20 girls from three secondary schools speak outon the UN International Day of the Girl Child in Cameroon
“Society today, careless about girls’ existence: Theythink girls have little or nothing important to say. Little do people know, we (the girls) also have dreams, and desire to make life better for all”, says Nancy Mafor, a 24year old WFAC Volunteer.
Yesterday, October 11, a colleague and I, all volunteers for Women For A Change, Cameroon (WFAC), embarked on a three hours journey to two different schools: Summerset Bilingual College, St Therese and GSS Bafanji (via phone). Where we spoke to over 20 girls about The International Day of the Girl Child; asking them to share their fears, dreams, desires and vision for a future they want.
“This was my first time participating at the International Day of Girl Child. In fact, it was my first time hearing of such a day. And I took it as a privilege to be given the opportunity to engage my girls’ peers in conversation on issues that affects our lives, so together we voiced out our concern, so the whole world can know we too have dreams and desires”.Victorine –Julliet, a 15 year old WFAC Volunteer schooling at Summerset Bilingual College.
School Girls speak out their FEARS. One which, if addressed, they believed it will enable them lives a fulfilling and happy life!
Many shared fear for not going to school due to poverty, unemployment, insecurity, and been given in for marriage against their will…
“My parents have decided to give me up for marriage at my young age. I am only 14 and not ready for marriage. And I don’t want to disappoint my parents”IrelineMercy, Cameroon.
“I fear that I might not be able to complete my secondary education due to the fact that my parents can’t afford my school fees.”Ando Regina, 17yrsold Buea, Cameroon.
“Looking at the low level of insecurity around my community gives me fear.”Asong Karine, 17yrs old.
“I have a great dream but I fear I might not be able to attain it because I lack someone to support my studies.”Pelagie Suilaka, 17yrs old.
“I fear for the insecurity around my school and community.”Paola Gobina, 17yrs old.
“When I look at where I am coming from and my family situation, I wonder if my dreams will actually come true one day.”Annicette Berinyuy,16yrs old
“Considering the fact that I am not the only child, my parents are sponsoring to school and seeing how poor my family gets each year gives me fear and that they won’t be able to sponsor”NjimouVictorine, 16yrs old
“The rate at which school fees increases yearly, I fear if my parents will be able to continue to afford the high school fees for my studies.”Oben Rima, 14yrs old
“When I look at the level of unemployment in my country today I fear that I might have a certificate without any value.”Fatima Rodriguez, 17yrsold.
“There are so many deceivers around this community of mine these days, I fear I might be deceived and I donot want to. I need guidance.TrulySei, 14yrs old.
The Girls Dreams
“I dream of becoming a nurse so that I can be able to help others health wised.” 15yrs old, Dianne Nsanne.
“I dream of becoming a journalist so that I can be able to report about things that are happening around especially in remote areas.”14yrs old,Truly Sei.
“I dream of becoming an ambassador”17yrs old, Fatima Rodriguez.
“I want to be a lawyer.”14yrs old, Oben Rima.
“My dream is to go to school and become a lawyer.”16yrs old, NjimouVictorine.
“I really want to become an artist and a model.”16yrs old, AnnicetteBerinyuy.
“I will love to become a popular actress and be a TV presenter.”17yrsold, Pelagie Suilaka.
“I want to be a teacher so that I can be able to invest in the lives of others through education.”17yrs old, Ando Regina.
“I dream of having a successful education and become someone useful in this society of ours.”17yrs old, Asong Karine.
“My dream is for a perfect world”17yrs old, Paola Gobina.
Girls Demand for Better Life
“There should be school with considerable fees which could be affordable by the middle and low class stature of people.”Dianne Nsanne, 15yrs old.
“Studying facilities such as text books and others accompanied with affordable prices be made available and affordable. These would help those of us from little income [poor] homes able to afford and study also like others.”17yrs old, Ando Regina.
“Schools should be able to give scholarships to encourage at least the poor to go to school.”17yrs old Pelagie Suilaka.
“There should be more social activists who can stand as mentors to young girls like us and encourage us.”16yrs old,Annicette Berinyuy.
“There should be an improvement on the level of security for example; more street lights in remote areas.”17yrs old, Paola Gobina.
“A decrease in the level of taxation would serve as an incentive to wok and saving. Through this some self employed parents of ours would have enough available funds to support us in school.”16yrs old, FatimaRodriguez.
“Set up of more factories and companies would give a handful reduction in unemployment and motivate us educationally wised.”16yrs old, Njimou Victorine.
“If some of the social NGOs for example could visit schools and give advises to students on some life issues and challenges, some of our fears can be overcome.”14yrs old, Truly Sei.
The FUTURE GIRLS’ WANT
“I dream of a better future for all. I want to see change in our country.”
“I hope to see less beggars, more psychiatric homes to avoid mentally and not alright people in the streets; and developments.” 17yrs old, PaolaGobina.
“I want to see a develop Cameroon in the future with cheap education.”16yrs old, Njimou Victorine.
“I want to see a society with little or no corruption so that some people would not have advantages over others.”15yrs old, Dianne Nsanne.
“I want to see my community in fact my country develop like any other developed country.”17yrs old, Fatima Rodriguez.
“I am hoping to see a beautiful society in the future and a more developed world.”17yrs old,Asong Karine.
“The issue of tribalism and bribery around my community is getting stronger by the day. I hope to see a futurewith no tribalism, no discrimination and bribery”.Dianne Nsanne, 15yrs old.
“Some of us have great dreams but our parents won’t see it. They want us married and we have no voice to challenge.” Ireline Mercy, 15 years old.
Written by Nancy Mafor, WFAC's Intern
Written by Nancy Mafor, WFAC's Intern