On February 23, 2017, the James Baldwin Information Center at the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé welcomed 30 pupils of Akwi Montessori School. The visit was part of the school’s monthly excursions organized to give the pupils an opportunity to learn out of the classroom. See Facebook album of program: https://www.facebook.com/pg/yaounde.usembassy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10158271125270716.
The pupils were welcomed on behalf of the Embassy community by Cultural Affairs Officer Nitza Sola-Rotger, Executive Assistant Judith Brown, IRC Director Mathias Tientcheu, and IRC Librarians Edna Enyeji and Mabel Foncham-Chingang. During a question and answer session which followed her welcome message, the CAO provided responses to the students, on issues raised such as politics in America and the history, culture and the significance/origin of certain American Landmarks. This exchange created a platform for the pupils to understand a lot more about the United States of America.
The CAO took the opportunity to talk to the children about the importance of wildlife conservation with emphasis on the protection of pangolins and endangered species. This was part of activities to celebrate the World Pangolin Day commemorated on February 18 and also the World Wildlife Day to be commemorated on March 3 under the theme “Listen to the young voices.”
In a typical Montessori style of learning, the pupils were given drawings of pangolins and asked to color while sending out messages on the importance of protecting pangolins. At the end, they sent out stirring messages such as:
‘Please help me save myself, I don’t trust humans, I am innocent;’
‘Please love me I need a hug;’
‘Protect me from extinction;’
‘Don’t kill me and my friends Pangolins, we are very important.’
The visit ended with a message from Public Affairs Officer Roberto Quiroz II who encouraged the pupils to work hard at school so as to have the future they want for themselves, their families and communities. He added, “Attaining a quality education, a support network from families and communities, and hard work are the best tool needed to attain success in life and also to build thriving communities. It is great to meet children like you who are persevering in attaining an education to reach your highest potential. Who knows where you will be 30-40 years from now? Whatever it is, you have the potential to build Cameroon’s and Africa’s future through your talents and efforts. And America stands by you and millions of Cameroonian children like you who seek that future of peace and prosperity, from Cameroonians for Cameroonians.”