CCID celebrates the brave and determined human rights defenders who work to prevent
rights violations, secure justice for victims of violations, and strengthen the State’s capacity to prosecute perpetrators of violations. As an organization, one of our core principles is maintaining a firm commitment to protecting the fundamental human rights of those in our communities while also empowering individuals to be leaders for change. Young people in particular have made remarkable progress toward securing human rights for their fellow citizens, but capacity-building gaps (such as resource mobilization constraints) still remain. This has created a barrier for young people who want to take the lead in the promotion and protection of human rights at the communal level.
In response, the Cameroon Human Rights Fellowship was created by a consortium of 4 partners led by CCID and the Rural Women Development center, hosted at Santa Monica University. The goal of the Fellowship is to engage young activists in the informed, responsive, and sustained promotion of human rights through a continuous program of research and education. This program is guided by the rationale that the protection and promotion of human rights is not limited to a single topic, sector, or government agency; rather, these are actions that require informed, sustained, and inclusive action by a diverse array of stakeholders with a particular focus on young people.
To this end, the Cameroon Human Rights Fellowship has the following aims:
- To mainstream teaching and research on the interconnectedness of human rights, gender, and peace and security;
- To retool the youth with the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for and promote human rights in Cameroon;
- To provide human rights opportunities for students and advocates;
- To create platforms for experience-sharing on peace and conflict studies and human rights with mentors, experts, and practitioners in an accessible way;
- To design and implement people-focused community initiatives to promote access, awareness, and enjoyment of human rights.
During the fellowship program, fellows spend 3-6 months researching, writing, and building their capacity to address different human rights issues. Fellows also work with mentors to design grassroots advocacy campaigns and projects that address civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Fellows have the opportunity to use a seed grant of $1000 USD to assist in the implementation of their project.
The Cameroon Human Rights Fellowship is structured in two major parts. The first part is educational, involving an online learning course on human rights and gender equality. The online platform also serves as an avenue to further explore human rights practices and violations in the global context. There is also an in-person training led by a team of seasoned experts who are thoroughly experienced with navigating local and international law provisions on the access and enjoyment of human rights. The second aspect of the Fellowship involves virtual and in-person mentoring by experts. Fellows are matched with mentors who provide guidance throughout the project development process. Fellows and mentors are free to engage with one another whenever is suitable for them.
In sum, the major aspects of the Cameroon Human Rights Fellowship are as follows:
- Connecting fellows with educational resources to increase their understanding and ability to influence the expansion of human rights protections in their communities.
- Providing Fellows with access to “Human Rights Hubs” where Fellows and human rights actors can collaborate on research (often culminating in working papers and seminars), capacity building, and policy dialogues. This also provides networking opportunities for Fellows who want to engage with other human rights activists, local authorities, organizations, and other stakeholders who share similar priorities.
- Offering seed funding ($1000 USD) to implement human rights projects that encompass community outreach, awareness-raising, and capacity building of communities and community leaders.
For more information, read about our current Fellows, past Fellows, and their testimonials about their experience in the program. We also have a report with more details about how this program is designed.