Five months after Peer Exchange of African Communities for Empowerment paid a visit to the Government High School Limbe with the aim of empowering the students on educational and mostly African issues; another visit was made on the 17 0f October 2016 in the same light.
The PEACE team took on this second visit to talk about the Organization’s Center, which is already functional atNew Town Limbe. We made the students understand that as a network our doors are open for counseling on academic, educational and societal issues that concern the youths. And also to sensitize them on different African issues.
The visit began with a meeting with the Principal,Madam Ayompe Haddassah who was very welcoming and granted us an interview. The interview was centered on her views about this organization, which has visited her school on two occasions and what in her opinion are some problems African youths are facing, especially her students and possible solutions.
Here are some of her excerpts:
“I am Madam Ayompeh Hadassah, the principal of Government High School Limbe.I will begin by saying that this organization is a very powerful organization, which should really be encouraged. Just as this network is out to empower the nation, educating the students is a part of it because these students are the foundations of the nations. So Peer Exchange is another move towards building the nation”
“The problems African youths are facing are so many and diverse. Firstly one of the problems is poverty. I will take a clear example with some students of this school. Most of them are being sponsored by well- wishers,teachers,organizations and parliamentarians. Also, some of these students are victims of different kind of illnesses, Illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and Sickle cell, just to mention a few. We even lost a student at the start of this school year;a form five student, who made her papers during the G.C.E. She has been suffering from cancer of the stomach since form two. Unfortunately, she had a severe attack and was rushed to the Yaoundé Reference Hospital where she died. There are other students who are sickles and youknow how vulnerable such students are.Some students, physically they don’t look sick but others are very weak. So the best way we can help such students is to relate with them, relate with their parents to always make sure they come along with their drugs to schools because most of them do suffer from crisis here in school. Also we do not engage them into serious manual labour.
We also had a student who was deaf and dumb but made her three papers during the advanced level. And presently she is now in the University of Buea studying special education. Most students who suffer from this type of deficiency, their other senses are well developed so they really do pay attention when in class. There was another student who is suffering from autism. But his performance is far better than some other students. In fact,that particular student is my friend here in school because of the way I relate with him despite his situation. And with the other students in class we educate and sensitize them how to relate with such students, taking out time to explain to them in order to avoid stigmatization.
Also, these students suffering from these defects, most at times feel very demoralized. As such we take out time to make them feel comfortable, make good friends with them. We treat them special as compared to other students. By doing this, we help them to belong to the world. Believing that despite their different defects they can still make it in life.”
“I believe the medium of visiting schools is a good way to pass across messages to the students. This is because it is a form of sensitization, making the students to believe and know that all hope is not lost. In spite of their deficiency, they can still make it, thereby serving as an eye opener to the nation and Africa as a whole. I will end by saying that Peer Exchange of African Communities for Empowerment and GHS Limbe are partners…I am now confident to say that the doors of GHS are open anytime to PEACE.”
The interview ended with the PEACE Team presenting a t-shirt from the CEO of PEACE to the Principal of GHS Limbe.
The visit proceeded with further visits to some classes, where we held talks with the students explaining what our organization is all about. The first class we visited was Form Five. We introduced ourselves and our organization. We reiterated our objectives of empowerment and African consciousness. The issue of some African problems was raised during the discussion.
There were issues about African problems such as Unemployment and traveling abroad (brain drain). Great focus was nailed on the issue of “how the government can’t employ everyone.”So as young minds, they should stand on their feet and be self-sustainable. Create and innovate things that will foster and enhance their development. That is why we offer educational programs, counseling and also a multimedia center which will soon go functional come January. This multimedia center will serve as a study ground where youths who are not very verse with computers can come weekly to grab something for free. All this is in a bit to aid young minds in order for them to be more self-sustained and African conscious.Besides talking about our organization, we also utilize the time accorded to us to talk about their exams. Since it is an examination class, we ended up by telling them to take their studies seriously in order for them to pass their exams
We also visited two more classes in which the same message was pass across as in the previous. The visit ended with us taking pictures with the students and the principal. And the principal assuring the PEACE team that she will pay a visit to the organization.
Report assembled by Beyang Verdell for PEACE.