Hello Better Breeders.
We’re about to round up the month of February.
The goal, as always, is working towards a better society. This can be quite challenging given we live in times of immense disruptions that come with new challenges and opportunities. Most of these challenges require an interdisciplinary approach to solve. This month’s youth of the feature is on Lyonga Mwindo Noela who does just this. She harnesses the wealth in partnerships to inspire her community.
Ms. Lyonga Mwindo Noela is the Chief executive of the Noela Lyonga Foundation, an organization that rallies and keeps a database of volunteers from varying fields and different countries to work towards personal and community development. In this feature, she sheds light on what this entails.
What is the vision behind your founding of the Noela Lyonga Foundation?
Noela Lyonga Foundation is an organisation with vision to inspire people of all backgrounds to use volunteering in develop themselves and their communities at large.
What challenges did you and do you face in setting up and running this organization?
We must always face challenges in life but, as a positive thinker, I will not want to call mine challenges. I would rather refer to them as the tough tracks of life so far. In setting up, I took tough tracks which involved several sacrifices. Money is always needed for successful action and at the time of setting up it was difficult to legalize the organisation without money. It made me worked illegally from 2015, when I started, till 2016 when I could raise money to legalize the foundation. Well I appreciate this tough track for today it is impacting several lives.
Currently, it is tough to run an organisation that operates under an inspirational and volunteer banner. People come with serious problems in terms of their personal and public struggles. As an inspirational organisation, quick solutions are not easy to get and provide to persons in need but are requested every now and then. However, getting more support from other expert volunteers has been a plus for this tough track.
Also, some people want/need to make money quickly and getting them to volunteer is never easy. This we solved by providing sustainable financial advice, in addition to skills, networks and experiences.
How do you engage with and convince people particularly youth to offer their services for free?
Everyone needs development for a better future. We offer voluntary placements which offer opportunities for skill(s) development and network building. These experiences would help one move through the stages of life with confidence for a better future in their personal lives and communities at large. We do not need to pressure or convince anyone to work with us but those who need to fit into this context of life are always inspired enough to volunteer with us.
Congratulations on being chosen as the 11th Commonwealth Points of Light 2018 awardee and the Foreign Commonwealth Office International leader. What do these awards mean to you and what message do you hope they send out to other youth?
Thanks for the warm wishes. For me, these are encouragements that good work is being done and more is needs to be done. This requires holding the hands of others not only locally, but internationally as well. I wish other youths all over the planet can commit themselves for more productive positive actions that can impact not only themselves but their communities as well and why not the entire globe.
As a young social activist, what message do you have for Cameroonian youth searching for purpose, particularly those interested in activism.
My message to young Cameroonians is, look for problems in your lives and communities then, use every day as an opportunity to solve these problems. For those interested in activism, if you choose this path; work, learn, and yearn for more actions without limitation whilst staying positive to the impact of your voice.
Finally, what do you think Cameroonian youths need to know or do to be the Better Breed?
No one is perfect. For anyone to be a better breed, they must first accept their imperfection and move on positively to learn and grow to be the dream breed everyone will like.