Fabiola, 18 years, Cameroon
Fabiola is a secondary school student from rural Cameroon where she lives with her aunt and uncle and two brothers. As a young girl she experienced numerous incidents of early & forced marriage, early pregnancies, school drop-out and sexual harassment in the community around her.
As part of Plan Cameroon’s Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and Media (YETAM) project, Fabiola has been empowered to identify the issues affecting youth, especially young girls, and has produced numerous media pieces on these issues for other young people, parents and leaders in her local community.
Fabiola reports that the YETAM project has brought an end to the issue of early and forced marriage among young girls (age14-17yrs) in her community. Her village stakeholders have adopted a policy which highlights the ill effects of child marriage and provides guidelines on what should be done in the event that a family forces an early marriage.
Fabiola also talks about the importance of the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality in the community. Nowadays, whenever a meeting is organised in Fabiola’s village, the women are always invited and men, women, boys and girls all have a say in the issues raised.
Fabiola attended the 55th session of CSW in New York in 2011 where she was part of campaign to establish the first ever ‘International Day of the Girl’ (October 11th 2012). She also founded the ‘Girls on the Front’ association, or ‘G-Front’, which seeks to encourage and empower girls to take the lead in community development in order to see their rights respected just as boys’.
Fabiola will be returning to New York for the 56th session of CSWwhere she hopes to;
“Bring a change in the life of the girl child so that she would obtain that full potential like the boy for a better future benefiting herself and her country.”