Voices of Youth in Cameroon for Peace (VOYCE) Project for the “Prevention of Youth Radicalisation and re-radicalisation in the Two English Speaking Regions of Cameroon”
The “Voices of Youth in Cameroon for Peace (VOYCE)” project is a project funded by the European Union and implemented by Women in Alternative Action (WAA) Cameroon in cooperation with Trauma Centre Cameroon (TCC) and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). It is a 36-month project (2022-2024) that aims at contributing to the prevention of youth radicalisation and re-radicalization (return to violence) in the conflict communities in the North West (NW) and South West (SW) Regions of Cameroon and it comes in as a scale-up of a recent project supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)’ funding via IfaInstitutfürAuslandsbeziehungen (IFA-Zivik) and in synergy GPPAC in a project dubbed: “Building open spaces to prevent youth re-radicalization and recruitment into and radical groups in Cameroon”. The primary goal of the VOYCE initiative is to support young people in the NW and SW regions of Cameroon so that they actively participate as agents of change to promote peace and dialogue in their communities. Amongst others, it focuses on the contribution of youth participation, community cohesion and youth advocacy in the peacebuilding processes in Cameroon.
The target groups and direct beneficiaries of this project include youth civil society leaders in the selected communities, youths, as well as community and traditional leaders engaged in the intergenerational dialogue processes. In the course of this project, these youths will become actively involved in promoting peace and contributing to more inclusive and effective locally-led conflict prevention efforts, as well as strengthening community resilience to conflict in their communities.
Various stakeholders will be involved in the proper implementation of this project; from Community and Traditional leaders to Administrative and public officials from the sector ministries to CSOs and the society at large, which forms the bases for the key stakeholders to this project. By working hand-in-glove with them we will in ensure that at the close of the project, a multi-sector strategy for Cameroon’s peaceful resolution of the conflict will be established, there will be meaningful youth engagement and participation in national and continental efforts and increased cooperation between civil society and state actors in North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.
To this effect, activities to be carried out in this project are separated into nine work packages to ensure coherence and accountability; The first work package sets the pace with project inception, coordination and Risk Management. This phase is meant to tackle inclusive coordination meetings between partners and stakeholders to come through with consistent team alignment with the goals and priorities as well as other implementation arrangements like communication and how to follow up will be done. The second work package is out to see an increase in youth Civil Society Engagement which happens to be the core of this project wherein, youths will be trained as young peace champions to lead in transforming the attitudes of youth in their communities. The third and fourth work packages are solely for youth engagement and participation with the third, foster youth community advocacy and mobilisation, and fourth stepping up with Youth for Youth communications and outreach. The fifth package comes in with our financial and mentoring support for Youth community connectors for peace. Work package 6 follows up with an evaluation in monitoring and evidencing of Youth Civil Society engagement actions. The seventh work package comes in to promote Intergenerational Leadership Engagement so as to ensure inclusivity. Work Package 8 is a continuity to the latter known as Joint cross-generational communication and advocacy outreach support; last but not the least is work package 9 coming in with Project Monitoring & Evaluation, Evidence Building and Key learning.
The overall change the project wishes to achieve is the improvement in youth stability and resilience and the decrease in the likelihood of their vulnerability to armed violence or being recruited into armed groups.