Every 24th of January, the International Day of Education is recognized around the world in celebration of the key role education plays in the cultivation of peace and development. The theme for 2021, ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation,’ raises awareness of the exacerbated need for inclusive and equitable education during the global pandemic and in its aftermath.
Education is central to the work we do in the Northwest Region of Cameroon, and today we invite you to join us in celebrating this observance day and helping to build a world where education is an equal opportunity for all.
Cameroon has been experiencing a state of civil unrest for the last four years, and as a result, many schools have been shut down. This has left a critical gap in the education sector, with more than a quarter of a million primary-school-age girls out of school in 2019. (Source: Worldbank) In Cameroon, where women are most often the primary managers of family needs and household finances, and the majority of people live on less than $1.50 per day, lack of education for young girls keeps families stuck in a cycle of poverty.
Making educational resources accessible for children is paramount to the work we do, knowing that their success will be passed on to future generations. The objective of our Public Library Program—our network of public libraries that encompasses all of our education initiatives—is to shore up the current gap in education by bringing books and learning opportunities to children throughout the Northwest Region of Cameroon.
Our Public Library Program Leader, Yao Harumiyan Fonyuy
Photos above by: DJ Pierce
Since 2016, Yao Harumiyan Fonyuy has been leading the program and sharing his enthusiasm for education with thousands of children. He manages after-school programs, children’s literacy courses, computer training programs, spelling bees, and summer education programs. Equally important as sharing knowledge and teaching useful skills, Yao is also helping to foster connection through community building and is planting seeds for a lifelong love for learning.
Throughout our 14 years of service in Cameroon, we have witnessed the power of education to create lasting, meaningful change and have seen how creating educational opportunities where gaps exist drives progress and development. When we invest in growing the minds of children, we’re investing in the future of humanity and empowering communities for generations to come.
Children joining hands in a team-building activity earlier this month
The Himalayan Institute’s humanitarian initiatives in Cameroon depend upon the love and support of our donors—the progress and development we have seen over the years could not have been possible without you, and for this we are truly grateful. Together, we are creating peaceful communities throughout Cameroon.