About the Salaam Initiative

The Salaam Initiative is a youth-led initiative that supports the protection, education, re-insertion, and wellbeing of children affected by violent conflicts in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Due to the Boko Haram insurgency, these kids have become the main victims of the conflict, with many out of school, forcefully displaced, and are suffering from trauma. Unfortunately, these children have been separated from their families, left homeless and orphans with many becoming more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, as well as radicalization and recruitment into arm groups.

It was as a result of the urgent need to respond to these degrading and dehumanizing circumstances that in 2018 the Salaam Initiative was put in place by Local Youth Corner Cameroon. Since then, the Salaam initiative is contributing to improving the lives of these vulnerable children through 4 main pillars, notably; providing free schooling and safe space for learning/re-education (Elementary, Primary and Secondary), Psycho-social, Mental Health, and Well-being (Through recreational activities and Counselling) and Food, shelter and basic Amenities, Building skills for socio-economic empowerment (parents of the children) and personality development and Reintegrating successful students into formal education systems.

“My mother, my sister, and I ran and came to Malam Talba’s Qur’anic School after they attacked our village and killed my father. I thought I will never go back to school but thanks to the Salaam School, I have been able to learn the ABC and learn how to spell my name” said Aisha-5years old, the pupil of Salaam School.
Through the provision of non-formal educational activities, this initiative is currently supporting 150 children by providing them a safe space for learning and healing from the trauma of violence. The Salaam Initiative has successfully reintegrated 20 children into formal schooling with a full scholarship and mental health support.

 

OUR SUCCESS SO FAR

For over one year that we have been implementing this initiative, we have recorded amazing success, which includes;

1. 150 children enrolled and engaged. 60 of them are benefiting from formal education (20 girls and 40 boys) and 60 benefiting from psycho-social support and recreational activities.

2) Reshaping of the perspective of the community and local authorities’ on alternative educational mechanisms. 80% of community members and local authorities have demonstrated their desire to support the initiative (the hut classroom was built with the support of the community)

3) The 120 children who are befitting from the initiative have experienced an improvement in reading, writing, acquisition of new skills and are on the path to trauma healing.

● 40% of children ( aged 4 to 10) can now read and write making them ready for formal

● 60% Reject violence and revenge;

● 20% have found their passion in different recreational activities.

● 100% of children denounce violence and terrorism.

● Unlike before where most of the children expressed the desire to join the military as their career ( influenced by the desire to avenge the death of their parents and family members) there has been a drastic change in the career choice of the children, as a result of counseling activities with them expressing wishes to become teachers, doctors, lawyers and many more.

4) At the start of the academic year 2020/2021, 20 of the children have been reintegrated into formal school with a full scholarship. 10 of the children were amongst the best in their new school.