Helping people unlearn prejudice, through intergroup dialogue sessions, was the strategy employed by Common Action for Gender Development (COMAGEND) in her one day workshop aimed at building capacities of 30 Adolescent Girls and Young Women, on how to overcome prejudice and counter violent extremism in this society.
The workshop took place at the conference hall of COMAGEND office T_ junction Bamenda, under the patronage of founder and executive director in Cameroon Mme Sally Mboumien. According to her, hate which is a fueller of violence, is embedded in prejudice.
“Our main expectation is that they go back as ambassador, as community relay agents, working to combat hate prejudice. In the community, we know that hate which is a fueller of violence, is embedded in prejudice. It is engaged in this group, to go into their communities and hold intergroup dialogues, so that the community should start rebuilding” Sally Mboumien said.
Participants on their part, were indeed thankful and could not but express satisfaction and promised torough implementation of lessons learned.
“I came here expecting to learn only about trauma healing which I knew of but reaching here, I have learned quite a lot. I’m going back ready to handle cases of addicts of different types and ready to handle conflicts. I’m going back very different, this time I’m going to preach the message and I believe the community will be highly impacted” Nfor Yvette participant.
Another participant Bih Beneditt Tatiana says “I was expecting to get the tactics on how to go ahead in my community to transmit and apply what I’ll learn on how to stop hate speech, because they are the little things that start up prejudice and lead to violence and many other things we face in the community. The workshop was interesting, materials were good, and teachings understandable. I’m happy for being part and pray God help me transmit the message to my community by forming these dialogue groups”
With the ongoing socio_political crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, participants are urged to work on their personal biases in the face of a violent and conflict. They are expected to host intergroup dialogue session in their various communities and also create peace committees as a way to continue combating prejudice. This synergies will but help build peaceful coexistence and social cohesion in the country.
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Nubeh Nai Vonna