Location: Maroua in the Far North region of Cameroon
Local partner in Cameroon: ALDEPA (Action Locale Pour un Développement Participatif et Autogéré)
Concerning the project title:
The project title illustrates the action by ALDEPA (= agir), that helps children who have experienced traumatic situations to smile again (= sourire).
A child protection center shall be built in Maroua to support the daily work of ALDEPA with children in need. In the center, children will receive shelter, protection and support until a possibility for their family and social reintegration is found.
In the cities of the Far North region of Cameroon, especially in the regional capital Maroua, the number of children living on the streets, varies a lot. One reason are the terrorist activities in the border area to Nigeria. Those have triggered massive movements of refugees to the cities and refugee camps, as a result of which many children find themselves in the streets. The lack of prospects for girls in rural areas also motivates many of them to migrate to Maroua at a young age in search of work in the informal sector. In addition, there are children who flee violence and abuse at home, as after a separation or the death of a parent, many children find themselves neglected, discriminated or even severely mistreated in their foster or stepfamilies.
On the streets, children easily come into conflict with the law, into exploitative employments or are forcibly recruited by terrorist groups.
In response to the precarious security situation and to reduce the risk of forced recruitment, the municipal authorities additionally started imposing bans on children in the streets. For many of them, this means exchanging hard work, abuse and exploitation for a place to sleep at anyone who would take them.
In Maroua, there is no functioning child protection facility where children temporarily find shelter, stability and care according to their rights or support for their reintegration.
Since its creation in 1998, the NGO ALDEPA has been promoting the rights of children and women in the Far North region. Programs with concrete activities and visibly positive effects have earned ALDEPA the recognition on national and international level as a strong and efficient non-governmental organization. Many years of experience of working with children in situations of distress have shown that with the right support and cosultation, the reintegration of children turns out well in most cases. In addition, accompanied children often take on a role model function for others, afterwards.
ALDEPA now faces the challenge of accompanying a large number of children in situations of distress in a secured environment: providing protection and shelter as well as physical, psychological and social stabilization up to a successful reintegration with concrete future prospects.
In the absence of a suitable facility, ALDEPA takes in children in their office, offers them a meal and a washing facility. Some members of ALDEPA staff see themselves urged to offer the children a place to sleep in their own homes, which cannot be a long-term solution. An institution adequate for hosting and accompanying children is becoming increasingly indispensable for ALDEPA's work.
In ALDEPA’s new child protection center, children in need have access to their fundamental rights – especially to protection, shelter, psychosocial support, health care, nutrition, education, play and sports – and receive support for their reintegration into family, community as well as into school or an apprenticeship.
In the future child protection centre of ALDEPA, children (girls and boys up to 16 years of age) having stranded on the street will receive protection and support. These are in particular:
The planned center can accommodate up to 30 children who will be admitted for a phase of rehabilitation and stabilization. About 140 children per year are expected.
The construction activities, the division and the design of the rooms are based on principles according to children's rights. These include:
Total costs: 340,848 Euros
Picture above: planned back-yard of the new center with areas for the children to play, learn, cook, grow vegetables etc.
Kinderrechte Afrika e. V.
DE69 6645 0050 0076 0040 44
Kinderrechte Afrika e. V.