Unification News for June 2000
PLA in the Cameroon
by Mike Lamson—Cameroon
The Unification community in Cameroon has, as its focus, helping youth develop clear perspectives on their character and sexual behavior and its long-term effects on their future with the hope of curbing juvenile delinquency and most importantly, AIDS among the youth.
These are some of the events and activities we have been organizing.
The 34th National Youth Day Celebrations
PLA organized a huge parade on the occasion of the 34th National Youth Day Celebrations, on the theme "Youth and Moralization." During the Youth Week, PLA organized sensitization campaigns in secondary schools in and around Yaounde; featuring debates, conferences and workshops, all inspired from the C.L.U.E. Curriculum.
The Governor of the Center Province also invited PLA to a grand conference held at the Hilton Hotel Yaounde on 10th February 2000, to talk on the concepts of Responsibility and Freedom, as it should apply to youth.
PLA "Morality Festivals" organized in secondary schools in Yaounde, including Government Bilingual High School Yaoundé, City Bilingual Academy, Yaoundé and Government Practicing High School, Yaounde are continuing through 2000 and will cover all secondary schools in and around the Yaounde area.
Through short sketches, debates, exposes and brief workshops, the PLA mobile campaign team has been able to get the message out to its target group. The school authorities have been quite appreciative and the students very interested, that with every festival comes the creation of a PLA Club in these schools. Morality Festivals have been programmed for Secondary Schools on other towns of the South West and North West Provinces, through the year 2000.
Community Service Projects
Of vital interest is also the need to cultivate a spirit of responsible citizenship in PLA membership. We believe that part of character development is the ability to be of service the community. "We don’t ask what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country" is our popular adage. In this light, PLA does periodic clean-ups at the Cité Verte District Hospital and at the "Express Square", Biyem Assi. In our desire to reach out to those in distress and in need, PLA also manages education programs for orphanages and plan to extend handicap center too.
Inspirational Leadership Course
Because of the spontaneity and growth in size of PLA Clubs in secondary schools, Universities and social groups, Pure Love Alliance-Cameroon has initiated a series of Inspirational Leadership Courses, training heads of PLA Clubs and the PLA Communication Unit. The course entails an in-depth appraisal of the PLA philosophy, inspirational leadership and group management. A monthly refresher course is then held to enable these trained leaders sustain the innovative but challenging mission of the PLA in Cameroon.
There are two levels of leadership training offered by the PLA Youth Leadership Program: Prestige Graduate, wherein the kids are lead through a self-examination of their leadership potentials, then encouraged and tested practically of their commitment and ability in community service. This is usually during a two or three-day retreat leadership course organized by the PLA-Cameroon management.
The second stage is The PLA Ambassador. The certification is recognition of the continuous involvement of Prestige Graduates in PLA and related community activities. To attain The PLA Ambassador, the Prestige Graduate should have proven his/her ability to organizing or co-organize at least 20 (twenty) PLA activities with close supervision of the PLA staff. The PLA Ambassador is a Recognized Officer of the Pure Love Alliance.
This year and for the first time in Cameroon, Pure Love Alliance-Cameroon helped organize the 17th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in Yaounde. Sponsored internationally by the World Health Council and commemorated on May 21st 2000, the "World’s Largest Annual Grassroots AIDS event (acting like a sort of "icebreaker") is aimed at "…raising awareness of AIDS, supporting those living with HIV/AIDS and continuing the struggle to end the AIDS pandemic. The Candlelight can transform loss and grief into action and change." The event was attended by over 500 people, among whom were the representative of the Minister of Health, the President of the National AIDS Committee, representatives of WHO, UNAIDS and many diplomatic missions represented in Cameroon.
Locally, Pure Love Alliance-Cameroon is currently negotiating conventions with the Ministries of Health, National Education and Social Affairs, to officially include the PLA curriculum into their programs. The same relationship has also been initiated with the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, with the possibilities of reaching a positive conclusion in the very near future.
On the request of many University students, we are already initiating the creation of PLA Associations at the Buea and Yaoundé I Universities, the two most renowned Universities of Cameroon. The mission of PLA-Cameroon is becoming more challenging and we are expected to be truly innovative and dynamic in order to contain the growing interest in the Pure Love Alliance in Cameroon. The interests are quite diversified and complex, such that as we grow, there is the constant need to recreate and orient our strategies, in order to meet the needs of our country’s youth and preserve the future of Cameroon. This begins with the need to educate them on the true values to cultivate as children; friends, brothers and sisters then husbands and wives, in such a way as to ensure a morally stable society of responsible citizenship.
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