Chefu Sirri Foundation wins Philanthropy & Youth Empowerment Award.

Strides made by the Chefu Sirri Foundation in empowering youth, especially girls and women, support to help Gender-Based Violence, GBV, and rape victims rebuild their lives and as well as the ceaseless crusade against juvenile delinquency, violence and drug abuse within the school milieu and other societal ills have been recognised and awarded.

The not-for-profit organisation was recently declared winner of the 2022 Philanthropy and Youth Empowerment Award. The foundation won the distinction in the 2022 edition of The Guardian Post Achievement Award.  

The foundation was singled out among others in the category by millions of readers of the Cameroon’s most regularly-published, widely-read, authoritative, credible and leading print media organ, The Guardian Post.

The award ceremony in Douala Saturday March 4, 2023, brought together a cream of personalities from across all walks of life in the country.

Addressing guests at the ceremony, the Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of The Guardian Post, the lone newspaper that publishes all seven days of the week in the CEMAC Sub-region, Ngah Christian Mbipgo, said the initiative was birthed in 2001 to recognise individuals and institutions that, through extraordinary ways, go the extra mile in serving the nation.  

Ngah reminded guests at the ceremony that the recognitions are based on the decision of The Guardian Post readers and are meant for posterity.

The President of The Guardian Post Achievement Award jury, Richard Nde Lajong, on his part, explained that Chefu Sirri Foundation emerged winner of the 2022 Philanthropy and Youth Empowerment Award for “championing the crusade against juvenile delinquency and drug abuse in schools and empowering youth with income generating skills”.

Nde Lajong said the final choice of the winner in the category, like in others, was a product of the assessment of millions of The Guardian Post readers spread across the world.

He said the committee met several times to catalogue the nominations and choices of readers before compiling the final winners.

 

Foundation CEO dedicates award to volunteers, girls

The delegation of the foundation at the award ceremony was led by its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Barrister Chefu Sirri-Afanwi Joy. Also present were volunteers of the foundation and friends of the CEO.

Speaking shortly award receiving the award, Barrister Chefu Sirri expressed gratitude to The Guardian Post for recogising the work of the foundation.

“It is an award for us to use and appreciate the volunteers of the foundation for the work they have been doing for the past two years,” Barrister Chefu Sirri said, adding that the award is also for the girls the foundation is working to empower.  

"…this award is not just for the foundation but for the girls that we represent. It is to encourage them to know that there is hope for them and to let them know that what we are fighting for is for them to continue to have hope and believe in us,” she added.

 

Building an inclusive society

The multi award-winning rights lawyer cum gender advocate said the foundation is doing its utmost to give a voice not just to women and girls but also to boys as well.

“There is no way we are going to have a better society where women are empowered, educated and the best versions of themselves while living behind the men,” she noted.

Barrister Chefu Sirri who has demonstrated and shown a rare knack for excellence through her mastery of both common law and civil law systems in defending the rights of women and girls, said the foundation would not rest on its laurels after the award but work harder to continue to “have more impact on the lives of girls and women”. “The goal is to have more women become better,” she reiterated.

Harping on what the foundation envisages as future projects, Barrister Chefu Sirri revealed that they look forward to step up efforts in work educating and empowering women and girls.

“We are getting more women into science, technology, getting more women into active politics and getting women to understand what their rights are and how best they can apply their rights to be better people in the society,” said Barrister Chefu Sirri who was named in 2022 as Peace Ambassador of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI, for her work done in the domain of peace.

 

Revising foundation’s activities that fetched them the award

The foundation, it should be recalled, has carried put series of activities aimed at curbing juvenile delinquency and empowering youth, women and girls.

The foundation has repeatedly drilled youth on promoting peace and security in the country as well as sharpened their skills on entrepreneurism and volunteerism.

The highpoint of the said trainings were discussions on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) on youth, peace and security adopted in 2015, laying emphasises on the importance of youth as agents of change in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

Youth, pupils and students in different schools have also benefited from the foundations training on various ways to curb the Gender-Based Violence, GBV, in the society.

The choice of schools for the awareness-raising campaigns and educative talks, keen observers have affirmed and rightly so, that it was strategic due to the recent upsurge of violence on school campuses nationwide.

Hundreds of widows and women have also benefited from the foundation’s sensitisation on certain aspects of their rights repeatedly being trampled on by repugnant customs and traditions after the death of their husbands.

Such sessions touched principally on Article 20 of the Mapotu Protocol and the convention for the elimination of all forms of violence against women, women’s rights and appropriate legal measures to ensure widows enjoy all human rights by not being subjected to inhumane, humiliating or degrading treatment.

The protocol also ensures widows automatically become the guardian and custodian of their children after the death their husbands unless the situation is contrary to the interests and welfare of the children as well as guarantees rights of the widow to remarry anyone of their choice among others.

 

About the foundation

Created in 2021, Chefu Sirri Foundation was officially registered on January 18, 2022. It focuses on fighting domestic violence, sexual abuse, economic discrimination, early and arranged marriages among others.

It strives to create a safer society for all women and aims to achieve this not only by directly assisting those who are already victims, but also by educating them on what to look out for to keep themselves as safe as they possibly.

 

 

 

 

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