South West: 46 Youth, media influencers Equipped to counter disinformation by sisterspeak237

At the wake of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon and the wish for people to speak freely, several persons have indulged in the act of spreading fake news and misinformation. 

While some of them cannot clearly differentiate between fake news, propaganda and investigated story, others enjoy what is today known as forwarded as received. 

It is in this light that Sisterspeak237, a Non Governmental organisation launched a project to educate some 46 youth leaders and media influencers under the project;

"Promoting Media Literacy and countering Misinformation and Hate speech in the South West Region of Cameroon" funded by the US Embassy.

Speaking during the campaign Saturday December 11, 2021, Comfort Mussa noted that the project is to promote media literacy and countering disinformation in the South West region of Cameroon.

"it is a project that seeks to train 46 youths in the South West on understanding how to access and assess correct information online

This happens in a context where we have different challenges and conflict in the South West region. We are living the realities of an armed conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the midst of these challenges, the lack of correct  information is in itself a crisis and we are working with youths to understand how they can access correct information, how they can consume and also share with others because this information only leads to further risk for youths in our region" Comfort Mussa told the Press.

The youths age 18-30 are leaders who have the capacity to influence their peers. Comfort Mussa hopes that the knowledge gained will be passed to others who could not attend the workshop especially on the dangers of sharing disinformation to the public.

Quizzed on why Buea, the Chief Executive of Sisterspeak237 said the South West region happens to be one of the regions in Cameroon experiencing an armed conflict and that Buea the capital of the South West region is a university town with a vibrant youth population.

The training will usher in a four month period and that is when trainees will engage actively online and offline sharing lessons they have learnt, challenging other youths to seek and share correct information and they will do this through different social media context that will be launched from January to April 2022.

One of the participants, Mayoma Blandine, student journalist at the University of Buea acknowledged that the workshop was impactful.

"I have come to realise that as journalists we have power when it comes to information and it is very important that we manage information in such a way that does not mislead our audience"

The project being implemented by Sisterspeak237 will run from 6 months.

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