Justice and Peace - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF BAMENDA, CAMEROON

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Justice and Peace

DIOCESAN COMMISSIONS


ARCHDIOCESAN JUSTICE AND PEACE COMMISSION
Mme Laura Naddin Tufoin                             Coordinator
Ngongba Assumpta Lum                               Capacity building Officer
Binwi Clothilda Nforbah                                 Administrative Assistant


The Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Bamenda was established on 12 December 2002 by His Grace Paul Verdzekov with Mme Laura Naddin Ngwa as pioneer coordinator. She began almost from scratch trying to articulate the very concepts of Justice and Peace.  Members of this Commission then took part as Christian Electoral Observers in the twin Municipal and Parliamentary elections which took place in Cameroon on 30 June 2002. They made such an impact on the ground that their report was an eye opener even to the Cameroon Government. Gradually the Justice and Peace Commission has grown into one of the best in the country, proof of it being that its pioneer coordinator has been appointed a member of the National Human Rights  Commission of Cameroon. Today it is comfortably part of the Universal Network of the Pontifical Council  for Justice and Peace established by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and a member of the  Cameroon National  Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace.  Justice and Peace Bamenda is established in almost in all the Parishes of the Archdiocese of Bamenda. It has been able to build peace  between  conflicting tribal groups of Mbesa and Oku; Bali and Bawock as well as lead a campaign against child trafficking. In fact, J&P Bamenda can be said to have transformed itself into a veritable peace brooker in family, tribal and regional conflicts.
Pastor Bonus (the Apostolic Constitution of 28th June 1988) in its Articles 142 (1), (2), (3), and, 143,  defines the objectives and mandate for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from which the Provincial Pastoral Plan breaks it down in a simplified manner. According to this Plan, the aim of this  service is to help in the building up of a just and peaceful society by promoting all that enhances the dignity of the human person, by combating all that violates the dignity of the human person, by combating and denouncing all that degrades and destroys the human person. Its aim is
- To teach and encourage Christians to use Gospel values of justice, fair play, tolerance, and fraternity in all dimensions of their lives.
- To form consciences of people according to the Social Teaching of the Church.
- To educate citizens on their rights and privileges as well as their duties and obligations.
- To identify human rights violations and address them collectively.
- To mediate and help conflicting parties to take the right course of action.
- To ensure that justice and peace are reflected in all structures of evangelization.
- To sensitize members of the Church to be ready and willing to die in defense of the poor and oppressed in cases of grave and blatant injustice.
- To ensure that Seminaries, Novitiates, Catholic Institutes, Small Christian Communities and Families promote, spread and apply the knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching on justice and peace.
- To ensure that agents of evangelization are properly educated on possible Christian responses to unjust socio-economic and political situations that challenge the society.
- To ensure solidarity action on issues of justice and peace in the form of cooperation and mutual help within the Church and other churches and with people of good will.
The activities of the Service are generally based on Papal and Episcopal Social Teaching of the Church; International, and Regional Instruments (Treaties and Conventions); as well as National and local legislation through trainings, workshops, conferences, debates, symposia; interactive radio programs, publication of educative material, and research and studies on relevant and important topics and events all contributing to the development of persons, structures and systems. Activities of this reporting period were classified under 3 thematic areas; the promotion and protection of human rights; peace building and post-conflict reconstruction; and the promotion of good governance.
As a result of the activities carried out over the years, we have achieved outstanding successes in various areas; conflicts have generally reduced, this brings to light our active non violent strategies in building peace and trust amongst families and communities. The work to end modern day slavery (Trafficking in Persons) was recognized at international level and the service head earned an award from the United States Department of State as a 2013 Trafficking in Persons Hero.
Challenges encountered during this reporting period are related to forming committed Christians in the parishes to work for justice and peace. The upsurge of religious sects is another challenging area where rights of vulnerable people are abused in the name of a certain religious obedience. We intend to multiply our efforts in training and building up capacities of Christians and people of good will in the values of justice and peace so that we can collectively build the kingdom of...
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