By Merville Daize Njounkeng (YES 2017-2018, Cameroon, hosted by PAX in Zanesville, OH)
In my country of Cameroon, sex education is a very sensitive topic. One of the greatest problems youths in Cameroon face is a result of a lack of proper education in sexual and reproductive health rights, especially when it comes to talking with their parents about sexual health. Parents are usually unaware of how to start "the talk" with their children. Cameroon YES Alumni Association held a workshop with the aim of reducing the tension between parents and their children when it comes to talking about sexual health. We want to remove this stigma to create a healthier and more educated Cameroon.
The seminar was held on July 27, 2019, and we opened our doors to six guest speakers, eight YES alumni, and 70 participants. We also had the privilege of hosting the Head of Department of Public Health at the Faculty of Health Science, Dr. Tendongfor Nicholas. He spoke about sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent them. Dr. Njang Emmanuel, a medical practitioner from Solidarity Clinic and a member of the NGO, HERO Cameroon, spoke about the menstrual cycle and feminine hygiene. This topic was one of the most interactive, since many people had questions after his session. We also welcomed Mme Nzume Deris, an inspector of Physics at the high school level, who spoke about best practices for parents to start the conversations with their children about sex education. Then we heard the view of a teacher, when it comes to sex education; Mme Florence Tutuwan shared her experience with the students on the school campus. Two medical students spoke about the influence of social media and the spiritual perspective of sex education.
YES alumni, Njomo Elton (2017-17, Cameroon, hosted by American Councils PO in Ewa Beach, HI) explained, "The organization and the execution were top-notch even though a part was improvised." All in all, the event went well and I believe the impact felt will be felt in the lives of the individuals who attended. We also got many positive feedback from our beneficiaries, an attendee noted, "We need more programs like this, I think the youths need stuff like this." Like the saying goes, all's well that ends well and here at the Cameroon YES Alumni Association we think we hit the nail on the head.