ProMosaik interviews Mr Elvis Wepngong of OGCEYOD

Good evening from the Editorial Team of ProMosaik e.V.,
 
as you have seen this week was dedicated to the struggle against BREAST FLATTENING in Cameroon. After the publication of the research by Rebecca Tapscott in German and Italian, we have also published video materials in different languages to raise public opinion awareness about it.
 
Breast flattening or breast ironing is a painful mutilation of the women’s body. It leaves traces for the whole life, and does not solve any problem. Mothers want their girls to go to school, not to be raped and to avoid an early pregnancy. But the solution is not breast ironing, but sexual education, and effective laws against men committing rape and sexual violence against women.
 
I am very happy to have interviewed Mr Elvis Wepngong, the Executive Director of the Organization for Gender, Civic Engagement And Youth Development (OGCEYOD) in New Town in the South West Region of Cameroon about breast flattening, the reasons why it is practised, and the strategy to struggle against it.
 
 
 
 
Thank you Elvis for your time.
If somebody can help Elvis‘ organisation, she/he is welcome to donate. The bank details are indicated below.
 
Thank you so much for sharing this interview with your friends to help women in Cameroon.
 
Best Regards
 
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi
Editorial Team of ProMosaik e.V.
 
 
 
 
 
 
ProMosaik e.V.:
ProMosaik e.V. is of the opinion that the problem of breast flattening should be known all over the world to make people understand how dangerous it is for women.
Therefore we have translated the study by Rebecca Tapscott written in 2012 in German and Italian. Which strategies do you think are the most important to stop this practice of breast flattening in Cameroon?
 
Elvis Wepngong:
Sensitization in communities and educational workshops with traditional and women leaders.
 
ProMosaik e.V.:
Are the religious and ethnical differences in breast flattening or is it practiced in the same way in the whole country?
 
Elvis Wepngong:
Breast Flattening or ironing is commonly practised as a culture by some ethnic groups in Cameroon. Other tribes just copied the art because they think it is good for the girl children and it protects them from men. Religiously it is not practiced though the perpetrators are part of a religion.
 
ProMosaik e.V.:
What can we do in villages to help mothers to understand that breast flattening is not the solution?
 
Elvis Wepngong:
We need to intensify sensitization and education in villages.
 
ProMosaik e.V.:
What should the state urgently do to protect women in Cameroon from rape?
 
Elvis Wepngong:
During our recent sensitisation on sexual violence in the South West and Littoral regions in Cameroon, we realised that cases of rape reported were not properly handled by traditional rulers and state officials. The state should train legal practitioners (Magistrates, State Council, Lawyers), Public Security officials (Police), chiefs, medical practitioners, etc. on how to handle cases of sexual violence and how to provide prompt response to victims.
 
ProMosaik e.V.:
ProMosaik e.V. thinks that your organization does a great job. What have you achieved in the past? And what are the aims of your organization for the future?
 
Elvis Wepngong:
At the beginning of the year 2013, we started a campaign to end any form of violence against women and on the 14th February 2014 we join the world to celebrate the “One Billion Rising for Justice on Violence against women”. We mobilised 150 women in Limbe for a “Break the Chain on domestic violence” dance and sensitisation. The forum also encouraged women and created a safe environment for them to speak up of cases of violence in their homes. We had a host of others who followed us to our office to share their stories in private. We were able to document on video some of these stories. We some financial support from the British High Commission, Cameroon, OGCEYOD was able to run a sensitisation workshop in the South West and Littoral regions of Cameroon. The project is titled, “Break the Chain of Sexual Violence against Women in Cameroon” and the outreach touched more than 2400 women, men and youths. The following outcomes achieved were during the sensitisation:
 
Perpetrators of violence became aware that violence against women is a crime punishable by law.
We have more rape cases reported.
Women became aware and educated on the causes, remedies and infrastructures to provide prompt aid to the violated.
Youths were fully engaged in the development of the sensitization aid giving them improved knowledge on sexual violence against women.
 
We just put up a new project proposal requesting support for the following activities:
Train legal practitioners (Magistrates, State Council, Lawyers), Public Security officials (Police), chiefs, medical practitioners, etc. on how to handle cases of rape and provide prompt response.
Equip some police stations with furniture and training police officials to create an enabling environment for victims of violence to tell their story and to be heard.
Provide financial assistance to victims of sexual violence especially rape cases.
 
 
 
 
 
In all our awareness creation campaign Breast flattening or ironing and Female Genital Mutilation were discussed as other forms of violence punishable by law. Our aims is to extend this sensitisation to the remaining 8 regions of Cameroon and training more state officials and chiefs on how to handle cases of violence and provide prompt response since the law now punishes the act.
To conclude, we will be grateful for any financial support to help us continue this outreach to others regions of Cameroon.
Please feel free to donate and inform us through ogceyod@yahoo.com of your donations so we can have your name on our end of year newsletter. Our account details are:
 
Bank Name:                            Ecobank Cameroon S.A.
Bank Address:                         B.P. 582, Douala
Account Name:                       OGCEYOD
Account number:                    CM21 10029 2601501406449601 90
Swift code:                              ecoccmcx
 
It is not possible send out pictures of victims of Breast Ironing. It is the victims’ privacy. Hope you understand.
 
Keep the stream in friendship 
 
Elvis WEPNGONG
Executive Director

Organization for Gender, Civic Engagement 
And Youth Development (OGCEYOD) Cameroon. 
West End Junction, Newtown 
P.O. Box 467, Limbe 
South West Region
Cameroon 

Office Tel: +237 233 333 136, 243 162 632
Direct: (+237) 674 215 497,698 911 816

Email: ogceyod@yahoo.com