Solidarity for Martyr Families

Emergency Response in Northern Cameroon

Overview

Two families in Kassa in the Far North region of Cameroon were left fatherless last year following the murders of two literacy facilitators of Bible Society of Cameroon’s literacy facilities by Islamic militant group, Boko Haram.

As well as killing the men, Boko Haram stripped their homes of their furniture, kitchen utensils, clothing and farm animals. This project will provide the support needed to enable the two widows and 15 children (including one born after his father was killed) to be housed, fed, clothed, educated and to undergo trauma counselling. It will also train more facilitators to ensure the broader community can be healed from their trauma.

The Need

Boko Haram is a terrorist organisation causing mayhem across north west Africa. Boko Haram was responsible for the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls in 2014. Tens of thousands of predominantly Christian people have died at their hands since 2009.

After a two year lull, Boko Haram returned to this isolated region in 2020, killing many people. The deaths of two of Bible Society of Cameroon’s literacy facilitators have been a massive loss not just to their families but to the translation project in the Podoko language (Parkwa).

Jonas, 42, a church elder and outstanding man, was killed while standing guard outside his church. He had seven children, including an infant. 40 days later, his colleague Joseph, father of eight children, was also killed. Jonas was described by his pastor as ‘the engine of the church, a very dynamic and helpful man and an exceptional facilitator. Joseph was also highly regarded and a gifted Parkwa literacy teacher.

Other members of the community are also victims of frequent attacks and live in fear, often taking refuge in caves. The people are traumatised by what they have witnessed and the stress of hiding out.

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