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…

Friday, 20 July 2018



The Centre forAdvocacy in Gender Equality and for Development, CAGEAD, has launched a campaign to bring solace and humanitarian aid to hundreds of internally displaced persons in the North West region fleeing from the ongoing war in the region especially those from restive Boyo and Momo divisions and cramped with relatives in Bamenda.
Thursday July 19 shall be remembered by loveline and her 5 kids for a long time. She successfully fled from the war torn Belo, Boyo division after losing the husband, to death, during one of the shoot outs in belo. Aged 34, Loveline, mother of 5 kids narrated her pathetic story to the CAGEAD team sitting in front of her one room abode at Ntaturu Mankon Bamenda. ”we left our house in Belo to Bamenda because of the ongoing war there. My husband was killed. He took me and our kids to our compound at Acha because he was bereaved at Fuli. Upon his return, I’m told the military mistook his red feather as an Amabzonian fighter. He is a Chindo kom (palace guard) a respectable title in kom. He was shot killed and dumped at koini in Njninikom. We had to run away because everybody was running away.

Thanks to Aunty Brenda we secured this one room at the cost of 6000 frs and have been managing” she narrated.
Empathising with her, Mme Waah Clotilda Andiensa, CAGEAD director coached loveline to be courageous and take on the amour of God to face life challenges. She and volunteers handed over sleeping mattress, rice, blanket, dresses, shoes tea to help ameliorate her living conditions and that of her kids.

According to Quincy, 8yrs daughter of  loveline, life has changed since their arrival in Bamenda. “We use to eat 4 times a day in our house in Belo. Now we eat at most once a day and go to bed without even knowing what to eat next. I want to become a medical doctor in future and I believe that even with the death of my father, somebody out there can still help me to pay my fees, buy my school bag and books to make me attain this dream” she intimated.
Full of tears of joy,  loveline living in a single room with five children said it is a bad experience. “We live on one mattress on the floor. We do not have money to have electricity connected to this room. So far we have received some help from the Catholic Church but this gesture by CAGEAD has greatly changed our lives here. We can now boost of two mattresses and a comfortable blanket to cover at night. I pray God to bless and reward you”.
Like loveline and her children, hundreds of IDPs are in Bamenda and its environs separated from their homes, families and dreams.

Community Conversations: An Innovative Approach to Engaging Communities in Healthcare

      By Andiensa Clotilda (CAGEAD) and Okwen P Mbah, Effective basic Services (eBASE Africa)

Identifying and handling health issues in Cameroon have remained very complex and challenging. An interplay of culture, behavior, and lack of knowledge has made health issues to either have a stigma, taboo or traditional belief associated with it. This has affected demand for orthodox healthcare by community members and more so in villages, rural and Peri-urban areas.
Identifying real health issues plaguing a community is a fundamental step for everyone who intends to carry out interventions in a community. This requires relevant and context-based communication between well-informed decision makers, community leaders, service providers and community members. This communication must be mutual, it must be able to make community members develop a vision, identify a leader and communicate with established authorities. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and as such real community issues, especially in terms of health and other basic services, are usually not identified and so not properly handled. This is why diseases and other related issues still plague most of our communities. Health issues like menstruation, abortions, family planning, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, diabetes, maternal and child mortality, sickle cell etc are hardly discussed among community members. As such these issues are usually not adequately handled and access to health services is equally very limited.
The Center for Advocacy in Gender Equality and Action for Development –CAGEAD and eBASE Africa have in the last 12 months piloted an innovative approach in community dialogue titled “COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS” in 14 villages in Boyo division in the north-west region of Cameroon.
Using a theory of change, the project brought together in every village 20 - 30 participants who were selected in an inclusive approach. These provided an opportunity to hold a frank conversation on issues affecting their health and to also propose how they would like them to be addressed. In some instances, we had only women and in some mixed i.e. both men and women. During these meetings, we collected their views on just every health issue they wanted to talk about. The figure below demonstrates how community conversations could change community perceptions and mitigate stigma towards PLWHIV.
Sometimes it is necessary to have separate conversations with women before bringing in the men. This facilitates women to build confidence on issues relevant to women. In our experience, women had difficulties discussing family planning issues in the presence of men. This was so because men will not want their wives to use family planning meanwhile the women wanted to control their births. The reasons for this difference were quite complicated, especially as men believed that family planning causes promiscuity.
Some women were so excited with the meetings that they confessed it was their first time of having a real conversation on issues affecting their health. Most men also confessed that were it not for such meetings they would never understand what their women go through in terms of the health risk as they hitherto associated most of the women’s health issues to witchcraft or taboos.
CAGEAD and EBASE intend to continue these discussions with other communities in Cameroon.

Friday, 5 January 2018


The Centre for Advocacy In Gender Equality and Action for Development, CAGEAD Cameroon has celebrated new year (January 1) with over 500 orphans in Bamenda. The annual event held in Bamenda January one bringing together orphans from about five orphanage homes across Bamenda and its environs. Organised by CAGEAD and the Fultangs family, the aim of the annual event was to instill hope in the orphans, share a common meal, celebrate the New Year like a family thereby introducing values of fraternity amongst them and in effect creating a link between the orphans and the external world. In song, play backs, recitations, choral music and cultural displays, the orphans had the opportunity to show case their own talents and measure up to other kids who have the opportunity to enjoy such privileges daily.
According to Fultang Bernadette, board chair of CAGEAD and host of the event was a very satisfactory event.”i am satisfied  with this event today.when i built this house,i invited the orphans to come join me in the celebrations as we were opening the house. later on when i visited them in their various homes they expressed the desire to visit me again.we decided that every January 1st we come together,sing,dance and the children collect their gift and go home”she said.


According to Waah Clotilda Andiensa, Coordinator for the Centre for Advocacy Gender Equality and for Action  Development -CAGEAD, it was just an opportunity given the orphans to share and enjoy the life that they would have had if they were not orphan " this event is so important to us at CAGEAD because it falls in line with our vision and mission which is to bring hope to the less privileged in anyway we can.. It was so special today because apart from sharing just a common meal like in the past and exchange of gifts, we brought in the component on sexual reproductive health education for the adolescent girls because of their vulnerability to abuse and sexual exploitation" she said. 


 On the sideline of the event, CAGEAD volunteers, Njumanuh Constance ,Njang Seraphine and Efeti Kareen all took turns to school the orphans on how to shun peer pressure, identify warning signs of sexual harassment, maintain menstrual hygiene,  and develop skills to build self esteem and assertiveness.
At the close of the event, the organizers dished out gifts of bedspreads, buckets, sanitary pads, toiletries, sugar, and milk.