In Cameroon thousands of young people, aged between 10 and 20, leave the countryside for the city to escape difficult family situations. Very often, however, especially because of the lack of education, they struggle to integrate into society and end up living on the street.
For this reason, thanks to funds from the Emilia-Romagna Region, the project "Educare: Access to education and health care for street children in Yaoundé" started off at the beginning of December and will last for 12 more months.
AVSI, together with its partners Centro Edimar and Colori d'Africa, wants to prevent this phenomenon by providing health care and promoting the social and professional reintegration of young people who find themselves alone, living on the street, after having run away from home or been released from prison.
Since 2001, the Edimar Center has been helping the street children in Cameroon through a series of actions aimed at improving their living conditions, providing acceptance, orientation, education, medical and psychological assistance, while also organizing cultural and awareness-raising activities.
The project activities
This initiative will involve children and young people between the ages of 3 and 25, half of whom will be girls.
They will be given the opportunity to resume their education and obtain an elementary school certificate. They will also be able to develop their creativity by approaching artistic disciplines and, in particular, music, also investigating aspects of local poetry and fairy tales.
Thanks to the collaboration of Colori D'Africa, a cultural association in Parma that supports the integration of migrants in Italy, it will be possible to create a music workshop in Yaoundé, aimed at spreading the language and culture of music among the young people involved in the project, guiding them towards a vocation as musicians.
Musical expression develops mnemonic, linguistic and phonetic skills, and can therefore have a positive effect on children's attention span, contributing to their psychophysical well-being with the aim of preventing further issues and responding to the needs, desires and characteristics of different age groups.
Together with the Edimar Center, the project will also aim at facilitating the access of children to adequate health care in dedicated facilities, such as the center itself, which will be able to support 350 minors.
Children and young people will be able to receive psychological, nutritional and physical assistance.
Awareness and prevention campaigns will also be organized on risk behaviors related to malaria, respiratory diseases, HIV and hepatitis.