About 50 young members/volunteers of YMCA in Yaoundé and the nearby areas had decided to spend ten days in Akono on the “Camp de vacances” with the theme “Le point de non-retour: franchissont-le ensemble”. This means: “The point of no return -Let’s go through.” They dare to reflect and challenge themselves, their beliefs, mindsets and dare to react on these new insights. From early morning to late evening the days are crammed with different activities in which the participants gain insights skills and are encouraged to reflect on and take action in their own lives and in their local communities.
Every day was evaluated by the participants, who shared their opinion and reflections on the information and impression which they have been presented for during the day. Here the voices and opinions of the youths are heard, which is unfortunately not always the case in their everyday life in their society. Often the voice of the future tends to be almost silent and invisible. This does not mean that youth do not have anything to say, or that they do not care about the country and their own future. Sometimes it because they have never been asked or when they have raised their voices they have had the feeling that nobody was listening. As a result of this, they lose the desire, hope and faith that they can do something. At the camp the participants have to take action and actively be a part of the programmes and discussions in order to give them the courage, abilities and qualifications to react on the issues they and the citizens in their communities are facing.
With the fundamental basis in the Christian values and belief, the camp encourages the participants to reflect on and strengthen their personal relationship with God through prayers, gratitude and worship. But they are also urged to be practising Christians in their everyday life. By making a difference for the people in need in their local communities and engage in political, social and cultural matters.
At the camp, we met lively, curious, faithful and engaged young people with whom we together felt the intense atmosphere of joy, cohesion, solidarity, hope and fellowship through prayers, sports, singing, music and shared reflections. All together this made a feeling of being part of something bigger, and that we together can be the change.
Le point de non-retour is the theme of the camp and with the insights, courage and skills gained at the camp there is no way back to the normal life and the youth do not want to go back. They want to go forward, with new hope, courage, abilities and the belief that they can be the future.
Source: Anna Gundersen
Denmark Intern, Cameroun-YMCA.