In Buea, some internally displaced women and young girls forced out of their communities by the Anglophone Crisis are finding solace and purpose in pursuing careers in sewing, ICTs and other related trades. A building that was formerly abandoned has been turned into a busy site where young women and girls now flock, in order to learn trades that they can use to generate incomes and sustain their lives.
Located in Great Soppo, Buea, the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development, PPRD reconstructed and equipped multipurpose training centre welcomes internally displaced women, girls and young mothers who have resettled in the town. Here, they are trained in economically empowering trades and activities, to help equip them with self-sustaining skills, which empowers them economically.
Though the centre is predominantly used by women and young girls, they are also young boys there who are acquiring skills in various fields.
The crisis has not only led to the destruction of properties, and unnecessary killings, but it has also taken away from thousands, a means of economic survival. A lot of people who are now displaced persons have also lost their jobs and means of economic survival. Some of the thousands of young girls who are increasingly becoming young and teenage mothers were students with dreams to pursue, but with the crisis, they have been forced out of schools, and now need to learn a trade to be able to fend for themselves. The centre gives such persons a second chance to enable them to have an economically empowering skill that can create businesses or jobs for them.
The multipurpose centre at Great Soppo in Buea is one of the projects realised and run as part of the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the Northwest and Southwest regions. The PPRD aims at bringing back development projects and fostering initiatives that can bring back normalcy in troubled areas.
On March 22, 2023, a team led by the Minister, Director of Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s office, and President of the Steering Committee of the plan, Balungeli Confiance Ebune, was in the field to inspect these projects. He met with local stakeholders in Buea on Wednesday, March 22.
During the meeting that brought together beneficiaries, local development stakeholders and the implementing partners at the Buea Mountain Hotel, the activity report for the 2022 successes of the plan was presented.
The meeting was held on the high instruction of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, under the watchful eyes of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya.
In his welcome address, the Mayor of the Buea Council, Mafany Namange, thanked the Minister for the choice of Buea despite the tremendous challenge of the flood that hit the municipality last Saturday, March 18.
The Mayor expressed gratitude to the Head of State for the Presidential Plan for the people of Buea and the Southwest region as a whole.
Speaking later, the President of the Steering Committee of the Presidential Plan paid tribute to the victims of the flood disaster.
He highlighted the signing of a loan agreement in financing the plan and described it as a step in the right direction.
The Minister stated: “Within the framework of this impetus for the reconstruction of these two regions, the Prime Minister instructed this mission which comprises of sectorial ministries with the aim of having first-hand information in order to fine-tune it.”
After the meeting, the President of the Steering Committee and his delegation visited projects at the Buea Town Islamic School; St. Joseph College, Sasse; Ewongo and Wotutu in Limbe I and; Bakingili Health Centre.
He expressed satisfaction with what has been done so far and thanked their partners for the support given so far.
He said they would report to the Prime Minister what they have seen and appealed to those who are still holding arms or using social media to create chaos in the communities to embrace peace from the Head of State and the achievements of the project to join in nation building. He said they have a lot to contribute but are wasting their lives and future in the bushes.
He enjoined them to desist from such practices. After the visit to St. Joseph College Sasse, the Principal, Reverend Father Anunchem, was grateful that the plan has enabled the reconstruction of the dormitory, fence and water supply to the college.
The President of the Steering Committee was accompanied during the visit by the President of the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, Obase Tamanjong and the Governor of the South West region, Bernard Okalia Bilai.