Professional education and HIV work in Northern Cameroon
since January 2017
The Extrême Nord Region is Cameroon’s economically poorest area. Three out of every four inhabitants here live below the poverty line, the rate of illiteracy amongst teenagers is around 29 percent. The humanitarian situation is also tense, especially because of terror attacks carried out by the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, in the area close to the border with Nigeria.
Furthermore, the region is still very patriarchal: women and girls are disadvantaged in all areas of life, and thus clearly suffer more from poverty and marginalisation. Their school enrolment rate is much lower than that for boys. Conversely, the number of girls who drop out of school is very high, because they have to go to work in the fields – or have already been married off at a young age.
The Bread for the World’s partner organisation, Association Avenir Femme (AAF), focuses on promoting education and training for disadvantaged young women, in particular, for illiterate girls and those who have dropped out of school. The successful integration into the local labour market should make it possible for the young women to improve their economic situation and to reinforce their autonomy and social position within the heavily male-dominated society. As women are especially affected by HIV and AIDS, AAF also explains options for prevention and supports those affected to lead as healthy and stigmatisation-free lives as possible.
In the meantime, up to 100 young women, who learn to read and write with Avenir Femme, are able to complete their school-leaving qualifications every year.
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