Rate this
0 (0 votes)
“A Young Commonwealth and youth-led initiative"
0 out of 5 based on 0 user ratings

“A Young Commonwealth and youth-led initiative"

Alphonse AkouyuYouth-led initiatives are capable of changing society in meaningful ways, writes Alphonse Akouyu, 20, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Cameroon, who describes the impressive charitable work of a student choir.

A leading Cameroonian prelate once said ‘if we keep the youths busy during the day, they would sleep at night’. Religion is part and parcel of every day in Cameroon and there has been a massive entry of youths in to different aspects of religion, be it in a negative or positive direction.

A few metres from the University of Bamenda is the Our Lady of Fatima parish, Bambili. I have come to visit the Our Lady Queen of Peace Choir (OLQPC) which is one out of many youth led choirs within the parish. In their own little way this choir is impacting the society it lives in. Founded in 2011 by Catholic youths from the University, OLQPC has grown and is  currently at its highest in terms of enrollment. The majority of choristers fall under the age of 27 and most of them are students in the university.

It was 3p.m in the afternoon and choristers started arriving to begin their normal routine in preparation to sing at Sunday Mass. The day started with Bible sharing and one of them gave a talk on C.H.O.I.R: Commitment, Humility, Obedience, Indispensability and Responsibility. In her words ‘we should be committed, humble, obedient, responsible and indispensable assets for this choir’. What a brilliant talk from the young lady, I said to myself!

Practice started and continued till about 6.pm, when the president said it was time to carry out their Bible sharing task for the week. This time it was to visit the sick in the local neighbourhood. So we started walking towards the houses of those scheduled for this evening’s visit. The streets were dark, with a few rays of light coming from different angles.

We walked and walked, but it looked like a journey without an end. The streets became even darker, but the choir members knew where they were going and after trekking for about 30 minutes we reached the first house. We stepped in to see an old man lying on his sick bed, accompanied by his wife. There we prayed for the sick man, who based on his wife’s words was suffering from cancer.

The choir offered his wife cubes of soap which had been bought with goodwill contributions from members. She was so happy with this gesture from the youths, in fact she was surprised by the number that came. Then we started walking again, this time to visit a sick old woman. We had use to a translator to speak to her because she understood neither English, French nor Pidgin. The same gesture was repeated there and she was overjoyed by our presence. I thought it was over but the journey had just begun. This time around we trekked for 45 minutes to see another sick man, where the same gesture was repeated.

In total the three visits had taken us about two hours and 30 minutes, plus the three hours for practice. Considering the time that the choristers had sacrificed, I understood why so many call them the best in the entire parish. Doctors tell us the care we show towards patients is important in the recovery process. During the choristers’ visits to the sick, you could feel the joy and the happiness on the faces of the patients and those caring for them. Indeed by their fruits you shall know them.

alphonse2 The efforts of the OLQPC members have not gone unnoticed, and the parish priest has reminded his congregation on different occasions that they sing like professionals. Their efforts have also being acknowledged by others who say ‘we know we can always count on OLQPC because they can never fail’.

This praise inspires more work. The man at the helm, Francis Nyuydine, told me “we are a group of people brought together by education and united by our passion. The group has grown bigger and younger and this is because we are family and we treat everybody equally”.

OLQPC will be on stage on 22nd of May in their annual concert, which they hope would inspire many to join them in these honourable tasks.

OLQPC is one of many youth-led initiatives in Cameroon that are “walking the talk”. In the year of The Young Commonwealth, it is the wish of stakeholders to have many impactful youth-led common initiatives. It is therefore hoped that from their name, they would become active agents of peace in society.

photo credits: Alphonse Akouyu; Chapel Books via photopin (license)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

About me:

Hello everyone this is your friend Akouyu Alphonse from Bamenda located in the North West Region of Cameroon. I’m currently in my last year in the Catholic University of Cameroon Bamenda studying Banking and Finance. I will be completing my studies in June of 2014 with the hope of becoming a Business/International Relations expert.

My areas of interest are serving as Journalist especially on Sports (football) and societal issues aimed at inspiring people to believe in themselves and volunteerism.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit:
http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments