During the 2014 – 2015 school year, Advice Project Media held its first international class for nine girls from the Presbyterian Comprehensive Secondary School in Bamenda. The class meets every Sunday afternoon with Fomuso Blessing Nabila, the Advice Project Program Manager in Cameroon. It’s difficult for many of the girls to get to the class – they often need to walk great distances to get to the space where the class is held, have a lot of homework, need to take care of younger siblings, and some of them hawk goods at the market to raise necessary funds for school books. Advice Project Media recognizes how dedicated our students are in Bamenda, and it’s an honor to work with them.
While visiting Cameroon, Melissa met with two students, Shneider Remi Adams and Gaelle Mambo, to help them make a short film about a gender-related issue that they feel impacts their community. They chose to concentrate on child abuse as it pertains to teen girls, and we interviewed over 40 people in the community to get their thoughts about this topic. In their reporting, Shneider and Gaelle zeroed in on some key problems such as hawking, rape, and breast ironing. They helped write the script for the video, and spent two days shooting footage. Most importantly, they proposed some solutions to the problems they talked about, highlighting ways their community can start listening to teen voices. The incredible video the girls worked on will be shared soon. Both Shneider and Gaelle attended the 2015 Advice Project Leadership and Empowerment Summit in Peru this summer, and they incorporated some of the ideas they learned into their video.
In addition to working on the video, Melissa had the opportunity to speak with the principal at the Presbyterian Comprehensive Secondary School, and she had a tour of the classrooms and got a sense of how the girls spend their days. She also offered a one-day weekend workshop with the entire Advice Project Bamenda class, and she got a much better sense of the priorities of the girls.
Under Fomuso Blessing Nabila’s leadership, the Advice Project Bamenda class just began its second year for the 2015 – 2016 school year, and two new girls have joined the class.