In his opening address, the local president welcomed the National President, Dr Alain-Douglas Wandji, and gave a history, latest news updates and the conditions prevalent to YMCA exigencies.
Dr Alain-Douglas gave an overview of the essential background history of the YMCA, mentioning key dates, persons and events that marked the establishment of the movement. From its foundation by Georges William in England in 1844, its arrival in Cameroon around 1920, its placement under the EEC guardianship and its desire to regain its autonomy. During his overview, it was obvious that journey has not been without challenges at times. It is in this light that major works have been undertaken in order to apply the texts in force at the international level and integration with the World Alliance. It was further mentioned that out of the 5 regions in Cameroon that make up the YMCA in Cameroon, 4 are currently up to date with international status, while the Great North region still lags behind.
The movements in the Great North Region are as yet not affiliated to the national board, and, isn’t legally recognized as being a member of the Cameroon YMCA. Interventions made it be known that the cause of this situation is the lack of information about the legislation in force, since the adoption of new texts after the National council held in Dschang in 2010. In the same way, the Mount of Olives YMCA Ngaoundere, lacked information about the shared vision of the YMCA from its foundation, which caused a distancing of the activities and orientations to the national movement vision.
Discussions were opened to point out the expectations of the national board in relation to the status of the Mount of Olives YMCA, Ngaoundere. The national president called for the federate youths from different horizons to constitute clubs around activities that will favor their personal well-being and the development of their communities and environment. They were further advised to meet with conditions for the acquisition of member cards, and a charter for the implementation of local unions. The president highlighted that the adoption of main standards created advantages related the training, the employment and the well-being of the youths in order to better serve their societies.
Furthermore, the adoption of the prescribed standards and their application, in conjunction with the national movement, would allow for the Mount of Olives YMCA Movement, Ngaoundere to better position itself around pending projects (notably agricultural and secretariat service projects). Reinforcing the management capacities of the youth in these projects.
The overview by the national president was welcomed by the youth as it allowed for open insight and provided an avenue to explore and discuss misunderstandings of the “new” functioning of the movement. A few others conveyed skepticism about the fate of the movement as such. However, the president helped bring clarity in addressing all questions. A direct follow-though resulted in the decision that determined steps will follow to make sure that an application is sent to the National Board before June to ask for the creation of a YMCA Local Union Mount of Olives in Ngaoundere. The meeting thereby concluded on a plan of action.
Source: Jules Handjo Ngankou and Théodore Layou, Cameroun-YMCA