Awiye Sharon Serkwem Evanjo

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Rebuilding Hopes and Dreams of Internally Displaced WomenCameroon

Awiye Sharon Serkwem Evanjo is currently the Service Head for Documentation and Publishing at the National School of Local Administration in Buea, Cameroon. She currently serves as Chief Librarian of the Institution and is currently conducting research for a Ph.D. in Library, Archival and Information Sciences at the University of Buea in Cameroon. In addition, she is a humanitarian and engages in activities and projects that are aimed towards the promotion of equal opportunities and better living standards for people in her community.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Rebuilding Hopes and Dreams of Internally Displaced Women 

This project helped Internally Displaced Women caught up in the sociopolitical armed conflict in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon by empowering them psychologically, and economically, and educating them on basic health issues. It was carried out in the Bokova Community on the outskirts of Buea. Over 80 women attended 3 training sessions on psychological support (specifically PTSD), healthcare in a crisis situation (specifically menstrual hygiene, STDs, and malaria prevention) and economic empowerment (specifically agriculture and soap-making.)

In follow-up sessions, Sharon learned that 19 of the women have since started independent entrepreneurial ventures to support themselves and their families, and 26 have since sought out further practical training. Many of the women also shared how they have continued passing along the knowledge gained in the workshop to other women in the community.

"My husband was killed, the house we had built was burned, my children and I had to run away from Batibo...I now know that it is true that a problem shared is half solved because as I discussed about the loss of my family and livelihood in Batibo for the first time, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders." Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Awiye Sharon was a participant in the IVLP Project A Global Moment in Time- Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Awiye Sharon's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "Each one of us is tasked with a special responsibility to create a place in society for all."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Orlando, FL; Cleveland, OH

Country: Cameroon 

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