More than 80% of the children working in Cameroon’s three leading cities, Yaounde, Douala and Bamenda, are victims of child trafficking (UNICEF report). Additionally, UNICEF and other independent NGOs report that the North West Region of Cameroon is the leading recruitment region in central Africa. This is where we are located.
Multiple stakeholders are engaged in awareness creation, which has helped give victims of child trafficking the courage to speak out and oppose exploitation. Unfortunately, this awareness has not been properly followed by an alternative to the ‘pull factor’. The ‘pull factor’ is the desire of many children to acquire marketable skills, such as a trade or an education. Traffickers often deceive children by promising them work, training, or study opportunities in secondary schools. Eventually as victims grow older and break off from their masters, many are forced to become survival sex workers.
GLOWA wants to address this problem by creating a survivors support center. The center will provide these children with counseling, mentoring, vocational training, and job support services. We are looking for passionate people to join us on this journey!
WHAT WE NEED
The survivor support center is still in its start-up phase. However, space is available in our current offices where vocational rehabilitation can take place. We also have an instructor and many rescued victims of child trafficking waiting to begin training. We risk losing them through secondary trafficking if we do not address the pull factor as soon as possible. It is worth noting here that these youths are easily targeted by traffickers when they are lost and unoccupied.
The initial goal of this campaign is to acquire two manual sewing machines to kick-start vocational training. This will create a sustainable alternative to the pull factor for children rescued from trafficking.
Vulnerable children often fall for the recruitment scams of traffickers, who usually promise an opportunity to learn a trade or go to secondary school. These children are disconnected from the greater community without friends.
Counter trafficking organizations are doing a great job to break the silence and raise community awareness, but this budding group of informed survivors cannot compete in the rough labour market of Cameroon, especially without marketable skills. As such, many engage in survival sex work, especially those who become pregnant.
These groups of suffering survivors (breakups) send bad signals to those still trapped in exploitation and play to the advantage of traffickers. Victims prefer to cling to their exploiters rather than embrace freedom because they can’t support themselves.
Your donation will help us address the problem in a sustainable way. Working as a group, the voices of survivors will amplify to eradicate this tragedy.
HOW THE CENTER WILL SCALE UP
The center hopes to scale up by adding more vocational training options, such as hairdressing and shoe making. The center will also be open to the public, who can help support these children by paying for the services they provide. A “MADE BY SURVIVOR” brand is expected to be put into the Cameroonian market that will help fund the running of the center.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
• Donate a used sewing machine or any other equipment that can be used in the rehabilitation center.
• Use the Indiegogo share tools to promote the project on your web sites and social networks. Invite your family and friends to support the project.
• Connect us with any foundation that gives in-kind support to charities in Cameroon
• Discuss the project with your friends and meeting groups