At week at Open Dreams By Gladys Sharon Sih
Open Dreams is a home made up of people who are very committed to all they do. They are people who are ready and available at any moment to provide mentorship support that is asked of them. On the 30th of September 2022, I had the opportunity to attend the YALI national peace symposium at the Yaounde Congress Hall. Being curious, I saw these people wearing black t-shirts and immediately read "Open Dreams: Equalizing access to educational opportunities for community impact". I managed to come closer to them and I spoke with Kah Kyria who told me what Open Dreams is all about. She told me that Open Dreams aims at helping promising students with big dreams who finish high school, and want to go moved forward but have little financial resources at their disposal.
When they get to Open Dreams, they are guided on how to get a scholarship either fully funded or partially funded. However, these students must be brilliant and serious to qualify for the different opportunities. I had already passed upper sixth and I didn't have good grades but I dreamt of studying abroad to further my education despite the fact that am from an under-resourced background. I thought that there was no much hope for me given that I was already in level two. She told me that there was still hope for me. I took her contact and after a month I got a link to register and join the undergraduate WhatApp Group. I searched for Open Dreams on Facebook and since then I have been following them to know about their activities and updates. Silently, I followed everything till one Saturday when I saw a message in the group asking for volunteers to clean the center. Given that I finished my house chores on time that day 31st December 2022, I went to the center and assisted in the clean-up process. Many other Open Dreams scholars were present. I met Blaise Seka and Claude Tomoh who all warmly welcomed me. It was after the clean-up that they informed me about the college prep program to run for a week. Since I was still to resume school, I decided to make out time to attend the program during which I learned so many things from scholars who are already abroad for studies like Mohamed Moumie in Harvard. Their experiences were many and very touching, especially the number of applications they had to submit before they finally got a scholarship to their various schools. The journey is thus one that needs patience from anyone like me who wishes to go through the same path.
So far Open Dreams has taught me a lot just after a week at the Yaounde Center. If I can learn this much in just a week it means that I can achieve my big dream of studying at a prestigious institution; acquiring quality education in my field of interest. I thank those who who brought up this initiative to be a voice for the voiceless and hope for the hopeless to equalize access to educational opportunities for community impact.