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Association of Human Rights and Torture Defenders

Reg No: G.37/D.14/1/VOL8/81/OAPP

Responding to challenges in Cameroon

2008 ANNUAL REPORT


NGO Reg. N° G.37/D.14/1/VOL8/81/OAPP AHURTOD thanks
Association of Human Rights and Torture Defenders the following persons for wonderful collaboration:
(AHURTOD)
Association Des Défenseurs Des Droits De L’homme Contre
La Torture (ADDHCT) Ms. Sari Naskinen - KIOS Finland
Mrs. Katy Newell-Jones - Feed the Minds UK

P. O. Box 157 Mrs. Jane Guskin - AJ Must USA


Long Street Buea Mrs. Laura Dennision – Feed the Minds UK
Fako Division
South West Province Ms. Linda Zuijderwijk – ALERT Netherlands
Cameroon Mr. Daniel Wong – Certified Charter Accountant
Africa

Phone: 00237/ 99 63 11 18 Local volunteers and collaborators –


Fax: 00237/ 33 32 29 36
Mr. Nelson L.
Email: ahurtod@ahurtod.org Mr. Eugene Maguire
Website: www.ahurtod.org
Mme. Grace Tembi
Our Donors for 2008
Bank Account Mr. Tiku Christopher Tambe

Afriland First Bank, no 0146791150106, Limbe, Cameroon Mr. Ndi Richard A J Muste Memorial Foundation,
Mr. Chi Primus USA
International Liaison/Representative
Director of GLOWA
Feed the Minds, United Kingdom
Mrs. Tembi Grace, UK Represenatative Director of WA Cameroon
Phone: 0044/ 7930137916
Email: mpehakong@btinternet.com Mr. Nchanji Ndi Mr. Eugene Maguire, International
Ms. Elizabeth Ako Criminal Court, Netherlands
International Coordinator
Barrister Shey Blaise
Mr. Eugene Maguire, International Criminal Court, The Mr. Fongoh Eric
Netherlands
Phone: 0044/ 77 65 93 89 11
Email: eugenemag@hotmail.com
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous
struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man
can't ride you unless your back is bent.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Contents

° A Message from the General Commissioner

° About AHURTOD

° Our Activities for 2008


A Message from the General Commissioner

“If you feel you are too small to change the world, then try sleeping with a single mosquito”. I would like to
thank all our partners and volunteers for making the year 2008 a successful one for AHURTOD. In fact the
significant confidence bestowed on us by donors in grant making to enable us implement some strategic
projects and programs are evidence of such success in a country where acquiring funds is extremely difficult
and problems to address are always on their exponents.

I however hope this partnership and trust will continue as we jointly address salient issues affecting the lives
of the ordinary man in Cameroon. While we hope to continue working hard to provide essential services, we
feel the relevant and generous support should not be spared by stakeholders when the need arises as it is
through this support we are able to touch significantly a life in a country whose political system and
government is only showing signs of oppression, go-free embezzlement, less practical access to justice,
window dressing elections, and they list can go on and on. However, I must admit while the country seems to be very hard especially the
poverty margin which has render most people to develop unorthodox means to survive, there is a significant increase in the role of civil
society organisations as they spare no stone unturned to foster these positive living values. Such is true with AHURTOD during the year
2008 as our focus on women related problems [violence against women] is making a lot of progress and more and more women are
beginning to stand and defend issues they neglected based on bias culture and tradition.

We do beseech further contributions to better provide appropriate programs and services to the people we serve, while hoping to achieve
the corporate goal of universal acceptance of human in an effort to creating more open, just and democratic societies. .

NKEM Bellamin Fonkeng


General Commissioner (AHURTOD)
AHURTOD’s Goal

“to ensure that there is the practical realisation of human rights


in the world and that people, especially women and children,
can provoke an environment to facilitate the claiming of their
rights both as individuals and in groups if educated/empowered”.

