NTANKAH VILLAGE WOMEN COMMON INITIATIVE GROUP
Download Ntankah's March 2007 newsletter here
Ntankah Village Women Common Initiative Group (NVWCIG) was formed in the rural areas of Cameroon's Northwest Province as a women's farming group. Many of their activities still center around joint farming, as they assist each other to do farm preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting. They do joint input harvesting to reduce costs. At the social level, they render moral, financial and physical assistance to members when they are sick, when they lose family members and on occasions of births, deaths and marriage celebrations. They have also traditionally carried out thrift and loan in a revolving scheme known as 'Njangi.'
The group actively encoursages women in general and members in particular to carry out their civic responsibilities like registering and voting, obtaining birth certificates for their children and also ensuring that members follow the vaccination program for newborh babies and infants. The group has carried out joint execution of group projects like group piggery and poultry. The group assists in local community development projects like construction of the local health post, bridges, water supply, road digging and community clean up campaign and hygiene and sanitation.
The group has recently started lobbying for women political participation and successfully got a woman elected into the traditionally all-male local traditional council.
Ntankah Village Women participating in the Habitat JAM
National Networking: CAGWEESA
As a member of GROOTS International and the Huairou Commission, NVWCIG has undertaken a number of peer exchanges with other groups in Cameroon, and is currently forming a regional network known as CAGWEESA. The idea for CAGWEESA was born during the Habitat JAM in the run-up to the 2006 World Urban Forum III.
CAGWEESA is a civil society feminist association, which seeks to improve on the educational and socio-economic status of members on a sustainable basis by actively increasing the range of choices open to women and girls by efforts in the public and private sector through voluntary activity supported by individual, local community, government and the international community.
The network has twenty groups representing a broad-based membership actively carrying out one or the other program mentioned above. Currently the members operate in three of the country’s ten Provinces namely in the Northwest, Southwest and West Provinces of Cameroon.
The objectives of CAGWEESA are to:
- Empower women, young mothers, girls, orphans and vulnerable children and interested publics with appropriate knowledge and skills to enhance women’s productive capabilities by changing their life styles through better livelihood strategies;
- Enhance the institutional capacity of women and girls to interact on a long-term basis with development actors;
- Promote family values and lobby against gender based violence, trafficking, forced labour and other exploitative social relations by encouraging a gender and development approach and highlighting the human rights of women including education, sexual and reproductive rights as well the right to land, housing and property;
- Ensure civic and political awareness/education of Cameroonian women so that they assume leadership positions and participate actively in politics;
- Encourage and promote female entrepreneurialship through business skills training, group formation and leadership development;
- Encourage and enhance women participation in financial intermediation through ensuring access to new and long term micro-credit and financial opportunities for women;
- Improve on the health status of women through valorizing the wealth of knowledge and skills available at the community level especially the provision of home based care for HIV positive clients;
- Ensure better state-civil society relations through political and human rights lobbing and advocacy so as to promote transparency, democracy, accountability and participation in short good governance;
- Work at the local and national level for the achievement of the Beijing platform of action and the MDG’s
- Strengthen local, national and international women’s organisations and networking initiatives at different levels and/or between women and different sectors.
PO Box 2062
Bafat, Mezam Division
Republic of Cameroon