BBC 100 Women 2021: Bamenda's Sevidzem Ernestine lone Cameroonian listed.

By Bakah Derick

Sevidzem Ernestine Leikeki has been named amongst 100 women recognised by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for creating lasting change through her work. The Women Empowerment and Environment Officer at the Bamenda based not-for-profit nongovernmental organisation Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW) and doubles as founding member of the organisation was announced laureate on December 7, 2021. Though a multiple award winner, Sevidzem Ernestine describes the award as a surprise. 
Sevidzem Ernestine and other other laureate 

"This award came to me as a surprise and I think that it recognises the work we do as a community not as me alone and this is a big challenge for what is ahead. I think that it is going to be more hard work, it is going to be a more holistic approach to the various challenges that we have around us and the environment. With this too, the voices of the local woman and the voices of local civil society organisations will be heard globally and this will surely create impact for the local people that are at the forefront of climate change." She said 
Sevidzem was named alongside Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai girls rights to education activist and youngest Nobel peace prize winner, Samoa' s first female Prime Min'ster  Fiamē Naomi Mata'afa, celebrated Nigeria author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.As a founding member and senior staff, Sevidzem Ernestine considers her organisation as the foundation of her award. 

"CAMGEW has been the highest support in my work. As a climate activist, all my work has been with CAMGEW and all the activities, I work together with then as a team. I really appreciate Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch; their team spirit, their focus, their goals, their objectives. I really appreciate the team for working heard to make sure that the voices of the local people are heard, to make sure that the forest is regenerated, to make sure that climate change is sent back to history in the years ahead." She added
Sevidzem Ernestine in a training session withrural women 

Two times winner of the Gender Just Climate Solutions prize for transformational solutions in 2019 and 2021, participant at the United Nations Council of Parties Climate Change event in 2021 (COP26) Glasgow, the 36 years old native of Nso Bui Division believes that fellow young women like her can make it to the world stage. 
"I will tell the young women that, we can do it. There is nothing stopping a woman from being a climate activist. There is nothing stopping a woman from being what she desires. It is all about honesty, it is all about hard work, it is all about dedication, it is all about passion for what you do. I wish to encourage the young women out there that there is more to life than what we see and we should see out challenges as stepping stones to move ahead to something bigger." She concluded.

Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy Director of Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW) has congratulated his collaborator Sevidzem Ernestine for the recognition, describing her as a pilar of their organisation. 

About the BBC 100 Women 
100 Women is a BBC multi-format series established in 2013. The annual series examines the role of women in the 21st century and has included events in Londonand Mexico.Announcement of the list is the start of an international "BBC's women season", lasting three weeks including broadcast, online reports, debates and journalism on the topic of women.Women around the world are encouraged to participate via Twitter and comment on the list, as well as on the interviews and debates that follow release of the list. The was no publication in 2020. This has been linked to covid-19 related issues..

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