On Sunday the 28th of august 2022, H4BF in partnership with MasterPeace Cameroon, SACOD and Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace (GAMIP), launch a new program, PLAY AND FUN FOR PEACE DEVELOPMENT. This program provides the platform and support for crisis affected women and children to lead regular sports in yoga, dance, volleyball, football, running, climbing and more. We support women and children in sport through our safe spaces project, our teachers and assistants are from the host community and receive training, support and mentorship from the wider H4BF community and visiting volunteers. Sport supports mental health, and is a universal language bringing people and communities together.
According to UNOCHA, more than 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living within host communities in the North West regions of Cameroon. Many are stuck in Bamenda in difficult living conditions for years with little to no access to education, to psychological support, to the society. This leaves many people especially the young once engage into illegal activities, and young girls into prostitution, some citing difficulties in mental health, well-being and a sense of isolation. Additionally, IDPs are left alone without any tools to support their own mental health. Displaced people have little control over major or minor decisions in their life. However, sport brings back some sense of agency, belonging and ownership, in addition to the benefits of sports to physical and mental health. Our community Trainor’s lead various sports activities, and keep the project going with their ideas and initiative.
H4BF is a growing community supporting internally displaced women and children to teach, develop skills and become empowered through sport. This project is a unique synergy between Yoga and Sport with internally displaced women and children. Now, we seek to offer full weekly schedule of sports for all. Our inclusive and community-led approach will allow to adapt to the needs of our community and facilitate positive development for our project and participants.
While our project focuses on crisis women and children, we also welcome people from the host community. This synergy of cultures provides a chance for social integration, friendships and support. The provision of certification, financial support and training for our teachers gives them unique career and life experience which they can use into the future. This campaign will have an impact on the lives of 500 IDP women and children in Bamenda, North West region of Cameroon.