LitWorld's Director of Program Operations, Ana Stern, on our history with WVED and the outstanding work our partnership coordinator completed over the past year there. We are exceptionally proud of the positive impact the organization is making in Bamenda, Cameroon:
We started our partnership in Cameroon through the A World At School initiative with of TheirWorld in 2014. Fideline Mboringong started off as a LitClub mentor and quickly revealed her ability to mobilize, train, and inspire, and we sought to support her work. Fideline is a resourceful and resilient woman working with World Vision for Education and Development in Bamenda, Cameroon. Currently, we run 9 LitClubs for girls, 2 LitClubs for boys, and 1 co-ed LitClub there, serving over 200 children.
In 2017, schools in the English-speaking areas of Cameroon shut down due to political reasons and safety concerns. Our LitClubs were running in those very schools, but instead of shutting down, Fideline decided that her organization would run the LitClubs at the regularly scheduled times from the WVED offices. And just like that, the LitClubs continued: there was no stopping our story sharing! Because of Fideline’s strong organizational support from WVED, not to mention her leadership skills, commitment, and deep ties with the community, she was able to continue the LitClubs for the entire year last year.
Not only did we run LitClubs, but Fideline organized the first ever LitCamp in Cameroon. For three days, 70 LitCampers engaged around the core theme of Hope, one of LitWorld’s 7 Strengths—knowing their optimism and efforts would produce a positive outcome in the future. During LitCamp, children participated in activities like independent reading, group games, and composition of Hope poems. They even organized Hope-themed drama and theatre projects, and created their own Hope mural.
This year, schools are back in session, and the LitClub members are more ready than ever to jump back in. They launched the 2018 LitClubs anxious to fill their new notebooks with stories of their lives, document them in each LitClub session, share with their peers, and put out their work out into the world.
In doing so, they will build their confidence and ability to advocate for their hopes. By documenting their curiosities, they will create the worlds in which they want to belong.