At the age of 13 I took up my first holiday job for which I was payed 30,000CFA F and which I handed over to my mum and she used to start a fire-wood business. This was what assisted her in carrying for us the months immediately after the passing away of my dad. At 15 I worked with the Limbe Council as a road cleaner during the holidays and the money I made payed my Lower-Sixth school fees and I continued working during the holidays to continue my education and assist my family and this was the same training I passed onto my younger sister Shella. Today she also has holiday jobs and part time jobs which have made her very responsible and supported her till the completion of her Bachelors of Science Degree.
Women can be empowered through their children and the youths of their communities. But this is seen absent in many poor and rural communities because the children and youths are seen to love an easy life (that is want a car, a nice home, money, nice clothes, expensive phones and eat good food) and this all due to the erroneous perceptions of young people by adults. Women are the ones to empower their young children and through that they will also be empowered given the many available opportunities for young people globally today.
I as a young woman see the fact that we love an easy life, to be the motivating factor of our successes and strengths because it is this love for the easy life that makes us work hard, become responsible at younger ages and seek ways to empower ourselves so as to get out of poverty and have a life of comfort and riches. I personally hear this from my mum all the time when she tells me and my younger sister that we work a lot and we want to run ahead of our shadows and not hurry in life. But then she forgets that if we weren’t hard working we wouldn’t have gotten the education and qualifications we now have especially after she fell sick after the sudden passing away of our father. She forgets that in the 14 years of her being down health-wise and not been able to work to fend for us, it is the holiday jobs and part-time jobs we did, the scholarships we applied for that could pay our tuition fees and fend for the entire family.
1 out of 10 Parents (mothers; since most of them are single parents or widows in my community) allow their children to take holiday jobs or volunteer at Institutions or Companies. And it is because they consider a child who takes up a holiday job at the age of 15 to be because his parents cannot take care of him or they are poor. But then this is not the case because this instead builds that child and makes them responsible. Looking at the opportunities available now for children and youths globally I rarely see African children not to talk of Cameroonian children and youths been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize like Malala Yousafzai. KidsRight is presently receiving nominations for children involved in activities to empower their communities and fellow children but where can we find such a child to nominate in my community?
Though many women don’t empower their children and the young people in their communities it is important to know that there are some people who believe in youth empowerment and are waiting to see these young people take the first step and add a helping hand. This is true because while we worked we received assistance from family and friends who were encouraged to help us seeing our efforts. This points out that help comes to us when we take the first step, for there are others watching us but who only come in when they see us pushing towards a set goal. Women who are mostly mothers will be empowered when we teach them how to empower their children and the youths of their communities. For through empowered children and youths, they will also be empowered and our communities developed.