CSO organizes national stakeholders’ workshop to review the Cameroon GBV MPPRSs & SOPs
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On Saturday 3rd February, 2018, over 30 gender-related multi-stakeholders were convened in the South West Regional Capital Buea, by the Buea-based Civil Society Organization (CSO), Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation (LUKMEF) Cameroon, to review The Cameroon Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Minimum Package of Preventive and Response Services (MPPRSs) and Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs), on ‘Ending Violence against Women and Girls (EVAW/G).’ Issues like: first-line response, education and demand generation, social support, clinical and justice services, were well elaborated, among others.
The event which was hosted at Fako Ship Plaza also featured other sessions in which 2 new technologies, developed by LUKMEF’s Information Technology Department were brought to the limelight. One of the sessions saw the presentation of a Mobile App, dubbed Options for Women (abbreviated Ops4Women) – aimed at reinforcing the fight against GBV in Cameroon. This App can be accessed at www.m.options-4-women.org. Another session expatiated on a new software for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), named NGO Smart Budget – with object to ease good governance, and reporting on projects implementation by grantees.
Quizzed on the significance of the workshop, TANYI Christian, Co-founder and CEO for LUKMEF said, ‘we are working to develop a national Minimum Package of Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response Service.’ He emphasized further, that the idea was to develop a standard document that would guide everybody working on GBV to provide services at the same level of quality. ‘Victims of GBV or those at risk need to have access to a range of services, and those services should be available and accessible wherever, throughout the national territory, and provided at the same level of quality, in respect of national and international norms’, he reiterated. Besides, the CEO indicated that the Mobile App, Options for Women, had been developed to allow survivors or victims of Gender-Based Violence to report anonymously, and to access different services online. That way, one will be able to know in case of each type of violence, what services were available and who close-by could provide same…. ‘The survivor or victim and other activists will know what the law provides in case of those services, so that justice can then be opened’, he went on.
One of LUKMEF’s volunteers, George NEBA, who spearheaded the work session on the NGO Smart Budget, pointed out that this new software was developed in furtherance of LUKMEF’s goal of developing new technologies to improve on good governance, transparency and accountability at all levels in the Civil Society. ‘This software is a very timely, pertinent, and welcomed initiative, as it ensures the putting in place of a standard internal financial and operations management system that enables NGOs or CSOs to properly record, track, review, and control their project spending – thus improving on grantee transparency, accountability, and compliance to donor specifications; facilitating timely and accurate financial reporting; and easing monitoring and evaluation of projects; among others’, he asserted confidently.
Ever since LUKMEF was founded in 1999, she’s upheld peace/non-violence, social justice/human rights, and sustainable development in Cameroon. She closed 2017 by championing 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls: spanning from 25th November (set aside globally to end all forms of violence against women/girls) – and culminating in a grand event on 10th December (International Human Rights Day) that witnessed over 1,000 multi-sectorial gender-based activists who joined voices to banish all forms of GBV.
LUKMEF is presently working on an upcoming international stakeholders’ conference, at the nation’s capital, Yaoundé, from 28th February to 1st March, aimed at chatting a unified front to eliminate violence against women and girls in Cameroon. ‘The goal is to stimulate multi-sector and multi-actor engagement, build and strengthen strategic partnerships and collaborations between stakeholders around the national strategy to end violence against women and girls, in conformity with specific goals of the SDGs in Cameroon’, the CEO for LUKMEF elucidated.
Note worthy is that the workshop to review Cameroon’s GBV MPPRSs & SOPs, the 16 days of activism, and the upcoming conference in Yaoundé – all fall within a 3-year project to end violence against women and girls in Cameroon, with funds from UN Trust Fund and UN Women. LUKMEF the project holder is presently implementing the same, with her immediate project partners i.e. Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF) Cameroon, International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) Cameroon, Pan African Institute for Development West Africa (PAIDWA) Cameroon and Voices for Women (VOW) Cameroon.
By George C. NEBA