For a long time, the central African country of Cameroon, with its nearly 26 million inhabitants, was considered relatively stable politically. In 2016, however, there were protest marches by English-speaking groups of the population. They feel oppressed by the francophone government and who are now demanding their independence. In the meantime, an armed conflict has erupted out of the protests, which has already claimed thousands of victims. The Church is often the last refuge for many traumatised people.
The escalation of violence between the separatists in the English-speaking provinces and Cameroon’s central government has claimed many lives. It has also driven more than 700,000 people to flee. The anglophone independence representatives boycott all central government structures, including schools. A large number of schools there have been closed for four years.
The country has gone through a spiral of violence for two years.
In the violent riots in the anglophone provinces, Church representatives are often traumatised by witnessing violence against others at close range. We therefore support, among other things, a workshop for traumatised sisters. In this course, the sisters learn how to overcome their own trauma. They also learn how to enable this experience to flow into their pastoral work with other affected persons. Thus they are better able to help them.
Other focal points in the year under review were support for priestly formation, the promotion of pastoral care for marriage and the family, the granting of material aid for sisters and Mass stipends for priests. In addition, we fund a two-year continuing education course for trainers working in seminaries and in the vocational ministry, in order to optimise the quality of formation of priests.