On January 22, 2016, Cultural Affairs Officer Merlyn Schultz led a U.S. Embassy delegation on a Cultural outreach trip to Bangangté, in the West Region of Cameroon. Mrs. Schultz was welcomed by Mrs. Celestine Ketcha-Courtes, Mayor of Bangangté, with whom she discussed challenges to women empowerment in the West Region in general and Bangangté in particular. Mrs. Schultz congratulated Mrs. Ketcha-Courtes for her exemplary leadership. Both officials explored avenues for partnership to further encourage young girls to hold leadership positions in their communities. Mrs. Schultz told Mayor Ketcha-Courtes that “without a doubt, the empowerment of Cameroonian women in civic participation starts at the grassroots level. We are looking forward to partnering with you to energize the next generation of women civic leaders.” Mayor Ketcha-Courtes declared: “As a woman, you need to be ready and strong, and work very hard to get to leadership positions. It is not easy, but it is not impossible. I am also looking forward to partnering with the U.S. Embassy to prepare the next generation of women leaders.”
Later during the day, Mrs. Schultz visited Université des Montagnes (UDM). She toured the two campuses of the University, held a meeting with UDM’s President, Professor Lazare Kaptue and attended the plenary session during which U.S. Department of State-sponsored English Language Specialist, Kay Westerfield presented the new framework for English language teaching at UDM, as a result of her ten-day program at the University. Professor Lazare Kaptue thanked Kay for her immense contribution to rethinking UDM’s language programs. “If you had been here fifteen years ago when we started this project, we would have been more successful in our endeavors to make sure that English is not a barrier for any of our students’ ambitions.” He also expressed the profound gratitude of the University community to the American people for the multifaceted support the University has received from the U.S. Embassy. This includes books for the library, introduction to eLiraryUSA resources, an annual award competition for medical students, and English language teaching experts. Mrs. Schultz lauded the vision and commitment of UDM Staff for quality education in the fields of Science, Engineering and Medicine.