Press Release: Open Dreams launches its new center in Yaounde, Cameroon
Open Dreams, a non-profit with mission to equalize access to educational opportunities, has formally launched its center in Yaoundé, in addition to another center in Bamenda which went operational in 2013. The NGO is a member of the HALI Access Network among other international higher-education access organizations and a nominating partner organization for some scholarships including the Commonwealth Scholarship Program under HALI. Over 60+ Open Dreams Scholars are studying in some of the most prestigious institutions of learning in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa on full-scholarships worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most of these very outstanding, hardworking and leading scholars return to Cameroon every summer to carry out community projects, research work, do volunteering and continue to hone skills on developing solutions to problems which communities in Cameroon face, while preparing to return to Cameroon at the end of their studies, set to do more for the development of the country.
Every year, Open Dreams accepts a limited number of highly-motivated students who have obtain a minimum of 20 points at the GCE Advanced Level or 3.0 GPA minimum at the undergraduate level, demonstrate leadership and commitment to community volunteering for its academic mentorship program, which begins every summer with a 3 month long rigorous Summer Academy led by the Open Dreams Scholars on summer holiday in Cameroon.
Open Dreams hopes to continue to raise the bar for academic excellence and to continue to inspire more Cameroonians to look out for big educational opportunities the can compete for and community challenges they can apply their intellect to address. With formal operations in Yaoundé, more high-achieving low-income young Cameroonians can find an adequate support system to nurture, grow and crystallize their academic dreams in order to appropriately fit into the society of today as assets at the end of their studies at home and abroad.
The Yaoundé center will, to some extent, mitigate the disastrous effects of the armed conflict in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, on the academic aspirations of many a student from the affected regions (IDPs) and will continue to reward ambitious high-achieving low-income scholars who go through a lot more challenges in the pursuit of their dreams.
Pic: Will Romine
Will Romine, the Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy who gave the key-note address for the day, inspired young Cameroonians to imagine themselves as chefs in the kitchen preparing a meal to be served to everyone in the public and how they must remain alert and pay attention to every detail to ensure that the food served to the public is the best possible. He encouraged the initiative and said the Embassy cannot possibly do everything in Cameroon in line with its policy and they love to see Cameroonians taking the initiative as local actors in the field of development which assist in the advancement of US policy in Cameroon and help the young ones find their passions, accomplish fulfillment in life and help the communities to advance in development.
Pic: James Akaba
James Akaba, the Country Director of Open Dreams is a US State Department Exchange Alumnus. In his message, he walked the audience through the success story of Open Dreams and saluted the very impressive work done by the Open Dreams Alumni who effectively laid the groundwork for the take off of the Yaounde Center. He also lavished the co-founders with praises and accolades for their steadfastness and ever growing passion and determination to transform lives and set a new chapter for many dreamers in Cameroon, while enhancing global citizenship and all the opportunities which come with it.
Open Dreams Scholars and mentors from abroad spending the Christmas break in Cameroon, among them Desmond Nji from the UK, Etienne Ngeh etc joined other members of the Open Dreams community in Cameroon for the launching and the Christmas event, during which many shared their success stories highlighting the benefits of the community spirit of handwork within Open Dreams, a veritable support system for dreamers. This was interspersed with melodious songs. Hans, from Washington DC rendered a beautiful Christmas Carol after delivering an inspirational message of good will to mark the launching of the center and the celebration of Christmas.
Pic: More Fun
Open Dreams was co-founded in New York by Cristina & Hans Kullberg and Blaise Buma and continues to attract scholars and accomplished experts across the world who are looking for well-established channels to give back to their communities and to mentor the youth. Today the organization boasts of a broad-based network of mentors who commit time daily to nurture and support the young dreamers through the journey of finding self and impacting.
December 2019 - The Open Dreams Team