Day of the African Child 2024: Plan International Cameroon Empowers Junior MPs

In a one-day educative session organized by Plan International Cameroon, Junior members of parliament were sensitized and schooled on some ills plaguing the society.

“For the Respect for the Right to Education of Children, including those Needing Special Protection Measures, in Cameroon: Children are Mobilizing” is the theme of the 25th session of the Children’s Parliament in Cameroon.

This year’s session scheduled for June 26, 2024, at the National Assembly in Yaounde will as of tradition gather young boys and girls from the 10 regions of the country who will quiz government officials on burning issues and problems affecting people in the society.

These young boys and girls who are called junior members of parliament (MPs) are selected based on some relevant criteria in all the 10 regions and are in a total number of 180, just like the acting MPs of Cameroon.

Knowing the strategic role Plan International Cameroon plays alongside the government, the humanitarian organization that strives for children’s rights and their well-being took an active part in the educative session held on Thursday, 20th of June 2024 at the Nkolbisson Technical High School in the Yaounde 7 sub-division.

For more than two hours, the team of Plan International Cameroon exchanged with the junior MPs on the theme of the 25th session of the children’s parliament especially on inclusive education which is a key component of this year’s theme.

Safeguarding and Child Protection Country program lead at Plan International Cameroon, Madam Honorine Foumba said this educative talk was aimed at empowering children on their fundamental rights and equally upskilling them on how to advocate for their peers’ plight and rights.

According to Mrs. Foumba, these newly empowered junior MPs have gained additional lessons and skills that will greatly help them in defending their rights.

She said as new ambassadors of children’s rights, this cohort of 180 junior MPs have been granted the opportunity to express themselves on all the issues affecting their regions and to also talk of social ills that are rampant in their school environment.

Honorine Foumba was assisted in the discussions by Sidoine Kamgueng, Coordinator of the DAFI program at Plan International Cameroon.

The junior MPs of the 25th session of the children’s parliament were mostly empowered on the topic of inclusivity in all sectors of life. They were taught how to behave with their peers who live in vulnerable communities and those born with disabilities.

Moreover, during this educative talk session, they were upskilled on how to address some social scourges such as violence, sexual harassment, and drug consumption that can hamper their education.

Speaking to media practitioners, Mrs. Foumba Honorine pointed out the fact that these young MPs can henceforth exchange with decision-makers to upgrade their rights and adopt new laws that will protect children and enhance their livelihoods.

She described this educative session as an added value to the education of the 180 young girls and boys currently camping at the Nkolbisson Technical High School.

In an interview granted to 17 years-old, Jordan Ekotto Medja, junior MP from the South region, striking issues affecting children were brought out. The junior MP said there is need to tackle issues such as illiteracy and consumption of drugs.


Jordan Ekotto Medja believes it is time to act and halt this growing phenomenon, by putting all hands on deck.

The young champion calls on all governing bodies, elites, traditional and regional leaders as well as his peers to examine the current situation in which several children are entrapped in the South region of the country. He also called on parents and guardians to play their role in educating their children as many parents of his native region have abandoned their duties at home.

Also actively taking part in the 25th session of the children’s parliament is a young girl in the name of Samjeh Lourdes Zinkah. She is a junior MP from the Mezam division in the North-West region- one of the afflicted crisis zones of Cameroon.

Amongst the other junior MPs who showed interest in the discussions, Lourdes Samjeh Zinkah caught attention for her eloquence and mastery of the subject matter.

As the prefect of a school library, she promised to intensify her advocacy for inclusive education and equal rights for all.

“Apart from the poor roads which affect the development of my community in Bamenda II, there is the problem of stigmatization of people living with disabilities. I am very privileged to school in an inclusive school where I meet disabled persons and help them. Taking part in the 25th session of the children’s parliament permits me to call on all fellow Cameroonians to help disabled persons and encourage them to be part of social activities. They can do what normal persons do and have the right to education, we should not leave them aside…” Lourdes said.

Just like in previous educative sessions with junior MPs, the children were also sensitized on aspects of the non-discrimination of girls in school and equality.

As indicated by the Ministry of Social Affairs, the children’s parliament is intended to be a platform for exchanges between decision-makers and children, at the same time, it constitutes an opportunity offered to the latter to actively participate in the life of the city through expression. of their opinions on the issues that concern them. Through questions and proposed answers and resolutions, the 180 Junior Deputies selected each year in the ten Regions of the country have the opportunity to address decision-makers and consider their obligations.

The general objective sought during this 25th session of the Children’s Parliament is to mobilize, promote, and raise awareness among children on respect for the right to education for all children, including those in need of special protection measures.


Elise Kenimbeni

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