Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Youths within Njinikom sub division in Boyo division have been given some 700 condoms and sanitary pads as part of measures to discourage teenage pregnancies, school drop outs amongst young girls as well as adopt healthy hygienic conditions during their menstrual periods. This was august 27 at the Njinikom municipal stadium during the finals of the fourth edition of Mayor Terence Chah Bam, mayor of Njinikom council.

The grand finals in Njinikom, marking the close of the over two months of active sports amongst the youth of the area was emotalised in football in female and male categories. Dominated by the Balikumato quarter, the Balikumato ladies defeated their Atuilah counterparts3-0 to lift the trophy, while the same Balikumato boys urged the grave diggers of Bochain to back home the trophy in the male category. speaking at the ceremony, sponsored largely by the Cameroons leading brewery industry, les Brasseries du Cameroun, cup donor, mayor Terence Chah Bam thanked the youths of his municipality for their maturity demonstrated throughout the tournament and enjoined them to uphold virtue and not vice”as you return to school, work hard as you have shown in this tournament and you shall reap the fruits of your labour” he said.

The occasion in Njinikom, was an opportunity for Some 700 youths to receive contraceptives in form of condoms and sanitary pads from the officials of the Center for Advocacy in Gender equality and action for development, CAGEAD. They queue up at the stand to be served condoms, male and female, sanitary pads and with knowledge on contraceptives,one on one discusions,demonstration on healthy use of emergency contraceptive tools like the male and the female condoms and presentation of artificial reproductive organs,both male and female. Distributed as part of activities to end the fourth edition of the mayors annual summer tournament for the youth of the municipality, it has been described by many, as a worthwhile venture, most especially in a community where condoms use and function still remains a myth especially with the effective presence of the church and sex education a taboo subject in most homes,stigmatisation of buying a condom,HIV statistics on the rise,classroom teachers still teach issues os sex from an academic background, hence resulting in unwanted pregnancies, HIV/AIDS transmition and sexually transmitted diseases and SDTs
According to clotilda Andiensa, CAGEAD coordinator, the action to distribute for free, the condoms and sanitary pads in Njinikom, was timely and fall within the associations objectives.” CAGEAD works to support women and youths. it has as major component, reproductive health education especially, adolescent reproductive health education. We came to Njinikom by choice. we work with the Njinikom council and n the advent of the mayors tournament, we saw it as an opportunity that will bring together so many young boys and girls. Njinikom like eels where still suffers from HIV new infections, female school drop outs because of teenage pregnancies.

We could not have stayed quiet and CAGEAD has its roots from Njinikom and we could not have stated this campaign from somewhere else” she said. On why the particular interest on condoms, clotilda Andiensa, and sound says it’s just an emergency measure.” We are not promoting them to engage into sexual activities but from statistics we have and from what we are observing, it shows that youths today greatly indulge into sex. We also realized that there has been much talk on abstinence and we know that many others do not abstain, so we came for those who cannot abstain. If you can’t abstain, use condom” said CAGEAD coordinator.

CAGEAD volunteers like Eric Mbotiji, Ruth Mbel, Geraldine Neng and Juliet Miami, said working with the youths especially on issues of sexuality is very rewording and interesting.” we want to tell our youth to make informed choices, they need to stay healthy, they need to use these emergency contraceptives. We are in school and we came here to encourage them not to have unwanted pregnancies, for they will make them drop out of school. They hardly use the condoms .some do not even know how to use it. They need to watch against STDs like clymedia which can make them barren for life. They said.to sandra Titi,team captain of Atuilah female team,taking home a saniatary pad will save here the ordeal of buying one and shall have the luxury of using it.coming at a the time schools are opening their doors,CAGEAD authorities believe the pads shall keep most girls at school,bridge the poverty gape for those who cant aford one and better prepares them phsychologically for school.

The mayor Terence Chah Bams tournament in Njinikom which was in its 4th edition was sponsored by les Brasseries du Cameroun.


 The center For Advocacy In Gender Equality and Action For Development (CAGEAD) A Not For profit making organization in Cameroon with a passion to empower girls, women , youth and promote gender equality , did some fact findings in a few secondary schools in the town of Bamenda, and realized that many young girls had dropped out of school because of pregnancy and were not as performing as  compared to the boys because of inadequate knowledge on comprehensive sex education, menstrual hygiene, absence from classes and the  lack of communication flow between their  parents on sex education back at home. To this effect, CAGEAD deemed it necessary to carry out a training aimed at improving reproductive health knowledge of these teenage girls as a way to empower them, educate their parents and improve on their performances in school. Adolescent girls from the ages of 15 to 18 were identified from three high schools in the town of Bamenda, respectively from Government Bilingual High School (G.B.H.S) Ateila, G.B.H.S Bayelle and Saint Michael Academy of Science and Arts
When CAGEAD carried out studies in these schools and noticed some of the challenges faced by these adolescent girls at home, in school and in the community, which affected their academic performances, this organization decided to put down a project proposal aimed at addressing these problems under the sponsorship of The Pollination Project of USA as a seed grant. This training lasted for six months and about ninety young girls were trained on life-skills, the functioning of the female reproductive system, coping with peer pressure, improving on menstrual hygiene, comprehensive sex education and rights, overcoming forms of gender based violence and personal development. CAGEAD often attended the Parent Teachers Association (P.T.A) meetings of these schools and used those platforms to educate and encourage parents to dialogue often with their children on sex education at home. As time went on, some parents realized that they needed to provide the basic needs of their daughters like sanitary pads which helps during menstruation because their children who were often afraid to tell them about their menses, but rather indicated that they were ill,  missed a lot of classes. The parents took upon themselves to provide these basic needs for their girl children and this made the girls to attend school regularly.
Two months after the training, the CAGEAD TEAM moved to these schools to know if their efforts were worth -while and had created any impact. To their amazement, positive testimonies were registered from school authorities, the parents and the children. The school authorities testified that after the training on improving reproductive health knowledge among teenage girls, the rate of teenage pregnancies and school drop outs had reduced drastically, self awareness had been created, outstanding performances recorded, and they noticed an improved relationship between the girls and their teachers which was positive and which boasted the image of the schools. From the PTA meetings, some parents were happy because they opened up and dialogued with their children on sex education which also helped them improve their relationship with the children at home. On the part of the girls trained under The Pollination Project, they were thankful to have gained valuable skills that armed them to live healthily, make informed choices and to inspire change as well.
 Zenabu a student from G.B.H.S Bayele said “after the training, my self esteem was so boasted and I was no longer intimidated by boys and I learnt how to say No and justify myself ”
Elise,a student from SMASA said " ever since my father started buying pads for me, I have never missed any class and this helped me to beat the boys academically"she said
As word on the impact the training spread, other schools started calling on CAGEAD to come and carryout the same exercise in their campuses.  These Calls to Action has inspired CAGEAD to further extend this initiative to other schools in the community of Bamenda in the nearest future.  A lot still needs to be done, on improving knowledge on reproductive education among teenage girls in our schools.  The CAGEAD team also hopes to improve on Access to the Utilization of reproductive health services in schools. What are you doing to inspire change in your community…