What has become known as the “Ambazonia War of Independence or Anglophone Crisis” in the English speaking part of Cameroon (North West and South West Regions of Cameroon) seems hopeless over four years now, especially with the persistent deadlock between the government and separatists. The ongoing tit for tat violence is not only steadily plunging the entire country into a civil war, but has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths (the majority of which are youths), general insecurity, hostage takings for ransom, extortions, closure and burning of many schools and economic centers, destruction of roads and other infrastructure, the burning down of villages, horrendous abuses of Human Rights, untold suﬀerings of hundreds of thousands of refugees in neighboring countries and more than a million internally displaced persons. According to Henrietta Fore, general directress of UNICEF, since 2016 some 850,000 children have been deprived from schooling in the English Speaking part of Cameroon.
Moreover, the youth population, which constitutes more than 70% of the total population of the conﬂict regions, are the most radicalized, manipulated, engaged and violent in this conﬂict. Unfortunately, youths as a conceptual category are frequently ‘othered’ in the discourse on conﬂict especially in a high-level peace process from politicians, who themselves are beholden to a wide range of constituents and interests, which might not be any recipe for durable peace. Therefore, youths are often seen as potentially dangerous ‘subjects,’ the main protagonists of criminal and political violence. They are easily vacillated between the two extremes of ‘infantilizing’ and ‘demonizing’. That is to say, on the one hand, youths are viewed as vulnerable, powerless and easily manipulated. On the other, they are feared as dangerous, violent, apathetic and as threats to security.
The above notwithstanding, it is our conviction in designing this project that there is a critical and urgent role that the youths in this conﬂict stricken area have to play in peacebuilding and the transformation of the conﬂict. What Rohi Foundation (Euphrates Chapter Cameroon) underlines is that the youths of the English speaking part of Cameroon are to be conceptualized, studied and empowered as agents of positive peace in terms of addressing not only the challenges of physical violence, but also the challenges of structural and cultural violence, and the broader social change processes.
Consequently, Rohi Foundation (Euphrates Chapter Cameroon) is engaging these youths living in the violent English speaking regions of Cameroon in civilian peacebuilding through training.
Presently, Rohi Foundation (Euphrates Chapter Cameroon) is working on extending this project that aims to de-radicalize and reduce youths’ vulnerability to the violence in the English Speaking regions of Cameroon by training some youth peacebuilders on civilian peace practices. This project is in its extension phase. The objectives of this project in this initial extension phase include to:
- Train some 20 internally displaced youths otherwise vulnerable to violence in the conflict area on peace practices.
- Mobilize these 20 youths into a youth volunteer task force of peace educators or peacebuilders. The main activity of the project is a 3 month training in civilian peace practices
Aim of the Project
This project aims at educating citizens on peace values through Peace Education Clubs.
Peace Club Format
What is a Peace Club?
- A club is an association dedicated to a particular interest. Peace clubs are groups which focus on the promotion of peace.
What does a Peace Club require?
- Ideal is to have two trained volunteer teachers (a male and female) to lead the club in schools, and communities leaders like clergies and village notables to lead clubs in non-school settings.
- Curriculum will be developed so teachers/learners need limited preparation and training.
- Weekly meetings are necessary.
- Meetings will be in the form of discussions, not a lecture.
- Ideal is to have constant and ready support and follow up from project team.
- Peace Teachers act as coaches and facilitators, participants lead and animate the club meetings and discussions. A follow up coordinator acts as a resource person.
Club participants in turn, are expected to use the knowledge acquired from Peace Education Clubs in three ways. They have to share this knowledge with:
- Other non-peace club members
- Their parents, friends, and children in the community
- They have to also apply this knowledge in their daily life
Activities in a Peace Education Club
- Testimonies of how someone acted non-violently
- Brief Peace Talks
- Dialogue circles
Nature of Peace Club Meetings
- Peace Club curriculum based on 45 Minute meetings
- Key: participants understand the topic and know how to apply it
- 25 to 50 members is ideal, if above, another club is created
- Section one: Violent conflicts and effects
- Section two: The meaning of peace and its importance
- Section three: Cultivating peace values
- Section four: Journey to Reconciliation
- Section five: Peace and development
- Section six: Human Rights and Peace
- Section seven: Techniques of facilitating peace clubs
The need for peace education is crucial and urgent in Cameroon. However, one may ask: what is peace education?
