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On behalf of everyone at Reach Out Cameroon (ROC) I would like to wish you a happy New Year.

2022 was a year of great realisations, with a refocusing of our energy on those things that matter the most for us and our beneficiary communities. We expanded our programs to two new regions of Cameroon: The West and Far North regions in addition to the North West, South West, Littoral and Centre regions. In the course of the year, we engaged in the implementation of 22 projects funded by a host of international partners, diplomatic missions and embassies in Cameroon and sundry donors. With our personnel reaching a record 95 members of staff, the organisation made great strides reaching over 650,000 direct beneficiaries of diverse programs that cut across the Health, Human Rights and Governance and Wealth Creation Departments. A big thank you for a job well done to all staff members of ROC. On behalf of all our beneficiaries, we extend a vote of thanks to all our partners, donors and well-wishers.

We are honoured to have been recognised for our humanitarian, peace and mediation efforts. I was presented with an Award of Excellence by Her Excellency the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family for the upliftment of the social status of women through humanitarian, mediation and peace work. It was an honour to have been profiled by the office of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in their eBook – SHE STANDS FOR PEACE and I was equally recognised by Pathway to Peace with an Exceptional Women of Peace Award. We appreciate the added value and visibility brought to our work by several national and international media houses that amplified our actions and moments.

Our story with women in search of peace for our restive regions of the North West and South West, the need for women’s effective leadership and representation in governance instances birthed stronger ties with women as we decided to have concerted actions with one voice taking us to the Prime Minister’s Office where I led a delegation of 12 women representing 07 women peacebuilding networks. As a whole, ROC has continued to fight for the rights of underserved communities in Cameroon. I am immensely proud of all that we achieved in what was a determining year for our organization. Be rest assured, we won’t rest on our laurels in 2023.

Make no mistake, we are still plagued with multiple conflicts; health crises and armed conflicts whose impacts continue to cause lots of pain and suffering to an already overburdened people. Indeed, the heightened vulnerabilities, stressors, and continual internal displacement of our people especially women and young girls have contributed to an increased incidence of sexual and gender-based violence on the one hand, and worsening mental health on the other hand. As a result of this, the work we do is more relevant than ever before. And it is on this note that I am pleased and honoured in equal measure to share news of the creation of a Reach Out Peace House christened Esther’s Brave Space, in Buea which will serve as temporary accommodation for survivors of GBV and a Listening and Counselling Center for the counselling and trauma healing of persons in need of mental health and psychosocial support. We kindly urge you all, to make use of this valuable resource center at our disposal.

I want to acknowledge and thank the Board Members of ROC for their continued support to make our organisation thrive. As always, we’ll approach the challenges that 2023 brings with the same determination, focus, and willingness to carry on to the best of our ability. Our perspectives for 2023 are being narrowed down towards greater localisation and mutualisation of means, stronger collaboration with traditional authorities and establishment of firmer ties with local governance structures in the municipalities where we serve.

Wishing every one of you war-free communities and armies for peace and development.

Happy New Year to you all.

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