The birth certificate is the evidence of the legal existence of a human being. It is required to establish every other official documents and by the way facilitates access to civic rights such as education, health, the obtention of a national identity card, the right to write official exams and entrance examinations, to move freely within the country, to vote, and to apply as candidate. The scarcity of this document is more and more observed for many reasons among which forced displacements. In fact, in case there is a catastrophy, people are often compelled to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere, abandoning all their belongings including their birth certificates, marriage certificates and the death certificates of their relatives.
In Cameroon, since February 2017, a socio-political crisis is affecting the North-West and South-West english-speaking regions of the country. The Cameroonian Government and some Civil Society Organisations have registered hundreds of thousands of internal displaced, children under 17 years old accounting for 50% of them. Some sources from school administration in the West Region of Cameroon express the difficulties they encounter while presenting themselves at official exams due to the lack of birth certificates from their side. Most frequent reasons mentioned for this phenomenon are lost encountered in the fled from murderous attacks and criminal house fires of their residences.
To tackle this issue with critical sociocultural, economic and political impacts, AMCODE, a Civil Society Organisation intends to offer its 5 years old expertise in the field. In fact, since 2015, AMCODE has successfully implemented a strategy to accompany the six Councils of the Menoua Division, in the West Region of Cameroon, to facilitate the access of the population to legal civil status certificate. Since the arrival of internal displaced, AMCODE and local partners have identified their main needs, and reconstituting their civil status documents is one of the most important requests mentioned. This project will help us to implement an apparatus to facilitate the access of the internal displaced to legal birth certificates, without being forced to return to these war-torne areas where they fled from. The fundings received from the Global Maker Challenge will allow us to advocate with the major stakeholders, to mobilise and determine the number of beneficiaries, to instruct them on the juridical process of civil status certificates establishment, reconstitution, and to issue birth, marriage and the death certificates for the enrolees.