At the age of 24 I started on a journey to give back to my community through a holistic empowerment program that I named Denis Miki Foundation. It was a self-bound vision but which could not be implemented alone for the impact I had envisioned for the future. To be able to attain my set out goals I needed to get others in the community involved and one of the target groups I needed in my team to work where youth. So as a Social Entrepreneur I set out to recruit young volunteers to join me in my vision for change.
One of the areas I felt needed intervention was the Health Sector but my entry level was more of a preventive and community health approach. So Denis Miki Foundation recruited volunteers who were trained and prepared for service to the community through partnerships with local and international partners. At the beginning of the journey 5 volunteers were recruited but 4 years later we are counting 30 and above committed volunteers who are from the ages of 12 to 35 and who are proposing solutions to challenges in our communities.
In the area of health DMF as a Sub-Contractor for a Global Fund project in partnership with Reach Out Cameroon and IFPP on HIV/AIDS we have20 young girlsaged between 16-35 on the field as HIV/AIDS Peer Educators educating their peers who are school-drop-outs on preventive measures of HIV/AIDS, how to live responsible lives, to go for free HIV/AIDS screening at partner health centers, and mobile HIV/AIDS screening outreach programs at local community markets.
Ijang Valerine an 18 years old is one of the Young Female Peer Educators who has for the last 7 months given back to her community by educating young girls and boys of her age group on the ills of HIV/AIDS and how it affects economic growth and hinders orphaned children growing up after losing a parent to AIDS from growing up in afamily with parental care and support. Valerine teaches her peers why it is important to know how to prevent being infected by the virus,screen for HIV/AIDS regularly and how to manage the disease if already infected with the virus and how to prevent Mother-To-Child Transmission. She has been able to also recruit new young girls to join her as volunteer Peer Educatorsin the fight against HIV/AIDS in our communities.
Like Valerine, the other young girls are finding their purpose as they give back to their communities. It is part of Denis Miki Foundation's goal to get Youths In The Picture for development through Health, Sports, Arts and Talent for a healthy and economically empowered Cameroon and Africa as a whole. To be able to do this we are open to new partnerships and funding opportunities. And welcome partners from all over as we join hands to create the change we want.