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  • Manesong Kenyem Tchoumen, Open Dreams Pre-Mentee

These responsibilities were key factors that help make my country a better place - My Volunteering e

For three weeks, I volunteered with the the Bamenda City Council (BCC) under two of its services; the Service of Transport and Traffic, and the Service of Town Planning. It was challenging but worth it.

By volunteering in the Service of Traffic and Transport, I had the opportunity to put my creative thoughts into actions. Under this service, I had to chase away traders who left the market place to sell at nearby parking lots. It was difficult to maintain order since most of these traders kept coming back the minute we stepped away. The council workers with whom I worked occasionally seized some of the products from the traders, but this didn't deter them enough.

If the council workers failed in their responsibility to chase the traders away, there would be heavy traffic congestion around those parking lots and the streets will come to a standstill. In my reflections on how to permanently solve this problem, I drew a plan of the area, showing how a barrier could be set up along the parking lots with sign boards carrying, “Don’t sell here; Fine: 25000fCFA”, in order to keep away the traders for good. The council workers found it funny but were amazed by the idea. They said they had tried something similar before but my idea was kind of a new way of doing it and that they would try it and hope it worked. Then I thought, if it works, those parking lots will be so much orderly and better.

Under the service of Town Planning, I was required to follow the council workers and take note of how they did their work, as they moved from house to house. I helped them in collecting data on houses and ongoing - constructions, buildings with building permits and those without; I assisted in carrying impounded material. We were many and the work went faster. This led me to believe that if everyone in my community collaborated, development would be faster and no community will be left behind in the development process.

It was tough and stressful but worth doing because I realized that these responsibilities were important factors that help develop and make my community and ultimately my country a better place. I learnt how to be responsible and and to be part of the development effort. I understood that the destiny of the country lies in our hands!

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