Storytelling session in Ntanka, Bamenda

Storytelling session in Ntanka, Bamenda

Using Traditional African Story Telling to Prevent and Mitigate a Wicked Problem, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) For Rural and Low Literacy Communities in Cameroon: The Ntanka Community Partnership Pilot Project

This report details a pilot project by eBASE Africa, funded by Grand Challenges Canada, that explored the potential of traditional African storytelling to tackle sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) in rural Cameroon.

Storytellers and community health workers (CHWs) trained in storytelling techniques delivered presentations within the Ntanka Community. These sessions not only raised awareness about SGBV and CEFM but also fostered open discussions, allowing participants to identify vulnerabilities and explore solutions. CHWs then followed up with attendees, referring those in need to healthcare and legal services.

The results were significant:

Participants demonstrated a substantial increase in knowledge of SGBV types, available support services, and their rights.
Over 1,300 individuals were connected with medical, mental health, and legal resources.
The project empowered women and girls, fostering female leadership within the community.
Unexpected benefits included improved community safety through increased lighting and a boost in well-being through healthcare outreach programs.

Key Learnings:

This study highlights the potential of traditional storytelling as a culturally sensitive and impactful tool to address SGBV in rural settings. Storytelling can effectively raise awareness, increase help-seeking behavior, and empower communities. Furthermore, this approach can be combined with other interventions to tackle the root causes of SGBV for a comprehensive solution.