By Safeh Evangeline (YES 2011-2012, Cameroon, hosted by PAX in Bossier City, LA) and Tsague Jalane (YES 2016-2017, Cameroon, hosted by PAX in Daveneport, IA)
The Cameroon YES Alumni Association (CYAA) is always busy planning and hosting alumni projects, but on February 28th we were really excited to host an event to help teach youth how to become strong leaders. The event was organized by Evangeline Safeh, Tsague Jalane, and Djiade Nike (YES 2016-2017, Cameroon, hosted by ASSE, hosted in Glendive, MT), all who are YES alumni from Douala. The event took place at the Government Bilingual High School in Bepanda and served as an opportunity for alumni to share with students in grades 10, 11, and 12 what the YES program is all about, how and why we partook in the program, and our experiences and takeaways.
Since February 11th is Youth Day, Evangeline organized an activity to celebrate Youth Day to help youth understand the real meaning of being a leader. Evangeline started by talking about leadership and asked some questions, which the youth all answered very quickly. The student who answered correctly received a calculator, so you can imagine they were really happy to have the correct answer. Evangeline served as a model and as a source of inspiration to these soon-to-be graduating high school youths. She made sure that they all knew that identifying personal qualities of a strong leader would be beneficial to them in the future. Alumni wanted students to know who is a leader, how to be a good leader, and also how to implement leadership skills, which could help them in their future careers.
To conclude the day, alumni organized activities in both English and French which included a game, quiz, traditional dance, drawing, and karaoke. The winners had several prizes and were really happy. Throughout these activities, YES alumni emphasized the importance of multiculturalism and during the drawing activity, pushed students to express themselves about this topic and to help them understand the importance of mutual understanding.
Both Djiade and Tsague attend the Government Bilingual High School in Bepanda and knew the program was a success when they arrived at school on Monday and their friends talked about it and asked some more questions about the program and other stuff they did not understand. All the students were so happy and some declared how nourishing it was to them. YES alumni felt fulfilled and thought it should be done often. It was just great and impactful.