North West Region: COMINSUD Schools Over 50 Against Hate Speech.

A Non Governmental organization, Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, Yaounde, has drilled over 50 persons on hate speech and its concomitant effect on social cohesion within North West Region.

This was during a one-day training workshop organized at the Bamenda EPIC Centre on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

The workshop that was held under the theme: eliminating extremism amongst youths for a safer, secured and non-violent North West Region, brought together religious leaders, communication experts, youth leaders, community leaders, and other stakeholders across various communities within the North West Region.

The workshop, according to the organizers falls within the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation’s program that focuses on conflict hotspots and is supported by the European Union. The program identified the Northwest, Southwest, and Far North Regions as three hotspots.

Njike Celestine, Regional Delegate of Communication North West

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Regional Delegate of Communication for the North West, Njike Celestine Atadebe, identified social media, the traditional media, and the new media as all mediums through which hate speech and xenophobia are usually propagated. He equally hailed COMINSUD for such seminar that to him was "a stitch in time that saves nine". The Communication Regional Boss added that the socio-political upheavals in the North West Region have been amplified by hate speech and xenophobia. He then called on the participants to shun hate speech and be ambassadors of love, peace, and good neighborliness.

Harping on Hate speech and its effects on social cohesion within North West, Victory Marshal  Ayagor Epse Basang, the Regional Chief of Service for Public Communication, Regional Delegation of Communication, North West explained that hate speech always starts in the mind before being made manifest by the individual through word of mouth or action. She advised that whenever one hears utterances of hate speech around them, they should be bold enough to correct the author politely. She further exhorted the media to play a frontline role in the fight against hate speech

Mr. Nkwain George, on his part, drilled Participants on their duties, rights, and responsibilities as a citizen and common values to uphold in the North West Region to fight hate speech and promote social cohesion.
The women's rights actor, Cordelia Eseni Banjong wrapped up the last presentation on what should be done to rebuild social cohesion amongst the people.

M.r Fon Nsoh Micheal, the Coordinator for COMINSUD, in his welcome address thanked participants for their massive turnout. He further explained that the aim of the workshop was to back-roll hate speech and promote social cohesion within the North West Region and beyond.
At the end of the workshop, participants took the commitment to, in their respective organizations and communities, fight hate speech and promote social cohesion.


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