On March 7, 2020, in Bertoua, 50 young women received their diplomas for training in the textile and clothing, commerce as well as agribusiness sectors. In addition to the diplomas, they received various equipment thanks to which they can create their own business.
The training they received is part of the Second Chance Education and Vocational Training Programme funded by UN-Women. This programme is dedicated to refugee women and girls, aged between 15 and 25, without access to the local school system, internally displaced but without education or vulnerable but no access to education.
According to Estella Kinga, project manager of this UN-Women initiative, this programme aims to reintegrate marginalized young women into the formal school system, offer them vocational training to develop their capacity to access employment, and develop their entrepreneurial minds so that they can carry out income-generating activities.
The reason the Bertoua Centre for Women empowerment and the Family is hosting the three-year project is the presence of thousands of Central African refugees in that town since 2013. In addition to those refugees, from 2016, displaced persons fleeing the Anglophone crisis also settled there. In refugee camps, prostitution is usually the only means of survival for girls and women since humanitarian aid is ever decreasing, because of lack of funding notably.
Let’s note that the Cameroonian Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family is already implementing a programme to integrate about 10,000 young girls into the professional world.