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    Cameroon, Education

    Education for social change in Cameroon

    Project Number: 134.1014

    Since 2016, a conflict between separatists in the Anglophone regions and the Francophone central government has been escalating and causing civil war-like conditions in Cameroon. In addition, there are other challenges that are making the country increasingly fragile. Against this background, good academic and context-based training of qualified theologians is crucial. The theological seminary in Kumba (PTS) and the theological faculty in Yaoundé (PUCA) train theologians, in ecumenical openness, with reference to the Cameroonian tradition and the current social reality.

    Background information

    In Cameroon, corruption, rising living costs, unemployment and terrorist attacks by Boko Haram, in addition to the conflict in the Anglophone regions, threaten social cohesion. Cameroon's society is undergoing rapid change. A young, fast-growing population is moving from the countryside to the cities in search of work-often for nothing, even more so since the Corona pandemic and the conflict in the southwest. Both separatist groups in the Anglophone part and terrorist organizations like Boko Haram are becoming attractive to some Cameroonian youth without prospects because of their financial incentives and group dynamics. The Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC) aims to provide pastors and lay people with sound academic training and continuing education so that they can face the challenges in the country and at the same time have an active impact on society, particularly in the project area, which has been severely affected by the conflict. PUCA's innovative, interdisciplinary programs and approaches to eco-theology, peace and trauma healing in Yaoundé also empower students to become "agents of change" in their churches and communities.

    Project goals

    The primary aim of this project at PTS is to provide prospective pastors with a sound theological education. They are trained in contextual, ecumenically oriented theology for ministry in the PCC and to people in the wider community (congregation and social work). In the higher academic training (Master's, doctorate) in Protestant theology at PTS and PUCA, the central concern is critical and ecumenical learning across ethnic and denominational differences. The interdisciplinary exchange with researchers and students from other faculties as well as with other universities in Africa and Europe on peace and development, social sciences and international relations enriches the program. At the PUCA, a study program in eco-theology and courses in trauma healing are offered in cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Medicine. The well-trained theologians are active as "agents of change" in Cameroonian society during and after their training. This enables them to tackle the major challenges posed by social change and the current conflict in Cameroon.

    Target group

    The students of PUCA (160 theology students, 300 in eco-theology) and PTS (64 students), their leadership and faculty, the laity and the students' partners are in focus.

    Activities

    The scope of duties primarily includes the following activities:

    • "Bachelor of Theology's Program" & Master's Degree in Theology at PTS.
    • Agrology courses, interdisciplinary events on traditional religions and a workshop on domestic violence for future pastors at PTS
    • "Licence-Maîtrise-Doctorat Programme" at the PUCA
    • Implementation of the "Eco-Theology" program at the PUCA

    Project progress

    In view of the crisis, investments were made in closer cooperation with the PUCA medical faculty. This has enabled the topic of pastoral care and "trauma healing" to become part of the training of future theologians. The population of the Anglophone regions, traumatized by civil war-like confrontations and fleeing in large numbers to the capital Yaoundé, will benefit from this knowledge. In addition, a program called "Eco-Theology" was developed in 2019, which covers the topics of agriculture, ecology and theology in theory and practice across disciplines. Women now make up around 30 percent of students. The same trend can be seen at the PUCA, where the proportion of women in some faculties is over 60 percent. The compatibility of career or education and family is made easier by the establishment of a crèche on campus, among other things. Despite the current crisis and the difficult conditions, the PTS is maintaining operations and theological training wherever possible.

    Map

    Cameroon

    • 27.9 million inhabitants
    • 11.9% of the population have higher education

    Project budget 2024

    CHF 106'375

    jacqueline

    Jacqueline Brunner

    Responsible church partnerships;
    Responsible legacies and bequests

    Tel. 061 260 23 37
    ► E-mail

    csm angelika weber bd226cb937

    Angelika Weber

    Program manager Cameroon and Nigeria
    Tel: +41 (0)61 260 22 65
    ► E-mail

    Hope thanks to your support

    Mission 21
    Protestant Mission Basel

    PO Box 270
    Missionsstrasse 21
    4009 Basel, Switzerland
    Tel.: +41 (0)61 260 21 20
    info@mission-21.org

    Donation account Switzerland:
    IBAN: CH58 0900 0000 4072 6233 2
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    Savings Bank Lörrach-Rheinfelden
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    BLZ: 683 500 48
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