AHURTOD’s Mission

Equality, Justice for All and Peace. We believe that, if there is equality at all of the levels in the human cycle, and if all
humans are treated with dignity, justice and fraternity –understanding that the brotherhood of man transcends the
sovereignty of nations – then, there will be peace of mind, peace in the heart and social peace for a world termed JUST
and free from condemnation.
Legal Name/Status of AHURTOD

The Association of Human Rights and Torture Defenders – AHURTOD, is a human rights and relief based organisation
which is non governmental (NGO), non-political, and non-discriminating. It is governed by law No. 90/053 of 19/12/90,
governing the creation and functioning of an association in Cameroon, and registered administratively under the Ministry
of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINATD), Cameroon

Our Creed

We believe in a Supreme Being called GOD;

That he made humans with respect, dignity and different from animals;

That difference in colors, classes, countries, duties and wealth, should


not have negative impacts on our fellow brethren;

That the respect of human integrity should be held in high esteem;

That government should protect our rights and that; the respect of
Human Rights brings peace and prosperity.

Developed by

NKEM Bellamin Fonkeng


Founder/Executive Director
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT LAHURA

The Association of Human Rights and Torture Defenders (AHURTOD) is a human rights and relief organisation which is
non-governmental (NGO), non-political, and non-discriminating. It is a not for profit Organisation with the vision of
working for the practical realization of human rights in Cameroon by protecting the country’s vulnerable and deficient
population.

AHURTOD was formed in March 2004 with the aim of defending the rights of persons irrespective of their nationality,
class, colour, race or social status. At the same time, our organisation pays specific attention to women and children
who are the vulnerable population with respect to human rights abuse and torture in Cameroon. These cruel vices,
mostly affecting women and youth, hinder personal development, equality, peace, and human progress in general.

The Association was launched with a strong commitment to act and speak for children whose voices have been silenced
by hunger, injustice, inhumane treatment, lack of parental affection, sickness, illiteracy, accidents, gender bias cultures,
natural disasters, etc. Misery and trauma have led many children and adolescents to adopt delinquent and deviant
behaviour. AHURTOD works to help youth to help them live a better life.

“My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.”

Barack Obama
HOW WE DO IT

A/ Human Rights Education and


Sensitisation; Our Objectives
B/ Advocacy and Lobbying; 1. Defence of human rights;

C/ Human Rights Field Work Activities 2. Relief to victims of torture;


(Research);
3. Fight against child labour, rape, exploitation, abuse, neglect,
D/ Counseling;
and trafficking;
E/ Conflict Analysis/Resolution;
4. Promotion and defence of women’s rights;
F/ “Women Assisting Women” Program
(WasW); 5. Provision of material, legal and socio-cultural assistance to
.
G/ ‘’Let Children Be Children’’ Program; victims.

H/ Civic and Democracy Education;

I/ HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention


campaigns
Area of Intervention During 2008

Map of the
South West
Province
showing all
five Divisions

The South West Province (SWP) has a population of over three million
(3.000.000) inhabitants, the SWP covers an area of 25.085 km2, and
harbours a wide variety of ecological zones. It is an important oil-
producing zone and hosts the only oil refinery of the country. It is known
to be the breadbasket of the nation; yet, the SWP is characterised by
poor infrastructure and very limited off-farm employment opportunities.
Since cash and food crop farming is the main stay, the SWP is especially
characterised by degraded or fast degrading farmlands resulting from
shifting cultivation and other unsustainable pastoral and agricultural
activities. The situation gets worse and more dramatic as one advances
northwards from the Atlantic coast in the south.

The SWP is one of 2 Anglophone provinces in a country of 10 provinces.


Like minorities everywhere, English-speaking SWP suffers its own share
of marginalisation perpetuated by the French-speaking majority. Since
the introduction of multi-part democracy in Cameroon in the 1990s,
elections in this part of the country have invariably been marred by
massive rigging as well as low voter registration and turnout, due
essentially to the deliberate disenfranchisement of part of the electorate
for cultural, ethnic and other reasons, by overzealous administrators
colluding with local politicians of the ruling party.
AHURTOD’s Activities in 2008
1. Violence Against Women  Involved other civil society actors to take up the problem and advocate
within their groups and community
The year started with the organisation of capacity building workshops to sensitise  etc
women group leaders of the south west province who intend will serve as spring
Impact achieved
boards to reach other women in their various locality. The project was co-
sponsored by KIOS – The Finish NGO for Human Rights, Finland  An estimate of 45 communities in the South West Province effectively
sensitized.
 An overwhelming estimated population of over 3000 women was reached
by the project.
 The inheritance booklet successful gained acclamation and there was a
mad rush to grab copies.

