As a program Manager at the Coordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) North West Region, Bamenda, Cameroon I am very dynamic with my professional and career life. As I stand as a role model for persons with disabilities in my community, I advocate for their rights and promote peace. One story of my peace building work is about learning to use social media to increase our reach to persons with disabilities and communities all over our local and national territory. This story starts with the establishment of a partnership with AFCIG through the signing of a memorandum of understanding between CUAPWD and Action Foundation Common Initiative Group (AFCIG) on April 14th 2015. Through the establishment of this partnership, CUAPWD was to provide one individual with a disability (me) to be trained by AFCIG in a training workshop on April 5th 2016 as a peer educator and a tolerance and peace campaigner for their project #OneCamerooon. The campaign was from April to October 2016.
My responsibility as a peace and tolerance campaigner was to:
Post peace and tolerance messages in any format beginning with “#OneCameroon” hash tag (written, audio, video or picture) on Face book, twitter, Linked In and all other social media of my choice.
Post a picture of myself or group showcasing Cameroon’s religious/cultural diversity accompanied by #OneCamerooon hash tag and any peace promotion message of my choice. This needed me to bring out my creativity like write on my palm, T-Shirt, and anywhere else I could think of.
Organize peace awareness-raising in schools, work places, as well as social, cultural and religious gatherings.
Put up a peace message banner on all my social media pages.
This was the first time that I had been involved with this kind of public peace advocacy, and I loved it! With the above responsibilities assigned to me that was to last for three months, that is from April to June 2016 and the knowledge on how persons with disabilities in Cameroon suffer from marginalization and discrimination, I was determined to make an outstanding impact as a peace and tolerance campaigner with a disability on the potentials that persons with disabilities can show case.
During this period, I posted peace and tolerance messages on LinkedIn, Face Book and twitter in pictures, writing, and with videos in sign language, doing my best to make it a very inclusive campaign as much as possible. I brought out all the creativity in me to promote as many peace and tolerance messages as possible on the social media. Just as with many other campaigns, access issues can be forgotten and I wanted to ensure that the Peace community had an increased awareness about how to include persons with disabilities (PWD).
After the evaluation of 60 peer educators, I was privileged to be top on the list, winning the first prize of the #OneCameroon Campaign. I was given the award for being the best peace and tolerance campaigner in 2016. This led to the visit of Isabelle Tibi, Project Management Specialist from United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) office in New York to our organization, which was a very special occasion for me and CUAPWD.
My passion for peacebuilding work has grown significantly from this experience and I am now even more committed to increasing the peace building work of the CUAPWD, and continuing my leadership roles in the organization and in our community. I am also the founder of the Community Association for Vulnerable Persons (CAVP) in Baba II, Santa Subdivision, and North West Region of Cameroon of which I have extended my peacebuilding works to my nonprofits organization.