The Founder and Executive Director of Reach Out civil society organisation, Esther Njomo Omam, has won The Guardian Post’s 2021 Civil Society Activist of the Year Award.
The honour, which was in line with The Guardian Post’s Achievement Awards, was handed to the acclaimed humanitarian and activist on Saturday, February 26, during a ceremony in Bafoussam, West region.
In a letter announcing the award, The Guardian Post said Esther Omam was voted by a team of renowned jurists for her “sustained efforts in mobilising women across the board in search of peace in the Northwest and Southwest regions”.
“Laureates of The Guardian Post Achievement Award are voted by the newspaper’s readers, spread in all the country’s 10 regions, while compilation and final counting of votes is done by a jury, made up of renowned jurists, civil society leaders and journalists, drawn from both the public and private media in Cameroon,” The Guardian Post’s letter said.
While receiving the award, Omam said she was honoured to have been recognised, adding that the award was a call for her to do more.
“I stand in recognition that to whom much is given, much is required. I hereby reflect on the many who have lost their lives, those who are still in pain suffering as a result of the ongoing crisis in our country in general and our two restive regions of the Northwest and Southwest in particular,” she said.
“It further pleases me to accept this award on behalf of all those still alive striving day and night to make ends meet. Here, I am talking about the refugees, the IDPS, people at risk especially women and children and all women peacebuilders/mediators working hard to bring back the lost peace in our communities,” Esther Omam added.
Stating that peace is possible in Cameroon, she used the award ceremony to beseech actors in the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon to end the conflict.
“The time is now for us to stand as one and say no to violence, no to wars, no to all atrocities committed in our land. Let us learn to look at each other and speak about the issues,” she said. “There is too much injustice, pain and suffering happening in our communities these days which needs urgent attention: killings, hunger GBV, deprivation, arbitrary arrests, intimidations, threats, corruption, etc,” she said.
Esther Njomo Omam has been one of the leading women voices in Cameroon advocating for peace and social justice in the country. Her advocacy has earned her several recognitions, both national and international, making her one of the most celebrated civil society leaders in Cameroon.
In 2020, she won the Pioneer Female Peace Builder award from the PCC Peace Office and, in May 2021, she won The Scoop Media’s Outstanding Humanitarian, Peace and Mediator Award. This is coupled with several recognitions from other actors who have been monitoring the works of the peace enthusiast.