Group picture after the training seminar

The objectives of the project included:

 Production and distribution of 1 000 small booklets on Inheritance rights


and procedure

 Training of about 30 – 50 women group leaders on inheritance rights Picture of Individual group sensitization [Able women group Muamu]

 Heighten the problems women faced in Cameroon in relation to inheriting  Over 75 women associations including religious groups where serve with
property given the bias law and traditions. the inheritance booklets.
 A considerate amount of North West Province women where reached
who where not part of the project target. They where able to mobilise women group leaders of the province and took
 The inheritance rights booklet was well understood in content and format. charge in the distribution of close to 700 booklets. More over, the project gained a
 Men became increasingly interested in the project as could be seen in lot of momentum as the province is noted for bias tradition when it comes to
their presence in both launching and training seminar. women inheriting properties.
 The project successfully built an atmosphere of trust and a platform for
continue dialogue on the issues of inheritance.
 The booklets successfully implemented their acceptance as a legal
document for reference.
 Etc.

Phase two of the project:

After the successful organisation of the first project funded on inheritance rights
for women, we were able to secure another funding to be able to organise the
Group picture of North West Participants
project on a larger scale cutting across two provinces of Cameroon including the
Northwest and South West Provinces by Feed the Minds UK.
Back in the South West Province, the project was made successful with the
collaboration of Women In Action another NGO headed by the Registrar of the
The idea was to reach out to segments of the women population we did not touch
High court who over sees the probate division. The organisation also took an
due to limited resources. However, given this additional funds we successfully
active part in the distribution including serving court officials and visitors to the
printed and distributed over 4 000 booklets on inheritance rights i.e. over 2 000 to
probate division of the court copies.
Northwest and South West respectively.
Worth noting about this project is the fact that, some local volunteers
This was made successful by our partner in the Northwest Province WA assisted in the production of a short movie on inheritance rights in the

Cameroon an NGO working to eliminate gender base violence in our society. pidgin language so that those who can not read or write could still
access the information including the procedure, what to do, and where to This project also benefited from a wider courage of the Northwest media
seek for assistance. The short movie portrays the story of a woman who people and the heavy presence of the STV journalist to carry the
lost her husband and was refused to inherit his property owing to the fact message on Television. Worth nothing is the fact, the Northwest
that local tradition consider her a property hence a property cannot province has been in the dark on the inheritance until LAHURA raised
inherit a property. The movie is entitle “woman no be property” and the problem hence the reason it got so much attention and media
over 100 copies of the movie has been distributed so far in both the courage.
North West and South West Provinces. The movie is 20 minutes in
duration.

Group picture of South West participants


STV interview the North West Delegate of Women Empowerment
and the Family after the training Seminar
The monitoring and evaluation phase of this project is still underway
hence we cannot actually provide information on its impact at this time.
However all reports can be requested at a later date.
2. Non-violence Training Project themselves including role plays instead of sitting and listening as they do
The project on non-violence training was conceived following the events in the faculties. The workshop went as far as drafting resolutions and the
that took place at the University of Buea, Cameroon. Within a period of 5 putting in place of an ad hoc committee to serve as watch dog and
years, there has been several strike actions by the student claiming the advice hob for manifestation where the situation could be considered as
better amelioration of their status at the university; but regrettably had going off the hook like in the past.
been marred with deaths and lost of properties both on and off campus. Full report can be available upon request.
There has also been report of rape of the university student by forces
law and order during their crack down operations, theft of student’s
property by men of the underworld, etc.

LAHURA thought it was its concern to do something about the situation


which may still occur in the future. To do this, we were privileged to get a
partner in the USA AJ Muste, who decided to financial support the
training program.

