The African Youth Alliance

Rockflower Partners is partnering with The African Youth Alliance  to empower women and girls in Bamenda, Cameroon, through mentorship programs and training.

The African Youth Alliance (AYA) works to improve the living situation for women and young girls in Cameroon. Through creating clubs in villages, where participants and volunteers can meet, the organization opens up spaces for groups of women to discuss their problems and achievements, gain a basic education, and receive peer mentoring.

Project Overview

The AYA currently supports a network of ten clubs, reaching out to over 650 women and girls. This 12-month project will support the training of highly marginalized women and girls within the ten clubs; those with few opportunities to gain basic literacy, social entrepreneurship skills, gain employment and improve the quality of their family lives - either because they have never attended school or have already dropped out without gaining a basic education.

Mentorship and Training activities will include:

  • Training in soap production/body lotion and arts and crafts
  • Teaching reading and writing literacy skills
  • Basic bookkeeping and computer classes
  • Guidance and support in establishing small businesses
  • Workshops on women's rights, gender-based violence and leadership skills

Project Beneficiaries

60 participants aged between 19-40 years, from the disadvantaged quarters of Bamenda will be the direct beneficiaries of this project. These women often have no occupation, no skills, nor formal training.

Each of these women live in a home with about 10-15 people. Indirectly the project will benefit and impact the lives of at least 1,500 beneficiaries, 60% of whom are women who benefit from the sensitization campaign and innovative service delivery.

Problems and Proposed Solutions

This project has a strong focus on  accelerating learning outcomes so that those marginalized can catch up and acquire relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for life and work. 

The project activities aim to:

  • Empower women to tackle harmful social and gender norms that contribute to dropping out of school. Peer mentoring and 12 months training on women's rights, gender-based violence and leadership 
  • Improve young women’ literacy, numeracy and other skills relevant for life and work through social entrepreneurship and establishment of small businesses.
  • Conduct a thorough evaluation of outcomes to understand what works and how future policies and programs can be better designed to include and support marginalized women and girls.
  • Establish a systematic approach to addressing the causes and impact of school dropout and non-enrollment during adolescence, including tackling community attitudes and harmful social and gender norms such as child marriage, early pregnancy, forced domestic work or violence.

About The African Youth Alliance

The AYA was created in 2001 and has been supporting highly marginalized young women to gain basic literacy and social entrepreneurship skills, get help with employment as well as support to improve the quality of their family lives. Women who openly identify with feminism in Cameroon are often marginalized and victims of psychological or physical violence.  Women are encouraged through the organization to come together and join the MAD (Making A Difference) Sister Clubs where they meet at least twice a month to freely talk about issues affecting them in their communities. AYA also supports the women in these clubs by learning new skills that can help them generate income to support themselves and their families.

The organization is female-led and volunteer-run. They have a core team of 5 volunteers, all women, supporting the community mobilizations, administrative work and undertaking some of the trainings with the women and girls. 

Participants

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