The continuing civil unrest in Cameroon is putting additional pressure on a country already in crisis. This situation has only increased the need for foreign partners to redouble their efforts and assistance Cameroon. There are four unique crisis’ that are occurring simultaneously and any one of them is enough to bring immense hardship on a nation that ranks 150th on the UN’s Human Development Index with up to 40% of the population having little to no formal education.
The breakdown of the four crises facing Cameroon are:
1. In the North-West and South-West regions, a separatist movement has displaced more than 700,000 people.
2. In the Far North, between 230,000-300,000 inhabitants are displaced due to persistent violence by Boko Haram.
3. In the East, the ongoing civil war in the Central African Republic has forced more than 270,000 refugees into Cameroon placing a massive burden on an already impoverished nation.
4. COVID-19, this global pandemic has imposed a national crisis on Cameroon that only compounds the stresses on the entire population.
The violent crisis caused by the separatist movement has occurred in ICA’s traditional areas of aid and has forced us to react. In the areas of the highest violence, schooling has ground to a halt in 2017 and hundreds of thousands of fleeing school children have not been in a classroom for 4 years now.
ICA has made a commitment to help the people displaced by this unrest, and have shifted our school building focus to ensure that we are building schools that contribute to the critical need to provide education for these refugees of the escalating violence in the North-West and South-West regions. Pre-existing schools in the areas where the refugees have been forced to settle are bursting at the seams. Classrooms designed for 60 children are hosting 160 and, as a result, the quality of education has been reduced dramatically. ICA is building classrooms in these areas to help ease the burdens caused by unmanageable class sizes.
In the past 3 years we have built 6 large classrooms that have helped to a great extent. In the grand scheme of it all, it’s a small contribution to a problem of this scale, but we remain dedicated to working to the extent our funding allows, to facilitate an education for the children of Cameroon. At ICA, we firmly believe that education changes everything for a child.
As the Chair of ICA I am proud of our efforts to continue to serve the people of Cameroon in the face of some of their greatest trials. We continue to work extremely closely with our local partners, the Centre for International Cooperation, to provide assistance in some of the most negatively impacted populations of the ongoing violence. None of this would be possible without the steadfast support of our many individual and organizational donors. Together we continue to make a difference.
Michael Johnson, Board Chair ICA Canada
Let’s educate these kids.
The future is NOW!