Peace education is the process of acquiring the values, the knowledge and developing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the natural environment.
One may also ask: why is peace education important? First, peace is a divine and fundamental human right for everyone. Therefore, its promotion and protection can guarantee all other human rights such as: right to life, right to physical and moral integrity, right to health, right to education, right to shelter, right to food, right to security, etc. The absence of peace undermines conditions essential to realizing human worth and development because war erodes human dignity. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” And Gandhi, one of the greatest followers of Jesus’ teachings, once reflected on Jesus’ command not to seek revenge and averred “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind”.
Peace education provides the means of creating a culture of peace in society. A culture of peace does not only minimize violent incidents from occurring, it reduces the need and the cost which is associated with peacemaking and peacekeeping.
Furthermore, one may ask: why is peace education urgent and indispensable in Cameroon now? Think of the thousands of refugees who have fled this country and the millions of internally displaced people who have fled their homes in desperate attempt to escape violence. Think of the thousands of lives that have been brutally wasted. Think of the many women who have been raped and children subjected under abuse. Think of the hundreds of villages, schools and hospitals that been burned down. Think of the millions of children who have been deprived of their right to education. Think of the untold suffering and torture that many are passing through because of violence. Think of the increasing rate of crimes and teenage pregnancy. Think of how much the economy is losing.
Therefore, join us in the campaign for peace education to be adopted in school curricula from primary to university in Cameroon.
The foundation has been reaching out to the vulnerable individuals and communities in the conflict stricken regions of Cameroon with lifesaving assistance in the form of food, medication, seed capital, and psychosocial assistance.
Some of many success stories include the story of Christabel!
Christabel shed tears as she shared her testimony. She said she was a very frustrated single mum when she came in contact with Rohi. She had lost all hope in life after being abandoned during pregnancy by her boyfriend who had asked her to abort the pregnancy or take care of the baby herself. She was a housemaid in a rich family when she became pregnant. She had lost her mom who was her only parent while still a kid.
Her uncle, who was supposed to be her legal guardian, had thought she was better fit to be a house help than go to school like his own children. She was sent to be a house help at the tender age of nine. She grew up never knowing her dad and trying to help feed her other siblings who had also dropped out of school. She suffered injustice as she worked for several women and they sent her away without paying her a cent, not minding that she had a son to look after.
Rohi foundation took her through many sessions of counselling and literacy classes. She had wanted so badly to read her Bible but couldn’t as she could not read or write. A few months later, through some partners of Rohi, Christabel had a job as a maid, with a better salary and better working conditions. She had been trained as a hair dresser but couldn’t do much work as she had developed a lumbar spine pain after child birth.
Today Christabel is more stable, mature and happier. She sends her son to school with her earnings and dreams to continue her education and become a nurse. Her employer has doubled her salary, and taken her in as her adopted daughter. It’s with tears that she remembers her past and thanks God for all the trials she’s been through.
Rohi Foundation has acquired a five hectare piece of land in Mankon Village for the purpose of establishing a ‘best practice’ permaculture farm. The farm carries on a range of agro-pastoral activities. Our main aim of the project is to scale up the production and consumption of organic crops produced from a flourishing natural ecosystem. We do integrated farming of crops like: maize, beans, vegetables, peppers, plantains etc. and livestock. Through this farm we seek to train youths in peace-building and permaculture, while employing some, generating food and finances for the assistance of the many Internally Displaced Persons in need of food and also for the promotion of peace-building in the English Speaking part of Cameroon.
Cameroon, once a peaceful nation has recently become the home to Africa’s most intractable and turbulent conflicts. What has become known as the “Anglophone Crisis” in Cameroon seems hopeless over five years now, especially with the persistent deadlock between the government and separatists. The ongoing tit for tat violence is not only steadily plunging Cameroon into a civil war, but has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths, general insecurity, hostage takings for ransom, extortions, closure and burning of many schools and economic centers, destruction of roads and infrastructure, burning down of villages, horrendous abuses of Human Rights, untold sufferings with hundreds of thousands of refugees in neighboring countries and more than a million internally displaced persons. According to Henrietta Fore, general directress of UNICEF, since 2016, some 850,000 children have been deprived from schooling in the English Speaking part of Cameroon. This crisis has added to the numerous violent conflicts already in Cameroon such as: Boko Haram (a Nigerian jihadi group, into Cameroon’s northern part), and numerous inter-tribal and farmer-grazers conflicts in the Grassfields of Cameroon. Therefore peace, development and morals are really in an endangered state in the country. Significant themes that have dominated the conflicts in the country include proliferation of small arms and light weapons, illegal armed groups, sexual and gender-based violence, and population displacement. In response to the above, Rohi Foundation created the Institute of Peace and Evangelical Theology (IPET). The long-term vision of IPET is to provide students with the analytical, methodological and spiritual tools that can contribute to building capacities to promote peace, resolve conflicts and restore morals in the country and beyond.
