Empowering people, especially women, through literacy, education, capacity building and income generating activities, bringing hope and renewed vision, encouraging female leadership, facilitating trauma healing and locally led sustainable participatory initiatives, that is me!
Many years ago, I started a leadership development journey. As a female leader, I faced different challenges, ranging for cultural assumptions to personal fears. I am thankful for those who invested to help me discover, understand, accept my potential and areas of passion, then take on the challenge to contribute to more wellbeing in society. I am currently involved with several organisations that aim at literacy and education, capacity building and empowerment of the underprivileged, especially women and children, through local initiatives.
What started as a crisis (emergency decision to fill an unexpected gap) is now an exciting journey. Attending seminars, observing other leaders, both men and women, listening to life stories, volunteering for experiential opportunities, have all contributed to build my skills and encourage me press on.
I used to believe that face-to-face interactions are the “real” setting for genuine impact, until I was challenged by this 55 years old women who was not authorized to involve in social activities, to initiate projects or do anything else outside her house. Thanks to digital media, she could communicate with her sons who were studying abroad, discover what happens in other places and do online shopping. And gradually, people were visiting her in her home. She turned what could have been an “isolating prison” into a fulfilling life. The breadth of opportunities of social networking, communication, online shopping and other services that she shared about was amazing. Multiplying such stories needs to happen. There are still thousands and thousands of women who are denied a social life, who cannot join others to impact the society for cultural, religious or other reasons. Yet, they have much to offer. This may require building their vision, building their skills, helping them acquire the necessary equipment. But are these impossible? I believe no!
I look forward to every information, knowledge, skill, opportunity that will help reduce sufferings and discrimination, and increase dignity and hope.
Worldviews, cultures, education have contributed to build an image of women and children that drain their full potential.
I dream of a world where gender biais is not an issue, where people are not welcomed, accepted, challenged, on the basis of their gender. My talents and creativity are currently being invested to build communities where ignorance and dominion are no longer weapons of control, where access to information of vital importance is made possible to all.
An educated women is an asset for her family, her community, the society. I hope to see more people influence positively where decisions are made, where actions are taken, where communications are prepared, so that a fairer and inclusive world is available for all. But more importantly, working with women themselves to get a clear genuine and acceptable understanding of who they are and what they can achieve is key. In parts of Cameroon, this battle is just beginning.
Just last week, I was faced with two sad cases: two women who had just lost their husbands and were being humiliated. The first, a 30-year old illiterate woman with no regular income, needed a surgery. The second was accused by her family-in-law for killing the husband. Both had no support from their husbands’ families, a support they desperately craved for. In both cases, there has been little or no moral, emotional/psychological, or other support, there has instead been a lot of humiliation, threat and harassment, with no consideration for the orphans. Nobody asks them “ what do you want, wish or need, how can we reduce your pain and sorrow, how can we facilitate your healing and restoration”. The law in Cameroon provides protection and support to such women, but these are not ready to seek that help because of the tribal cultural rules under which they live. If they could situate the tribal culture and the country laws at their rightful places, step up for their children’s and their own lives, they would generate hope and solutions for others as well. Ignorance of existing solutions and opportunities is rampant, especially in rural areas.
We believe that unnecessary suffering needs to stop. Care and support for the discriminated need to increase. A greater chain of hope needs to be established.