account in the development projects of the region by involving them in the elaboration of budgets aiming at the development of communal projects through their representatives and regional advisors.

Through the new "Socio-Economic Development Strategy for the Far North Region", RESILAC in Cameroon is no longer only responding to four communes in the Far North of Cameroon, but to the entire region.