CAMEROON ASSOCIATION FOR TOMMORROW LEADERS
4. WHO ARE WE? The Cameroon Association for Tomorrow Leaders abbreviated (CAMATOL), is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization (NGO) with head quarters in Mbengwi, Momo division of the North West Region, Cameroon that seeks to promote Democratic practice, Good Governance, Human Rights, Economic Development, Agriculture and Participation among young people.
It is an Association of young people committed and devoted in bringing CHANGE within their community, through fighting Unemployment and providing Educational assistance to young people so as to be better equipped with techniques that will eventually lead them to uphold good moral virtues in society thereby becoming responsible citizens.
CAMATOL VISION Active participation of youth in policy making decisions ,nation building and healthy care within their communities, whereby they will be able to uphold good moral virtues in society thereby becoming responsible citizens
MISSION STATEMENT To help young people learn about the ideas, concepts and strategies of human rights, economic development ,health and education through engaging in meaningful dialogue, promoting critical analysis, encouraging self-reflection and fostering action
OUR BELIEF CAMATOL beliefs in a community of youth that emerges and enables a network of young people active in their communities, exchange ideas, educate each other, and share experiences about various challenges, constraints, and successes in participating in the governance of their community and country at large. Through youth participation, governance will be improved and the opportunities for corruption reduce
OUR TEAM We are a team of committed young people, youth counselors, educationists, researchers, ICT experts, jurists, communication experts, management and marketing experts with a passion for working with and for young people.
OBJECTIVES • Active participation of youth in policy making decisions within their communities • Youths will be able to uphold good moral virtues in society thereby becoming responsible citizens. • Good practices for Human rights Education and Inter cultural Dialogue by young people at local level are supported and promoted • Encourage youth to participate in development, which is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and ultimately changing entire societies • To provide information on basic health issues sensitive to the youth including HIV/AIDS. • To make available loans to poor young people for investment in self-chosen economic activities to improve on their livelihood. • To provide life skills and business development services to young people.
• To provide informal educational programmers to young people to mix with their peers. • To provide a safe place for young people to mix with their peers. • To provide recreational and developmental activities for youths. • To fight unemployment by creating and promoting income generating activities among youths. • To link-up with employers of labour in a view to bringing job opportunities to the youths • To fight against social ills like sexual exploitation of the youths, smoking, alcohol, indiscipline, HIV.AIDS. STDS and STI in our community. • To promote youth empowerment via economic development and volunteering. • To build in youths the service towards imparting positive ethnics and career choices in the youths. • Counseling/orientation services towards imparting positive ethnics and career choices in the youths. • To promote vocational training in agricultural and informational technology among the youths.
AREAS OF INTERVENTION/PROGRAMME AREAS ATOL intends to cover Momo Division as the start off point and the entire North West Region as a whole in future.
1. HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE
Recently the terms Democratization and Good Governance are increasingly being used in development literature. Major donors and international financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid and loans on condition that reforms ensuring the promotion of democratic practice and Good Governance are undertaken by governments. The concept of Good Governance is not a new one it is as old as human civilization. Democratization which is a process extending the forms of social decision-making so that dissenting or conflicting sections of society are included in the process of decision-making, and either consensus is arrived at, or a minority is reconciled to the decision due to having participated in making the decision. As such CAMATOL will be an opportunity for the young people to be fully enlightened on how they can effectively take part in the decision making and implementation process of their communities. Here the concept of good governance will be fully achieved as it will be considered a neutral concept comprising the mechanisms, processes, relationships and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their rights and obligations and mediate their differences. The young people not left out, will therefore during the project be thought on the mechanisms, methods, institutions, through which they can make their voices heard. Their rights and obligations as citizens will be of fundamental interest during the course of the project.
2. ADOLESCENT SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH Sexual health education for children and young people is one of the most debated and emotional issues facing policy makers, national AIDS programme planners and educators today. Arguments have raged over how explicit education material should be, how much there should be, how often it should be given, and at what age to initiate education. Indeed the question has been asked: Why educate adolescents about sex, sexual health and sexually transmissible diseases (STDs) at all? The answer here is that sexual debut for most young people begin during their teenage years. This programme area will therefore help in breaking existing myths, taboos and perceptions around reproductive health and sexuality. Topic will include: bodily changes during puberty, giving answers to health related questions and most importantly education around the transmission and prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STIs The training on life skills will give the young people the opportunity of changing behaviors towards curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS and therefore promote a healthy life style. Topics to be discussed include problem solving, emotional management, communication skills, relationship building, decision-making and thinking skills, responsible behavior and goal setting.
3. COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Young people in Cameroon constitute over 60% of the population but yet they are the most economically marginalized. In recent years, the number of young people ages between 15 and 35 has increased dramatically in Cameroon. According to the second Cameroon House Hold survey ECAM 11, this age group accounts for a larger percent of the total population. Most of these young people are hard hit by poverty, and this has a great effect on the countries development trend. There are many reasons behind this high youth unemployment in our country. All these are as a result of the following:
-Inadequate job opportunities, -Inadequate working experience, -Inadequate and inappropriate educational skills such as entrepreneurial and technical skills.
CAMATOLs strategy towards the eradication of poverty and unemployment will be to organize trainings with young people, whereby they will be given the skills and techniques needed to start off small income generating activities of their choice. Entrepreneurial start off capital in the form of loans will be provided by CAMATOL to young potential entrepreneurs so they can own and grow from micro business to macro enterprises.
3) Integrated Bio-Farming and Production
CAMATOL supports natural resource-based enterprise and promotes environment friendly, intensive farming methods. We collaborate with farmers and guide them to learn those basic scientific skills that are most applicable to the local ecology.
Farmers are more than happy to use alternative farming procedures since they experience no economic loss and have, in fact, profited from the production and marketability of organically developed crops.
Bio-farming is a scientific agricultural procedure which harnesses the environment to build fertile soil and enhances soil re-generation and conservation. The use of age-old methods respects the earth’s fragile ecological balance and encourages farmers to gain optimum returns.
The use of ecological farming principles in our villages also increases bio-diversity and protects the land from soil erosion in our severely damaged environs. It assists the decrease of cattle predation and crop disease. Each intercropping plant supplies a different nutrient to the soil hence we have no need for commercial fertilizers, negating the harmful effects of ingesting insecticides and pesticides by children and animals.
4) Integrated Environment Safeguard and Improvement
Pollution, deforestation and an over exploitation of natural resources have severely affected rural populations, generating terrible living conditions, poor hygiene, dropping standards of health, early mortality and other detrimental socio-economic factors.
Clean, life-sustaining water plays a very important part in the story of the delicate eco-system, and the access to potable water is being competently tackled.
There are appalling signs of distress and very poor social indicators as a result of illegal quarrying operations in the hilly regions of the district. Village environs seem relegated to the dark ages, with little evidence of active industry and absolutely no sign of prosperity.
To add to the dismal scenario, vast tracts of land have been turned into dumping grounds for filthy rags, plastic shopping bags and tetra-packs.
Since there is no efficient or enduring municipal system of untreated garbage incineration and disposal and due to clogged drainage systems, rodents, pests, flies and mosquitoes flourish, rapidly spreading disease and creating an unpleasant and unhealthy environment. Cattle on the loose ejecting excrement add to the general unsanitary mess.
CAMATOL’s immediate response has been to spread an effective awareness campaign, not only to emphasize the importance of proper waste disposal and drain clearing activities, but also to educate the community on the importance of garbage separation into recyclable and biodegradable materials and encourages using the recyclable items as a possible source of income.
Our foremost initiative has been to popularize vermi-culture, whereby whole communities re-cycle domestic waste. Eggshells, vegetable peels and other such biodegradable matter is offloaded into vermi-culture beds. This encourages the community towards positive environmental enhancement, especially since all the vegetables produced in our Bio-farming venture are organically grown in pesticide free environs!
We have successfully experimented with Biogas technology, which generates fuel out of organic waste. This is a safe and excellent way to conserve and recycle degradable sources efficiently, like animal manure and other bio-waste products.
School children are positively reinforced with the values of good hygiene, a neat appearance and environmentally responsible habits. Good health is of primary importance in the scheme of socio economic sustainability since gainful employment and livelihood depend on health factors.
It is in the positive outcome of implementing these environment-friendly conservation techniques and sound civic habits that CAMATOL promises the emergence of clean, green spaces, which in turn are beneficial and provide excellent environs conducive to open-air recreational sport activities as well as socio-cultural events