Meet Tony from Cameroon: guest of Shelter City The Hague
“In Cameroon we have 255 political parties!”
This week the current guest of Shelter City The Hague started his three month stay in our city of peace and justice! His name is Tony and he is a human rights defender from Cameroon. Since he never travelled outside the borders of his home country before, there was a lot to see and experience in his first days.
One of which were the national elections on March 15. We took him to the Binnenhof to visit the polling station and watch some Justice and Peace colleagues bring out their vote. It amazed him how peaceful and quiet the whole process was, and he was stunned by how ‘only’ 28 political parties participate in the elections. “In Cameroon”, he said, “we have 255 parties!”
Coming from a country where the average temperature is 30°C all year round, the Dutch weather is also something he still struggles to get used to. Although he has been blessed with a few beautiful days, he keeps telling us how he cannot understand that the sun is shining and the sky is blue, but it is still so cold!
Tony is the founder of a judicial relief centre in Cameroon, where he helps victims of human rights violations with access to justice. He helps them for instance to write and file complaints and accompanies the victims to court hearings. During his stay in The Hague Tony will be able to gain some rest from the threats he has faced from the local authorities in Cameroon that want to silence him. Moreover he will follow trainings, broaden his network and raise awareness in The Netherlands about the human rights situation in his country.
We wish Tony an inspiring 3 months stay in The Hague!