In February, our key focus of the month ranged from participating in Youth Day activities, to community outreach in Yaoundé and Douala.
Happy New Year Mr Minister!
As part of activities marking the start of the year, #defyhatenow gladly joined a cross section of stakeholders in the information and communication fields during the presentation of New Year wishes to the Minister of Communication. On Friday February 2, 2023, Minister René Emmanuel Sadi, met with a host of guests invited for the session that was held on the esplanade of his Ministry in Yaoundé.
As part of our social media mandate in promoting #SafeDigitalSpaces, #defyhatenow was recognised as a key stakeholder in promoting responsible content creation. This can be seen through our quarterly Africa Factchecking Fellowship: #AFFCameroon for bloggers, journalists, community-based organisations and other content creators in Cameroon. To date, over 100 French and English Factcheckers have been trained, operating in eight out of ten regions in the country. In the same vein, the capacities of 150 journalists were enhanced through a series of regional workshops on Conflict-sensitive Reporting between 2020 and 2021. The overall objective being to promote quality researched reports aimed to enhance the media’s role in building a sustainable society.
#YouthDay2023: Engaging Youth to champion peace initiatives
The 57th edition of Youth Day 2023 was celebrated in Cameroon on the theme: “Youth, Moral, Civic and Entrepreneurship Rearmament, a Guarantee for Discipline in Building a United and Prosperous Cameroon.” Every year, the first eleven days of the month of February are marked by a series of socio-cultural, professional and sports activities throughout the national territory. These culminate in a civilian march past, where children of school going age, socio-professional associations and youth wings of political parties jointly showcase their skills. During this period, #defyhatenow team was equally deployed on the field, engaging young persons to effectively contribute to nation building. This year’s celebration focused on the ‘Three Year Special Youth Plan,’ Moral, Civic and Entrepreneurial Rearmament, abbreviated in French as PRONEC-REAMORCE, aimed at unlocking the skills and building the capacities of youths at different levels. For over a week, we gladly engaged young visitors at the Youth Boulevard created at the esplanade of the Yaoundé City Council. In addition to showcasing our Social Media Hate Speech Mitigation Field Guide, visitors to our stand were also educated on the responsible social media use with our race to a #HateFreeCameroon game.
Experience Sharing: #Youth4Peace Virtual Panel Discussion:
It was a great moment of experience sharing with five youth selected from different parts of Cameroon that joined us for a virtual discussion. Holding under the theme “I am Responsible for Building Peace & a #HateFreeCameroon” they shared in their respective field and area of residence on how they are contributing to nation building in line with this year’s theme. Daily professional experience in contributing to peacebuilding; fostering youth and civic, moral and entrepreneurial rearmament; championing peace initiatives at local levels to promote a #HateFreeCameroon and the role of the media in promoting sustainable society. The entire #defyhatenow team extends sincere thanks to our panellists: Moussima Mireille Sandrine, Senior Youth & Animation Counsellor – Bertoua, Ayuk Mbeng Lawrence, Pastor – Douala, Mansour Maina, Association Kawtal / Garoua, Innocent Yuh, Journalist – Kumba and Kanda Honourine, Community Manager – Yaounde. The session was hosted by Laure Nganlay, Communication Manager #defyhatenow.
#Media4Peace Sensitisation and Community Outreach
Within the eleven days activities in line with celebration of Youth Day 2023, #defyhatenow team organised community outreach activities in schools. With logistics assistance from our partner, Save A Youth Outreach in Bonaberi, we visited Susana Bilingual and Inset Colleges in the economic capital, Douala. About 200 students were drilled with knowledge on how to engage in countering hate speech and violence in schools. Both schools’ administrators embraced the idea and expressed the wish to have such sessions often. Our trip ended with a brief extension of Youth Day 2023 at Mady Life Foundation, hosting children with special needs. This group is mostly vulnerable to discrimination and stigmatisation in the society. Watch a video report on My Media Prime TV (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YiW9w_AqmM564U97rCrIRiR7ecKHTg9H/view?usp=share_link) online. Similarly, a visit to several media outlets in Douala and Yaounde, during which our team shed light on the role of youths in contributing to a #HateFreeCameroon. This revolves around aspects like championing peace initiatives at local levels, responsible use of digital and social media platforms and above all, civic engagement.
Upcoming activity: CALL FOR PAPERS!
National Symposium on theme: Hate speech and violence in Cameroon: Social origins, emerging forms and possible responses
The Symposium is planned and organised by the Department of Sociology of the University of Yaoundé I with the support of the Cameroonian Laboratory of Studies and Research on Contemporary Societies better known by its French acronym (CERESC) in partnership with Civic Watch which is a community-based organisation whose objective is community mobilisation to effectively address online and offline hate speech. As the country implementation partner of the #defyhatenow initiative, Civic Watch works on the permanent search for solutions to issues of incitement to violence, conflict, tolerance, peacebuilding and social cohesion in connection with the use of social networks.
- February 20, 2023: publication of the call for papers
- March 20, 2023: deadline for submitting of abstracts
- March 25, 2023: Notification to authors of the acceptance or rejection of their proposals
- April 25, 2023: Submission of the full text of the communication by the authors
- From May 10-11-12, 2023: National Symposium at the University of Yaounde I
Kindly follow this link to access the complete Concept Note