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Effective Communication, a driver of Peacebuilding

Grassroot women peace leaders of the North West region have been schooled on how to effectively pass across messages that can facilitate peace in their Communities.

Organized by the Center for Advocacy in Gender Equality and Action for Development, CAGEAD, in collaboration with the South West North West Women Task Force, SNWOT, on Thursday 3rd February at Immaculate Conception Up- Station Bamenda, the workshop is a continuation and follow-up of the National and Regional Women's Peace Conferences that took place in Yaounde and Bamenda respectively.

"Haven had the Convention with One hundred women here in the North West, a Focus Group discussion with twenty-five women who are here. During their Focus group discussion, the Women identified their challenges in carrying out Peacebuilding in their communities and we look at the report and came out with the different topics. We think that by addressing them, we will be giving these women the skills that they need to be able to engage in Peacebuilding in their communities", SNWOT North West regional coordinator and Facilitator, Clotilda Andiensa highlights.

Clotilda Andiensa, SNWOT North West Regional coordinator

Effective Communication which remains an important tool in factoring peace in any conflict-affected area like the North West region was one of the major challenges of these women discussed at the workshop.

"Coming from the Focus group discussion held last week, we realize that the women had issues with effective communication. Finding the right words, getting the right information to talk to people in their communities. To engage the parties that are involved in the crisis by the government or the separatist, to understand their plight and know that they are women and what they are doing is taking the third narrative which is focusing on humanity", facilitator Ma Clotilda Andiensa further explains.

According to Delphine Mbongue a participant from Bali -Nyonga, the different communication skills equipped with, will act as a source of reference when fine-tuning messages for peace.

"From today's workshop, I have learned how to fine-tune my message when I want to pass across information to a particular audience so they should not get it in such a way that instead of getting positive feedback, I will get negative feedback".

Delphine Mbongue

Aside from being an opportunity to improve on their skills that will facilitate their peace work in the days ahead, Lilian Akwen a Participant who also doubles as the Coordinator of Aspired Women and Development organization elucidates that, it was also a platform for Peacebuilders like herself to share their experiences on the field.

"We have come here today to share experiences on the things we have been doing and best practices on how we can improve on it", she said.

Enhancing these women's capacity not only in Communication, leadership but advocacy will act as a driving force in community participation and engagement not only at the Peacebuilding level but also at the level of women's involvement in decision making.

By Pechuqui Laurata

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