MY PATH THROUGH ENLIGHTENMENT, ONE YEAR ON!!
by Ebot Mbi, Q.
In life, change is the only thing that is constant. For a person to grow and do exploit in life, she/he must accept change. Thus, if a person can’t accept change then she/he is not willing to grow and do exploit. Change begins with the mind and ends in the process of learning. Therefore, we can only stop learning when we die. This leads to the fact that life is a choice. Even when a decision of not making choice is implemented, a choice is still made. In as much as change is concern, there must be choice.
I encounter this platform earlier last year (April, 2018) as a fresh graduate from the university. I had my first meeting with one of our elder sister activist who represented the Network and later had an online meeting with the CEO. They both had one voice, which was to make a choice to accept change with a positive mindset, to learn as they were willing to teach me. Then, I realized it is not all about what you study in school that makes you successful but having an open mind to learn in order to handle other affairs in life that will lead to success.
For one year that I have been with this network, I can say it has been a good experience though I also had bad and difficult experiences. Despite the fact that one of the main objectives of the network is to dissect, analyze and find solutions to problems concerning Africa, PEACE taught me all the activities that I can carry out today in the Network especially in the accounting sector, though I’m still learning new things every day. Almost all the activities I’m carrying out in the network have little or no link with what I studied in school. That’s why to me, PEACE is an educational institution.
When I came to this network, I had assignments like retrieving the organisation phone number, creating a mobile account with the organisation’s name etc. which were carried out successfully. The most challenging assignment was to organise and host a fan club meeting. This was challenging to me because I had never organised nor hosted a meeting before. The main aim of this meeting was to create community awareness. I asked myself, why is this important?
Then I realised that so many people especially the neighbours always come around PEACE CENTRE but were not aware of her activities. And also, one of the objectives of the organisation is to raise community awareness on socio-cultural, economic, environmental and livelihood issues. With the help of the CEO and other volunteers, the meeting was a success and the PEACE fan club Whatsapp group chat was created.
Another awesome opportunity accorded to me was when I was privileged to visit some comrades at the high security Central prison in Kondengui, Yaoundé. It was a great experience because it was my first time of visiting the Kondengui prison. PEACE not being a charity organisation but a network that initiates, facilitates and improves on networking in societal issues, sent me as a representative to donate items such as bedsits, detergents, plates etc. to some comrades at Kondengui prison. The comrades were imprisoned due to the ongoing crisis in the Cameroons.
My experiences have been really challenging just as a child put in pre nursery to start learning ABC. I was being taught new things every day. One of the greatest things I really learned and still learning is to manage people and resources. From what I have learned so far coupled to my little experience, I can manage resources and people better. All thanks to PEACE and her volunteering activists for such an initiative.
The PEACE platform is into knowledge transfer and information dissemination through fan club meetings, workshops, seminars, conferences, publishing of research materials, internet working of media and communication streams on African and Africa pertinent issues.
This network wants us to know that having a stereotype mindset is dangerous as it limits so many Africans from becoming successful and great. Therefore, for Africans to grow, we must have an open mind to accept change and not forgetting our roots in order to make the right choices. We ought to learn from the mistakes our ancestors and ancestresses made with an open mindset. Just like an African proverb says, “speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far”.
Despite being a network and platform for peer exchange of scientific, academic and societal issues concerning Africans aimed at empowering the African communities, I see the PEACE Center in Victoria-Limbe, where I find myself today, as an empowerment center. It is said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. My journey with PEACE has never been an easy one but full of challenges, trials and difficulties because I had to be trained to know and handle things in which I strive hard to be a success. Thanks to the CEO Dr. Yufanyi Mbolo and Mrs. Foshi for always being there to guide and direct me through the right path.
I am a Computer Engineer who specialised in Computer Networking and system Maintenance who has been an intern in the technical department in Camtel. Honestly, when I came to this organisation, it was another field of studies for me as everything was brand new in my sight.
I had no idea on how an organisation operates because I have never been opportune to be involved in one. The difficulty I faced in managing people and especially resources was different. This is because at Camtel, a description of a client work is given and you only get to meet the client to solve the problem.
But in the network, I meet all kinds of people with diverse characters and needs to manage. It was really not easy from the start as I get irritated with minor issues I was to ignore. Big thanks to PEACE, I have been trained and moulded in a way that nothing irritates me that much and learn to ignore minor issues. I came to realised that in order to succeed one must let go of certain issues and have an open mindset to learn. Thanks to Mr. Foshi who always advices me on how to handle issues and go about it. Also, big thanks to other volunteers who are always there to assist for the work to move on.
Throughout my stay in PEACE, I have been offered several opportunities by other people and organisations to work elsewhere with better financial terms. But I have stood my grounds with PEACE because PEACE has contributed a lot on what I know and can do now. As the saying goes “knowledge is power” but knowledge is not free. PEACE gave and is still giving me knowledge and other benefits for free that would have cost me a lot. I can’t forget the promise I made to the CEO that nothing will make me leave the organisation. Here I am to say sir, we are into this together. I’m grateful because a man can’t achieve greatness, accept change and make good choices only when he has knowledge. PEACE is the world through African Eyes- Finding African solutions to African problems. PEACE HARAMBEE UHURU