Bannyuy Justine is the General Manager and Financial Controller of the Himalayan Institute Cameroon. Bannyuy has been involved with the HIC since its first visit to Kumbo, at which time he was working as manager of the Nso Area Cooperative, the nextdoor neighbor to the HIC. Upon hearing about the Himalayan Institute’s plans for Kumbo, he was immediately attracted to working there: “It was all about empowerment. In Cameroon, most people still want to believe they must depend on other groups for their survival, whether it is the government or charities. That’s not what the Institute is about. When they told me they were interested in my services, I was excited because I knew they would teach me to make decisions on my own without always relying on someone else and that was something that really encouraged me.”
Both the HIC as an organization and Bannyuy as General Manager have done their part to foster mutual growth. The center, now two years old, is operated entirely by local staff, and the solid management of Bannyuy Justine has been pivotal in bringing the HIC to its current level of success and independence. Bannyuy is responsible for managing the staff, supporting and developing programs like the School of Carpentry and Construction and the Total Health Center, and overseeing the finances for the center. He holds a position of great responsibility and his belief in the mission and philosophy of the HIC has kept him motivated to do his best.
“The Himalayan Institute is different [from profit-oriented corporations]. You know that everything you are doing is focused on the future. You’re looking ahead toward your own moral and spiritual upbringing, and you’re looking ahead to the people you may help even years from now. Each day I make at least one person happy, and that is very important to me. When a problem is resolved, I can see the life change and I share in that happiness.”
After spending many years in Bamenda, the capital city of the North West Region of Cameroon, Bannyuy is now settled in Kumbo with his two sons, Evance and Justine. His position with the HIC has impacted his perception of the town and its value as a place to raise his sons. He says, “I used to look at this place as somewhere that was not productive, somewhere where there was a lot of suffering and a lot of poverty. Now I find that there is so much richness here that I had never seen before. I feel like remaining here for the rest of my life.”
Both the Himalayan Institute Cameroon and the entire town of Kumbo have much to gain from the forward-thinking leadership of Bannyuy Justine.