The participants of the training seminar where principally the University


of Buea Student Union [UBSU] amongst other departmental heads of
faculties. Another unique characteristic were the attendance of the
women folk who where not left out on this training.

The student leaders where drilled in non violence action skills in


demanding their rights from their stake holders. This was made possible
by a seasoned trainer who is an international consultant on conflict
resolutions. Using the teaching method of visualisation, the student
where able to reflect on real life situation and give in the best of
Group picture with certificate and female participant picture respectively
3. Formation of Human Rights Clubs

The long waited program by the students whose commencement was


hindered by the national strike of February 2008 owing to the increase in
fuel prices and prices of basic commodities was finally launched at the
Marthlo Bilingual Comprehensive High School Buea. This school was
amongst the four selected to host one of the clubs. With the aid of its
hardworking principal who has shown exceptional interests in human
rights projects, Mr. Robison decided his school host the events. We had
over 100 students in attendance drawn from Tiko and Buea respectively.

This project is one of AHURTOD’s human rights project aim at Students performing sketch
empowering the youths so that they are able to learn the positive values
of a good democracy and the respect of human rights so while they grow The project was support by ALERT Netherlands, which is an
they hold this values and excise them where ever they find themselves. organisation run by youth volunteers for youths. Coupled to this, we had
material support from Youth for Human Rights International USA whose
publications and movie became an integral part of the launching.

To wit, the student where paired with another sister school in the USA to
work on the MDG 6 through the One World Youth Project, hence
facilitating cultural exchange and a broad sense of community
involvement.

The day was closed with students performing sketches, dance and
Group picture of the launching with students singing on chosen themes to reflect club agenda.
4. Celebration of the 60th UDHR that the provisions of the UDHR were adopted by the international
LAHURA actively took part in the celebration of the 60th community unanimously through the United Nations General
anniversary of the UDHR under the theme ’Dignity and Justice Assembly in 1948 with the United Nations organization charged
for all of us’. The celebration took place at the Youth and with the responsibility to protect and promote the rights enshrined
Animation Center of the South West Region of Cameroon and was in this document. Furthermore, the theme “dignity and justice for all
attended by our school club members in Buea. of us” was explored in light of current day happenings in
Cameroon and the students where cautioned to be of exemplary
and noble character even in times of great adversity with examples
such as meritocracy, equal punishment for equal crimes, equality,
democracy etc as qualities of a just society. The student took a
resolution to stand up to these positive values which they say are
ingredients for a just world they all seek to see one day. They also
displayed messages of human rights on cardboard. The
celebration ended with the distribution of booklets of the universal
declaration of human rights and a football encountered which
The students where drilled on the prime importance of the ended on a nil – nil tie.
protection and promotion of human rights around the world, and
that it avail states, institutions, organizations and individuals the
opportunity not only to transmit the admirable principles enshrine
in the UDHR but also to examine the fragrant and serious cases of
human rights violation around the world, origin human rights,
tracing it as far back as humanity and relating it to the theory of the
natural law of existence. Furthermore, the students were reminded
SUPPORT MATERIALS NEEDED

1. Documents on Human rights studies (books, magazines, journals, newsletters, Audio/Video tapes or disc)
2. Human rights Convention documents by the United Nations.
3. Invitation to Consultation and Conferences that addresses urgent issues on Human Rights, Democracy, Good Governance, Peace and
Human Rights Education.
4. Provision of Speakers for seminars, workshops and sensitization campaigns.
5. Computers, furniture, office stationeries, printers, photocopier, etc.
6. A four wheel drive pickup.
7. Communication facilities.

FUTURE PLANS

1 The distribution of 10 000 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and 13 000 CRC before 2010, in Cameroon.
2. The building of a Multi-purpose Human Rights Resource centre, in Buea.
3. Securing more training and sensitization equipment to meet increase need for human rights sensitization and training on advocacy.
4. Capacity building and sponsorships to attend seminars/course/conferences.

FUNDING
We are financed by membership contributions, fundraising and benevolent donation from the public and the community we serve.

We appreciate donations from donors both national and international in the form of material finance.

Property of AHURTOD ® 2008 Annual Report