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MOTTO: PROMOTING SAFE MIGRATION/CHILD PROTECTION TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT    
       
 
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Non-Profit Aids Abused African Youth

The early evening sun begins its decent over West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz on Friday as brothers Ajume Wingo, left, and Alfred Nsodu Mbinglo, princes of Nso Kingdom, Cameroon, stand for a portrait. (Kevin Johnson -- Santa Cruz Sentinel)

By Nicholas Ibarra, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Posted: 12/18/15, 9:27 PM PST | Updated: 5 days ago

Nonprofit looks to help
What: Cameroon-based nonprofit rescues trafficked, abandoned African children.
Who: Helmed by Alfred Nsodu Mbinglo, prince of Cameroon’s Nso Kingdom.
Wants: To build a $100,000 housing and job training facility.
Web: recfam.org.
Donate: recfam.org/donate.php.

SANTA CRUZ >> Two princes from Cameroon were the guests of honor at a Friday holiday party and fundraiser to support the work of Recfam, an international nonprofit group that rescues African children from human trafficking, forced marriage and abandonment.
While recent news regarding refugees has been dominated by the civil war in Syria and conflicts in the surrounding region, that crisis is “just the tip of the iceberg,” said Barbara Benish, who hosted the event at her West Cliff home.

The brothers, Alfred Nsodu Mbinglo, the nonprofit’s executive director, and Ajume Wingo, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, are royalty in Cameroon’s northwestern Nso Kingdom.

The Research and Counseling Foundation for African Migrants, known as Recfam, works to locate and rescue trafficked and abused children, primarily in Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria. The organization has more than 700 children currently in its care, housed in government orphanages with the nonprofit providing food, education and job training while it seeks their families or willing caregivers.

Children in northwestern Africa are frequent victims of sex trafficking and economic displacement, Mbinglo said, while others are forced into marriage at as young as 4 years old.

He told a story about a 4-year-old child from Mali who was sent away by her parents to be a house servant for her older sister’s husband. The foundation rescued the girl when the husband threw the child out after accusing her of witchcraft.

Another girl was sent away when she was no older than 7 to earn money for her father to buy a roof, according to Mbinglo.
The fundraiser was presented by ArtDialogue, a nonprofit directed and co-founded by Benish that seeks create cultural conversations through creativity, research and experience. Benish, familiar with the work of the children’s aid group, invited the brothers to Santa Cruz to present their work.

Mbinglo said he hopes to raise awareness, and finances, to support his goal to build a $100,000 housing and vocational training facility to take the hundreds of youth out of what he called “substandard” government facilities.

“The killing of Ghaddafi spurred this big migration of biblical proportions, and no one talks about it in the Western media,” Wingo said. “Attention is not given, and Recfam is dealing with this.”

Issues such as deforestation, spurred by climate change, further exacerbate the population displacement in Africa, Mbinglo said.
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“Migration is as old as human beings and as complex as human character,” Mbinglo said. “You cannot stop migration.”
“What you can do,” Wingo added, “is work with it.”
Further information about Recfam, and how to contribute, is available at recfam.org.
nonprofit looks to help

What: Cameroon-based nonprofit rescues trafficked, abandoned African children.
Who: Helmed by Alfred Nsodu Mbinglo, prince of Cameroon’s Nso Kingdom.
Wants: To build a $100,000 housing and job training facility.
Web: recfam.org.
Donate: recfam.org/donate.

 
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