#MySacredStory: Marienne Makoudem Tene, Cameroon
MARIENNE MAKOUDEM TENE
Caux Scholars Program Alumni 2018
My name is Marienne Makoudem Tene and I am from Cameroon, a country known as “Africa in miniature” due to our diverse landscapes and climates. I am also a Research Officer in Development Economics, International Trade and Women’s Rights with the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation in Cameroon.
This has resulted in a less peaceful society with a lot of resentment, hatred and selfishness because we have forgotten that our country’s motto is “PEACE-Work-Fatherland”. I believe my country needs another type of leadership and my strong desire is to contribute to building it. My work is to contribute to rebuilding an inclusive society and rewiring our brains toward the meaning of PEACE . This is why I decided to enroll in the Caux Scholars Program (CSP).
CSP built my capacity with many peacebuilding tools. Before becoming a Scholar, my path crossed Initiatives of Change twice: first, as an intern in 2014, and second, as a Caux-sponsored participant in 2016. I am an active member of IofC in Cameroon and Creators of Peace (CoP) and our chapter is now in the process of setting up a Farmers Dialogue. Through CSP, I have learned that peacebuilding is a system with its own set of dynamics, challenges and opportunities. To create and implement an effective strategy, a conflict analysis is always necessary to identify the stakeholders, the objects of conflict, and the power dynamic that fuels conflict. Following this process, one can design different projects or actions that will contribute to building and maintaining peace.
Given the specific context in Cameroon with open conflicts in almost all corners of the country, there is a general absence of equal opportunity to access resources and power. Therefore, conflict transformation, restorative justice, trauma healing, non-violent strategic actions, and reconciliation are important, if not urgent. I have learned that, no matter what, we are compelled to live in the same society and community with both survivors and perpetrators. I have learned how necessary it is for peacebuilders to develop self-care actions because this is a long-term journey and one needs to deal with her own “unfinished business” in order to help rebuild the society.
Cameroon needs more Creators of Peace. CSP gave me the tools and the Towards an Inclusive Peace (TIP) conference provided me with a space to apply this knowledge to an international audience. A month after the program, I facilitated a workshop on Conflict Transformation for IofC Cameroon for youth in Cameroon who desire to contribute to peacebuilding. I also organized a Peace Café for the celebration of International Peace Day where I presented the challenges that today’s peacebuilders are facing in Cameroon.
To further my knowledge and my skills, I am now a member of the TIP core team and in charge of organizing the 2019 TIP conference. I am planning to do three main things in the future: continue to make Creators of Peace within Cameroon; organise a conference with other peacebuilders focusing on African countries; and hold a leadership position at the regional/continental level so that I can contribute to creating new leadership for my continent.