The year 2020 was a very difficult one for us. The corona virus pandemic halted all the activities that were planned for the year, and forced us to change focus and pay attention on stopping the spread of the virus among children and youths. The project “Raising Awareness On The Dangers And Preventive Measures Of Covid 19 Among Sixty Children Between The Ages Of 5-15” was developed.
Another issue that preoccupied us was the ongoing North West and South West crisis in Cameroon. Our focus here was the problem of the Internally Displaced (IDPs) children and youths who have found themselves in the urban centres and needed to survive. A project “Enhancing Digital Skills among 20 Internally Displaced Youths in Yaounde to facilitate their integration in the digitalized job market” was put in place. The training of these youths to empower them with digital skills was a great success. We identified through research internally displaced youths that were having difficulties adapting to the economic environment of Yaounde. This was just the first phase of the digital skills enhancing program. HOCI intends to launch a second phase for young girls and women that are internally displaced.
The third project which we undertook was the creation community schools. The children at elementary level in Bali Nyonga just like most other communities in the Anglophone regions have been deprived of learning since the start of the political crises in October 2016. Heightened insecurity from the crises resulted in the closure of schools leaving elementary school children stranded at home especially those from vulnerable families with no financial means to relocate. The effects of this have become the tendency of teenage boys joining the armed groups (child soldiers) fighting against government forces, and also young girls getting unwanted pregnancies. To prevent such extreme consequences, there was the need to find a way to engage the children in education to shape their future in a better direction. This is an ongoing project.
HOCI also had time to redefine its strategies and restructure for better results. To this effect, the organization was redesigned to carry three principal programs; Life Skills Training, Child Advocacy, and Child Support and Sponsorship. The Mission, Vision and Goal also reviewed.
Our Mission: HOCI through its various programs aims at accelerating children and youth empowerment for a successful development and transition into Responsible Adults and Community Builders.
Our Vision: To have a world with responsible adults and community builders
Goal: To create a world where every child and youth have an opportunity to successfully grow into a responsible adult.
In 2021, HOCI will continue to provide a safe haven for children and youths that promote the physical, educational, health and life skills necessary to prepare and empower them for leadership in their communities, and also prepare them for a smooth transition into responsible adulthood.
I, therefore, invite each one of you to join us in this task which looks difficult but not impossible. A donation into HOCI’s account or volunteer can give a smile to a child, brighten up his future and make the world a better place for us all. Happy New Year 2021.