Local faith actors and religious leaders with UNICEF Cameroon, Religions for Peace and the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities launched the Cameroon WorkRock of the Faith and Positive Change for Children Global Initiative on Social Behavior Change (FPCC). The FPCC global initiative aims to build a new form of partnership between UNICEF and faith-based actors, enabling them to work together in a more effective, systemic, and scalable way to bring sustained impact in children’s lives. Cameroon’s WorkRock was attended by 50 UNICEF staff, government officials and different actors from the faith community. The arrival of the Minister for the Promotion of Women and the Family opened the ceremony, which continued with a variety of speakers representing faith communities and the government.
The remaining four days focused on a new way of working with UNICEF and local faith actors and religious leaders. The meeting resulted in the development of a Journey of Change from their experiences and learning, corroborating with a global framework with a high degree of coherence.
The participants drafted and adopted a collective commitment that noted the many forms of violence facing children, but particularly the dangers of child marriage. It also recognised the importance of the role of religious leaders in bringing positive change in people’s thinking and practices. They collectively engaged to put an end to:
- Forced and child marriage
- Using children in forced labour to make profit for parents/ teachers
- Consumption of alcohol or drugs by child
- Abuse in families of vulnerable children and orphans.
- They adopted the slogan ‘Together we say no to violence against children and to child or forced marriage’ and engaged to collaborate together across religions and with the government, Religions for Peace and JLI.
The Minister for the Promotion of Women and the Family returned to close the WorkRock and present certificates. She endorsed the work and the collective commitment made during the WorkRock, saying ‘Cameroon as a whole takes to heart the problem of youth, especially that of the girl!’