Divina Stella Maloum
- Age: 19
- | She/her/hers
Country of Origin:
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If you stand for a reason, be prepared to stand alone like a tree, and if you fall on the ground, fall like a seed that grows back to fight again.
- Divina Stella Maloum
Multi-award-winning peacebuilding practitioner, cartoonist, humanitarian, nuclear non-proliferation activist, international speaker and artificial intelligence & big data student, Divina is an outstanding peacebuilding practitioner who founded in 2015 and has been leading Children for Peace, a children and girls-led movement working across Sub-Saharan African countries in complex cultural systems for children’s rights, gender equity, and peacebuilding. She holds practical skills in drawing/painting; social media; local and international advocacies; project designing and implementation; community mobilisation; and public speaking in front of multicultural, local, national and international audiences.
Divina is an advocate of inter-generational dialogue and diversity. And she is fruitfully engaged for the full internalization of UNSCR 2250 and 1325, the UN Conventions on the rights of the Child and Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. She is committed to inclusive governance and (vulnerable) children participation in peace-building and sustainable development goals. She consistently works to democratize the public sphere for more political and economic expression of children and girls in public policies. She works in the front-line of human rights work in conditions hostile to fundamental human rights in risky conditions and environments “defying” the patriarchal system.
She works with communities (especially conflictual), religious and traditional leaders; refugees and IDPs children, street children, mobilizing them in community-based peace-building and gender equity activities.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
In many cultures in Africa, girls and women are confined to household tasks and education of children. Because of the patriarchal society, several do not have the same opportunities to go (far) to school, to study STEM, and to have the same work advantages with boys and girls. In conflict and non-conflict situation, gender-based violence and human rights violations often define women’s experiences. Effects of violent extremism on girls can be seen in efforts to limit girls’ access to education, curtailing access of women to healthcare and services and perpetrating acts of violence. During and in the aftermath of conflict girls/women are targeted with forms of human trafficking, sexual violence (including rape, forced pregnancy/prostitution/marriage, and sexual slavery) and also face domestic violence and extreme economic vulnerability. Nowadays, women’s and girls’ participation in conflict has evolved from auxiliary roles supporting their male counterparts, to gathering intelligence, providing healthcare, and maintaining safe houses, to direct engagement in violent acts, including suicide bombings. Lots of girls/women, not always knowing their rights, are being instrumentalized. Women and girls bear the greatest and most direct costs of gender inequalities that affect their future, with adverse impacts that affect the whole society, ultimately harming everyone.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
In order to address this situation, I created in 2015, Children for Peace (C4P), a girl led movement aiming to increase the number of girls participating in peacebuilding and public policies. C4P mobilizes girls in/from complex cultural and religious background and affected areas by war to define and implement actions plans and local and nation-wide activities/projects. Like the projects African Parliament of Girls for Peace; the project Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for girls and the project Girls Voice Against COVID19. And multiple advocacies towards governments and community leaders for the internalisation and enforcement of UN Convention on Child Rights, Convention against Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), UNSCR 1325 and 2250. Some impacts and results of our work so far can be showcased as follows: o Over 50 000 girls trained/mentored and 5 000 000 people sensitized on thematic related to violent extremism, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, migration and human rights (focusing on children, girls and women rights, gender equality), illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons and COVID 19; o Over 5 000 girls and children have been fruitfully directly engaged in related topics through local, nation and continent-wide activities and through 80 gender clubs (led by girls).
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
Outside of my gender equality advocacy work, I am a cartoonist who draws cartoons that I use in my civil society work as education/awareness, capacity building tools to mobilise stakeholders at all levels for the implementation of the SDGs. I am involved in research and expertise. I have coordinated the conception and implementation of several studies such as (1) the study “Child soldiers in Central Africa: from children for war to children for peace understanding the reasons of child mainstreaming in armed groups and psychological consequences”; (2) the study and assessment of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Sahel and neighbouring countries and (3) the study Generate a comprehensive data on the situation of adolescent-engaged and adolescent-led organizing. I have coordinated and assisted the design, implementation, monitoring, Evaluation and learning of several nation-wide and regional projects such as the projects Silence the Guns; Promoting dialogue and exchanges between youth groups and youth initiatives; strengthening the use of ICTs in violence prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding in Cameroon and the campaign for Nuclear Disarmament as part of the Move the Nuclear Money global Campaign in partnership with UNFOLD ZERO and abolition 2000.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- French (Advanced/Native)
- Divina Maloum: Children for Peace
- Meet Divina Maloum: The Fearless 15 Year Old Cameroonian activist speaking against terrorism and promoting peacebuilding for children
- Armed conflict, corona virus pandemic and a ceasefire: Impact on children in Africa
- Divina Maloum : une jeune activiste apporte des changements dans sa communauté au Cameroun
- youth participation and leadership
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- International Children's Peace Prize (2019)
- Peace, nuclear Abolition and Climate Engaged Youth (PACEY) Award (2023)
- Project Management Certificate (2019)
- M&E Certificate (2017)