Learn, Speak & Play - LESPLAY
The problem of poor classroom conditions, inadequate student to teacher ratio, limited student follow-up, stress-filled learning environments has led to an increase in school drop rates especially among young people of secondary school age. In addition, the outbreak of violence in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon since September 2016 has forced thousands of children of school going age out of school. More than 100 schools have been burnt down and children and teachers continue to be threatened and attacked for attempting to go to school. This has led to increasing the illiteracy rate and consequently jeopardizing the economic and social development of our communities.
LESPLAY employs creative methods and play to engage children and young people in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. The aim is for them to learn about rights, develop creative talents and skills in ways that are interactive and fun. Young people need to acquire additional skills to complement their education. We believe after school activities such as reading, Math and IT support; complemented with creative arts, play and other leisure activities would add value to their learning experience and increase their chances of success. LESPALY provides learning support, a place for play and a platform for children to speak about their experiences. LESPLAY applies child-friendly methods including drawing, sketching, painting and photography. Through tutoring and participatory action, young participants will also improve their skills in math, public speaking and IT. The other arm of LESPLAY will involve engaging with our partner schools and the local community through a LESPLAY Caravan and sporting events. A caravan of volunteers will visit schools once a month to engage pupils/student in LESPLAY activities.
We employ the use of creative arts for learning and self-expression. Participants are material and tools for sketching, drawing and painting. With the guidance of a supervisor will draw, sketch and paint events in their lives and surroundings. They will then provide explanations for their arts which will then be documented into different narratives
LESPLAY uses photography to develop a visual database of young people’s perspectives of their local area, stimulate discussions on various important issues affecting their communities and communicate their perspectives to the wider community.
LESPLAY employs role-play to help young people develop public-speaking, leadership and decision-making abilities, to discuss key issues affecting them and communicate to a larger audience.
LESPLAY provides a variety of creative and educative games including CHESS, SCRABBLE, LEGO, QUIZ; and outdoor games such as football and basketball.
Kids will work in groups on a project a theme or idea e.g. designing a child-friendly and green school campus. Groups work together to brainstorm and sketch their sketch their idea of a child-friendly and green school campus.
Youth Mentoring and Leadership Program
SODEI mentoring program was created to encourage personal and professional development through knowledge, expertise and experience sharing. SODEI recognizes that the knowledge and skills gaps that exist in Cameroon can be closed quicker and cost-effectively through mentoring. Also, there is a popular misconception amongst Cameroonians that if useful information is widely shared, many other members of the society will benefit from it hence limiting the informer’s chances of progress. The youth mentoring and leadership program will teach young people not only to identify and make use of but create opportunities for themselves. The program is designed to bring together a pool of professionals, businesspersons and experts (mentors) and match them with a pool of mentees with emerging talents. The mentoring relationship is built on mutual trust, respect and communication, and involves both parties meeting regularly to exchange ideas, discuss progress and set goals for further development.
Schools For SDGs
Knowledge sharing on the SDGs is of paramount importance to our mission and vision. Going by the recommendation of the SDGs Committee, we embark on a sensitisation campaign on the SDGs. Since the month of December 2018 our Youth Action Groups in collaboration with SODEI School Clubs have organized five events in five schools in Fako Division on SDGs 4 and 5.
Youths For Peace
We believe in the power of youths and young people in transforming societies. The Youths for Peace (Y4P) campaign promotes peace and togetherness through recreational activities including sports, music and arts. The campaign brings together SODEI youth groups to act for peace. We organise activities which foster togetherness like football and dance competitions in vulnerable communities. The Y4P campaign also engages youths in volunteering and community work such as clean-up campaigns.
Literacy Program (Library and Book Club)
SODEI has set its first community library in Limbe in the southwest region of Cameroon. The aim of this project is to set up libraries in the 6 Divisional headquarters of the Southwest Region. We believe developing a reading culture is a first step towards youth empowerment for self-reliance. The libraries will serve as hubs for research, knowledge sharing, discussion and debate forums. The IT services within the libraries will serve young IT enthusiasts build on their skills and collaborate on ideas and solutions for community benefit. In the long term we intend to develop a moving library whereby vans filled with books will move libraries to children’s doorsteps and hold reading sessions. In this way, we intend to develop a reading culture which is absent in the current generation of youths.
Young Women and Girls’ Empowerment Program
Young women and girls make up a considerable part of the population of the South West Region of Cameroon, yet they do not have equal access to health, education, economic opportunities and are not able to actively participate in decision making within their communities and the households in which they live. The prevalent socio-political situation in the Southwest and Northwest regions of Cameroon has unfortunately left young women and girls even more exposed to violence and discrimination. Women and children also make up the majority of internally displaced persons who have moved from more troubled zones in the Southwest region to the calmer areas like Limbe, Buea and Tiko. Consequently, lots of women have lost their means of subsistence and girls whose access to especially healthcare and education is considerably reduced, their personal and collective well-being being at stake.
The women and girls’ empowerment program of SODEI is designed to encourage the young women and girls in the Southwest region of Cameroon through knowledge sharing, counselling, coaching and leadership training. Women and girls in the Southwest region will be empowered to be independent, to be able to make important decisions about their personal well-being and to better play their roles as members of their community to foster peace and development. Through this program, SODEI aims to adopt an engendered approach to community development projects and also design strategies which will promote and strengthen equality between men and women and curb gender-based violence