Support for displaced women and girls
The most northern part of Cameroon has also been hit hard by the terrorist attacks of Nigerian terror group “Boko Haram”. 360,000 people there are on the run, 220,000 internally displaced. They fled from the regions bordering Nigeria to the east in order to get as far away as possible from the attacks. However, the infrastructure there cannot cope with the influx of so many people and tensions are rising with the local population.
It is the women and girls who are most affected by this crisis. Many have become the victims of sexual violence at the hands of Boko Haram. Some were held hostage and indoctrinated, later blowing themselves up in busy locations as suicide bombers. It is no wonder that so many women and children are deeply traumatised. Caritas international is working closely together with ALDEPA (Action Locale pour un Développement Participatif et Autogéré) in order to provide these victims with psychological support and help them gain economic independence.
A study was initially published as part of the project, about the situation of the women and children who had become victims of the sexual violence and trauma resulting from the Boko Haram crisis. The aim is to raise awareness of their plight among the local population, to reintegrate these victims and effectively prevent others from suffering the same fate. Women are also to be reminded of their rights and support options.
7,000 women (among them 2,000 refugees, 4,000 internally displaced women and 1,000 local women) will be provided with psychosocial support and therapy, as well as the option of voluntary HIV testing. 120 women will be shown how to secure their financial independence, while 300 women and girls will receive assistance returning to school or their prior workplace. The Redel Foundation is supporting these efforts with €140,000.