On 22nd April – 23th April 2021, The Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement (GENIDA) in partnership with the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC), an educational training Centre of higher education at the service of African and world diplomacy, and the Foundation for Peace and Solidarity (FPS) held an advocacy workshop on protection and assistance of IDPs in Cameroon.
Out of numerous applications received, 35 candidates were selected, 34 Participated in the course. Amongst these: 14 male and 20 female including 8 IDPs with 4 from Bamenda, 2 from Limbe and 2 from Yaounde.
The workshop commenced with speeches from the Director of IRIC, H.E Daniel Urbain NDONGO, Dr Romola ADEOLA, the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the British High Commission in Cameroon – H.E Adrien LEE, Mme. Lydie SAFI ILUNGA, Representative of the RR, UNHCR-Cameroon and Ms. Sophie MONONO, National Coordinator of FPS Cameroon. All the speakers stress the urgency for continued dialogue on the rights and protection of IDPs in the context of the crisis the country is confronting at the moment.
The workshop involved the training from ten (10) tutors chosen among academics, officers of international organisations on Humanitarian action, AU officers and experts on Human Rights with sound experience in the specific topics covered by the training. Including Dr Romola Adeola (GENIDA), Dr Melvis Ndiloseh (Department of International Law IRIC), Dr Walters Samah (GENIDA), Dr Timothee Fomegang (ICRC), Dr. Delphine Fanfon (ME4REAL International), Mr David Andrew Okon (Institute of Disaster Management and Safety Science), Mr. Tam Lawrence (Former UN Correctional Officer), Dr Lydie Safi Ilunga (UNHCR), Ms Emilia Miki (Denis Miki Foundation) and Mr George Afana (MINADT).
The workshop covered concepts including but not limited to: Overview of the global, regional and national state of IDPs, International and Continental Frameworks (normative and institutional) for IDP Protection and Assistance, National Frameworks and Mechanisms, Undertaking IDP needs assessment (Panel Discussion by IDPs), Dealing with Trauma (providing first aid psycho-social assistance), Strategies for IDP Protection and Assistance, Specific needs and challenges of assisting IDP Women and Children
As per the training requirements, all participants who had attended at least 80% of the classes received a certificate of attendance at the end of the training. The closing ceremony on Friday 23rd April 2021, was chaired by the National Director of FPS, Dr Romola and the FPS team who also handed out the certificates.
General Comments and Recommendations.
- The root causes of the IDP crisis needs to addressed so as to avoid rising numbers of IDPS.
- Genuine dialogue between all stakeholders needs to be held to aid in problem mapping,
- Short-term IDP assistance should be preceded by a thorough needs-assessment.
- Empowerment of IDPs is important to promote their independence and autonomy through trainings in tailoring, Hair dressing, secretariat, etc…
- Establish a coordination consortium to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure that NGO-assistance efforts are mutually reinforcing.
- Creation of open data information sharing.
- International organizations and NGOs should lay emphasis on sensitization on the plight of the IDPs, in addition to assistance.
- Enforced education on the law governing civil education
- Sensitize and implicate more youths in the protection of IDPs and why not include them in data collection.
- Sensitize on the mental health of IDPs and also on sexual and gender based violence.
- Multiply Trauma healing sessions.
- Creation of focal points/ peer to peer learning.