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A big hello to SUSTAIN Cameroon

We’d like to say a big hello to SUSTAIN Cameroon, and welcome them to our Keeping Victims and Survivors Safe Programme. We are really looking forward to working with them on their child safeguarding measures.

SUSTAIN Cameroon is a not-for-profit organization working to improve the welfare of vulnerable women and children in the most under-served communities in the North-West Region of Cameroon. The organisation offers access to income generation initiatives for widows and orphans, and helps them continue their education to escape from extreme poverty, trafficking, early and forced marriages, HIV/AIDS infection and other health risks. Watch their video for more background information of what the organisation does.

As always, we like to post a news story about new members, and promote the organisation amongst the KCS network and online following.

By Etali Genesis Akwaji, CEO:

What made you decide to join the KCS members’network? 

SUSTAIN Cameroon works in child protection, and has not yet been part of a network that can help strengthen its organizational child protection and safeguarding practices. We are passionate about this goal and are open to connect to networks and institutions that can enable us to join a wider community of learning and practice, which would in turn strengthen our knowledge and capacity to deliver best practices in child safeguarding. We believe networking and belonging to partnerships is a very strong tool for empowerment and exposure and daily strive to get into such opportunities.

We want to gain skills, capacity, resources, materials, and tools to be successful in the implementation of child safeguarding measures in our context. We believe such exposure gives us access to opportunities to expand and scale up activities and programmes in the area of child protection and safeguarding. In the same vein, we hope through engaging in the network to gain access to a wider audience, showcasing our work and gaining supporters to our cause.

Our organization seeks to be fully recognized as an important institution that can be referenced for child safeguarding nationally, and internationally. We are also playing consultative roles in the design of child safeguarding measures at the level of international organizations.

What is your key driver to implement child safeguarding?

Statistics have proven that women and children are most affected in humanitarian emergencies and crisis situations, suffering from all forms of abuse including, though not limited to, child and forced marriages, sexual exploitation, rape, sexual and gender based violence, human trafficking and modern slavery etc. and this steals their futures and their dreams. This is also a root cause to future vulnerability to exploitation and discrimination.

Our organization seeks to create, promote, protect and provide meaningful safe spaces for child protection, and empowerment of women and girls, with the overall goal to enable them to escape all forms of abuses and discrimination and to thrive and survive. Thus, our desire and ambition to implement child safeguarding measures is first and foremost to ensure that we create a meaningful impact in the lives of the people we serve. Secondly, our key thematic focus is to protect and promote the rights of women and children, and with this we intend to improve our skills, resources and tools to achieve this goal. Our organization seeks to be a clearing-house for the protection and safeguarding of children in Cameroon, and to provide resources, skills and tools for child safeguarding to other community-based organizations, including government institutions and services.

Furthermore, our organization seeks to create and connect survivors to peer support groups and advocates locally, nationally and internationally. This will enable the survivors we are working with to be included into a larger community of practice. Thus, creating niches for child protection involving children, parents, stakeholders, etc. and instituting community support systems to protect, promote and safeguard the rights of children.

Where do you think your organisation will be regarding child safeguarding in a year?

Our organization will have acquired the resources, tools, skills and credibility to be a leading institution consulting and training child safeguarding. SUSTAIN Cameroon would be implementing effective child safeguarding measures across the communities it serves in Cameroon.

We are also hoping that our organization gains experience in and is recognized as a key child protection and safeguarding organization, and is accepted into the international stage, and can be instrumental in designing blueprints for child safeguarding in different contexts, including humanitarian emergencies and crisis situations.

What message do you want to tell your staff, donors and the wider world?

SUSTAIN Cameroon has an ambitious goal for the enhancement of peace and the development in our communities, nationally, and the world at large. We are very passionate about issues of child protection and safeguarding and cannot do this on our own; we need you to believe in us, we need you to walk with us, we need you to donate to our programmes and activities, we need you to partner with us in this, and we need you to give us the confidence to deliver and create an impact in the lives of the vulnerable and affected in our communities.

Our drive is to contribute in making the world a better place for all, and particularly for our excluded women and children. We believe their total and complete involvement, and that they can live their lives without violence, discrimination, prejudice, enabling them to achieve their full potentials and dreams.

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