“I am standing up for peace”
Divina Maloum is a 12 year old girl who lives in Cameroon. After learning about extremist violence and its impact on children, she started a program called ‘I am standing up for peace’. Thousands of children have disappeared in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. They have been separated from their families and are facing exploitation, abuse and recruitment by armed groups as child soldiers. Attacks and suicide bombings in communities are killing children, destroying schools and are sowing fear.
Through the program ‘I am standing up for peace’, Divina stimulates the civic and voluntary engagement of children in the fight against violent extremism. She interviewed 50 children about the dangers of violent extremism and she organized group discussions with children and young people on beliefs and extremist attitudes. Based on her engagement with these children Divina developed the program and it now operates in all ten regions of the country and has reached nearly 5.000 children through awareness raising campaigns and workshops in kindergartens, elementary and high schools. Her goal is to keep the peace in Cameroon and to raise awareness of the dangers of violent extremism and radicalization. In the future, Divina wants to extend the program beyond Cameroon, helping children to become resilient to extremist speech. She wants to be an inspiration in the fight against violent extremism.