On January 25, the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde welcomed Cameroonian alumni from the Young African Leaders Initiative/Mandela Washington Fellows (YALI/MWF), International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), TechWomen, and civil society to hear about their efforts to promote development for youth, women, and girls throughout Cameroon in partnership with all sectors. They were from the YALI/MWF program Christelle Bay Chongwain, Charlie Batchanzi Wandji, Balkissou Buba, Ngwefonta’a Vumomsi, Pascal Anengbah Nchumuluh, Cedric Kengfack Njoya, Denis Emilien Atangana; IVLP alumna Fidele Djebba Iya, TechWomen alumna Estelle Ndedi, and President of the “Fondation Conseil Jeune” and Coordinator of Plateforme Indépendante des Jeunes pour la Démocratie et la Citoyenneté Active (PIJEDECA) Michele Abe. See Facebook album of event.
They were welcomed by Public Affairs Officer Roberto Quiroz II and a visiting team from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C. led by Mr. Stevie Hamilton including Sara Devlin, Alexandra P Choulenina, Santiago Stocker, Nadia Shah, Amy Patanasinth, and Nick Buschang. Also participating were U.S. Embassy Yaounde Cultural Affairs Officer Nitza Sola-Rotger, Cultural Affairs Specialist Gladys Viban, and Cultural Affairs Assistant Olivia Mukam.
In his remarks to the youth, Mr. Quiroz said: “The work you have done and are doing is featured in many albums of our Facebook page with pride, respect, and admiration. From your visits to the Far North Region to meet victims of Boko Haram to nationwide youth assemblies for peace hosted in Bamenda, Yaounde, and other locations – rural and urban – to implementing projects celebrating the work of 200 young women from different socioeconomic backgrounds in all ten regions of Cameroon, and other programs seeking Cameroonian solutions to Cameroonian challenges. Your dedication to uplift the lives of your fellow citizens working hand in hand with all sectors are the reason why you were selected for these exchange programs. As the United States has said, the future of Africa and Cameroon lies in your own efforts to peacefully and constructively promote development and greater partnerships among even your fellow alumni from other African nations and around the world. America salutes your efforts.”
To learn more about these U.S. exchange programs please see: Mandela Washington Fellows https://yali.state.gov/washington-fellowship/; IVLP http://www.iie.org/programs/IVLP#.WIsZ6FPR-70; and TechWomen https://www.techwomen.org/.