Buea, Cameroon—The 2016 president of Junior Chambers International, JCI Cameroon, Laye Mbunkur has called on the country’s young active citizens to stop the blame game and dream big while assuming their civic responsibilities.
Below is an address from the JCI Cameroon president to the youths on the occasion of the 44th national unity day.
Dear JCI Cameroon Members, Dear Active Citizens,
It is with great honour that I extend my warmest wishes for a Happy National Day celebration as our beloved nation Cameroon celebrates her 44th National Day.
Yesterday I felt so reluctant delivering a message on our National Day as we were mourning the loss of the mother of my very good friend and brother Wegmuller Ikome. So within the day I decided to take some time off for retreat, research and reflections and came out with some interesting findings, conclusions and recommendations.
It is no news forty four (44) Years ago, the government of our great nation choose 20 May as Cameroon's National Day to commemorate the abolishment of the federal system of government and creation of a unitary COUNTRY. As such on this day we are celebrating unity and peace. Not just the unity based on mere tolerance of physical, cultural, linguistic, social, religious, political, ideological or psychological differences but a more complex unity based on understanding and a sense of oneness.
With this in mind, during my retreat, I spent time reflecting, in my reflections, I saw a beautiful and blessed country Cameroon, my fatherland, full of potentials and opportunities: A rich country endowed with Natural Resources.
And also a country full of challenges. I will not want to talk about the 17 SDGs posing great challenges to us but limit to specific challenges well elaborated in our development agenda(vision 2035)amongst which are:
- National Unity(the essence of our celebration)
- Population challenges
What amazed me most is that in the midst of all these, everybody spends time pointing fingers of blames to others; the old say the youths are failing in their responsibilities, the youths say the old are greedy. Many blame the leaders of the nation to be failures, everybody is busy blaming the other rather than acting to address the challenge.
All this made me the more assured of the relevance of our organisation to this country.
We all got to assume responsibility, we often take the easy way out to blame others, but the question is what are we doing to address the situation? We the youths make up about almost 65% of the population yet we sit aside to blame. We have now resulted to survival strategies; many have loosed hope for a better Cameroon.
If we look at all those who fought for independence in our country, I don’t want to talk of Nigeria, Burkina faso, Ghana etc. They were youths, in the 20s and 30s. They had dreams bigger than them. They dreamt of a better world and believed in their dreams.
Here we are, what is our excuse, what are you doing?
Young Henry Gissienbier was 18, created this organisation in the midst of world war 1, he dreamt of an everlasting world peace, he believed young people can change the world, he challenged the young people of st Louis to assume responsibility. That is why we exist as an organisation.
That is the very core of our existence.
Understanding why we exist as an organisation is understanding your purpose for being a member, an active citizen.
JCI has never been this relevant to our communities, to our country, to our continent and to the world at large.
The blame must stop, we must assume responsibility, we must play our role, we must just ACT.
Dear friends, we are re-writing the history of our nation, we are creating a generation of young people who see the need and take the lead. We are creating Active Citizens, the greatest need of the world today. I want you to know that this is a noble course.
Every JCI member is a hero, if you are not please join. Our course is a noble one I repeat. We need to come together. There is no limit to what we can do together. This is what I call the POWER OF WE, our slogan for the year.
Dear Elected officers, I want you to know that you are not just a JCI leader but a community leader. Your role extends to uniting i.e bringing together JCI members and the business community, civil societies and government agencies to create positive change in our communities.
Do some of us know active citizens who are not JCI members? Invite them to be part of us, as active citizens, if we work in an isolated way we might not achieve much but if we come together our impact may be incredible..........that is the power of we........................
I write today to challenge somebody to assume responsibility, even if its just one person i will still be happy to have written this message.
Please if you are that one person, don’t worry if you if you see yourself not to have the necessary skills required. JCI has put every tool necessary. All you need to do is become an active member.
Look around you, do you see a challenge, JCI See’s an opportunity in that challenge. Talk to your local organisation about it, with appropriate stakeholders build up a project, partner with Government, businesses and other likeminded organisations and JUST ACT.
Dear Friends, we have a Nation to Build, a world to change be part of the move.
God bless you
Happy National Day to all Active citizens
GOD BLESS CAMEROON.