- Adult Literacy Program: This program provides Bible-content basic literacy and Bible-content English as a Second Language (ESL) training.
- Certificate in Biblical Studies (CBS): CBS is a one year program in Biblical Studies open to anyone who wants to know more about the Bible. There is no other requirement other than the desire to know more about the Bible.
- Certificate in Biblical, Peace and Conflict Studies (CBPCS): Biblical, Peace-building and conflict resolution skills are crucial for the stabilization and advancement of society. This certificate trains experts who can help bring sustainable peace among diverse communities.
Duration is one year.
- Certificate in Biblical Studies and Social Entrepreneurship (CBSSE): Social entrepreneurship is gaining international attention motivated by the desire for change and to see the world as it ought to be, not as it is. Students in the course will learn how social entrepreneurs have developed creative solutions to address social problems. There are no other requirements other than the desire to know more about the Bible or the desire to be a change maker. The training duration is one year.
- Diploma in Pastoral Ministry (DPM): DPM is a training to become a pastor or a church servant. At IET, this training lasts for 2 years. Requirements: GCE O Level or its equivalent and pastoral recommendation letter.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Theology (B.Th.): The Bachelor’s Degree in Theology is a solid theological training that aims at training students for a general knowledge in theology, the Bible and the liturgy. The duration of the program is three years and entry requirement is GCE Advanced level or its equivalent.
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.): Master of Divinity is a training program in theology that permits those who do not have a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology to do a graduate program in the theological field. Entry requirement is a Bachelor in any field of studies and the duration of the program is 3 years.
- Master’s Degree in Theology (M.Th.): The master’s degree in theology is offered at IET in the following options: Church History, Systematic Theology, New Testament, Old Testament, Practical Theology and Missiology. Admissions Requirements: B.Th. in Theology or a Master of Divinity. Duration of studies: 2 years.
- Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE): The Master of Arts in Christian Education degree prepares persons for competent leadership in educational ministry in churches and other settings. Entry requirement is a Bachelor in Theology or Education and the duration of the program is 2 years.
- Master of Arts in Theology and Peace Studies (MTPS): The MATPS is a 60-credit-hour academic degree program that prepares students interested in careers and scholarship at the intersection of theology and transformative peacebuilding. Students combine academic study with sustained engagement in the field. Admissions Requirements: Bachelor in Theology plus transcripts and an Academic Recommendation from a University lecturer. Duration of studies: 2 years.
- Master’s Degree in Theology and Intercultural Studies (MTIS): The MTIS is designed to sharpen its students’ skills in cross-cultural work to be more effective in their career. Major concentrations include: Language, Translation, Church Planting, Community Development, etc. Students carry research and develop writing skills on specific cross-cultural issues. Entry requirement is Bachelor degree in Biblical Studies or Theology or Master of Divinity or their equivalent. Duration of studies: 2 years.
- Master’s Degree in Transformational and Organizational Leadership (MTOL): The Master of Transformational and Organizational Leadership program is focused on effective transformation and organization in leadership that can stand today’s uncertain and constantly changing world. The goal of this program is to train a new generation of more effective and godly leaders who are grounded in Christian ethics, the concept of “servant leadership,” and scholarship in a multi-disciplinary manner. Admissions Requirements: B.A. in any field plus transcripts and an Academic Recommendation from a University lecturer. Duration of studies: 2 years.
Why Choose Us?
- Competent and Spirit filled faculty
- Scholarship opportunities
- Flexible study methods
- Local and international affiliations
- Admission on rolling basis
- Exchange programs
- Possibility of pursuing dual certificates
- Post-graduation support
Multiple (Online, Distance and on campus and both evenings and weekends).
Awing Credit Union Building, 1st and 4th Floors, Fon’s Street, Small Mankon Bamenda