By Bakah Derick
Ngwanwi Lidwina M. Chief Executive Officer CEO of Community Impact For Africa CIFA has returned to Bamenda after successfully taking part in the Youth Connekt African Summit in Rwanda.In an experience sharing moment with this reporter, CIFA CEO begins with her invitation to the event which received and responded to with lots of concerns. “I left Cameroon with too many fears in my mind: fear of the unknown, fear of having a bad experience, fear of getting out of my comfort zone, fear of traveling alone, fear of not being able to afford my travel expenses, fear of getting lost etc. These and much more clouded my mind occasionally but one thing kept me going; hope in uncertainties.”
She was however comforted on her arrival in Kigali. “I arrived the airport in Kigali where i met this kind hearted gentleman who received me warmly and we shared some stories and laughed a couple of times then i realized there is always home out of home.”
As to what she retained from the summit she explained “The speakers all came ready to inspire, educate and empower us to ensure that this year's theme of "Boosting a Young Industrious African" was realized.”
She then went on to point out key speakers who inspired her. “Addressing us at the summit, the President of Rwanda His Excellency Paul Kagame said YouthConnekt means a lot of things. It means individual young people, irrespective of gender, religion, borders, coming together to do what is important for them and for society and for our countries. Football star Didier Drogba told us that all his life has been surrounded by challenges until he decided to take the lead, he said that he cannot change the world alone but he is interested to change the narratives of his country. This really marked knowing about how much he has given back to his country after a very successful football career.”
Ngwanwi then mentioned the likes of Yolanda Ngarambe who said that Success stories are not linear adding that people will doubt you and you will doubt yourself but as long as you work hard, you need to have passion and resilience then you can be an example to others, Hon. Rosemary Mbabazi Youth Minister of Rwanda who told them that “No one can solve a problem alone, we are better off together" and Nigerian artist Patoranking who in his intro song said "I am born to win and survive".
As to the side events that marked her the most. The young CEO who is also a social worker noted “away from the conference, i was also privileged to visit the Genocide Memorial Center a place with a haunting experience but very necessary. My visit to the center was one of my highlights because it took me back to my country where so much blood has been spilled and i ask myself for how much longer?”
With the hope of intensifying her peace efforts to avert the horrible feeling of the Rwandan Genocide, Ngwanwi Lidwina somes up her experience in the words of Louis Scott "I am a people builder. I look for opportunities to encourage others to bring out their seeds of greatness and help them become all that God created them to be".
She returns to Cameroon at the time her institution Community Impact for Africa Africa-CIfA in Partnership with United Youth Organisation is planning the Celebration of the International Day of Older Persons. The event scheduled for October 26 at the Baptist Centre Hall Nkwen in Bamenda, takes place under the theme "The Journey to Aged Equality".
Talking to this reporter about the event, Nnemkul Frida one of CIFA team members explained that “the event is aimed at fostering elderly friendly Communities, changing negative narratives and stereotypes involving the aged.”
Community Impact for Africa it should she explained “is an NGO which has as vision to create a safe space for socially vulnerable persons as well as to build resilient Communities free from all forms of violence and human rights abuses for sustainable development..
CIFA also has as one of her objectives to empower and mentor youth especially teenage mothers and young widows in sustainable livelihood activities an area Ngwanwi Lidwina believes, knowledge gained from Youth Connekt Afrrica will be very useful.
First published by The Guardian Post Daiily Newspaper on Monday October 21, 2019