From the hilltop of Nkong Fondom in Lebialem South West Region of Cameroon to the hilltop of Basilica di San Francesco Assisi Italy, it was a dream come true for me who at the age of 11 in 1997 was gripped by the spirit of fraternity for the common good in a word of life that read “Man weh he want for be number one, he must put himself for the last place and he must be workman for all”. In other words, if you want to be happy and live in a better world, you must be humble and be at the service of everyone. This has been my driven force for the past 25 years.
In May 2019, Pope Francis invited young people around the world for the Global Event Economy of Francesco to take place in March 2020 in the city of Assisi. We all welcomed the news with great anxiety but the global pandemic covid-19 hit the world and change everything and we remained connected through one zoom meeting to another. Two years passed so fast and finally came Economy Francesco Assisi 2022. As a young change maker, founder of ROBOGA Youth Organization and Volunteer at the Economy of Communion International Incubation Network Hub Cameroon EoC IIN Cameroon, together with other young Cameroonians applied two months ahead of time for visas in order to take part in the event. We received visa approval at 3:00pm on the traveling day two hours after we had missed flights paid by the organizers. Thanks to the fruit of communion based on fraternity and equality, the entire world was mobilized in prayer and action to ensure the two of us get a second flight ticket. After tens of whatsapp text, email messages both in English, French, Spanish, Italian languages I couldn’t even read, we finally got a second flight ticket at 5:00pm from the organizers to travel at 11:00pm same day. From the uncertainty of not having a visa to missing our flight, we found ourselves in a Business class flight because it was the only seats left at our departure town Yaounde Cameroon at that time. As read above, my participation at the Economy of Francesco Event Assisi 2022 was destined by God. Indeed it was a prophetic sign that young people got the desire for a better and happier future attentive to the person and environment as mentioned by Pope Francis on 1st May 2019 in his letter inviting the youth to Assisi. Spending three days in Assisi, I listened, shared experiences and networked with hundreds of youths, change makers economists from around the globe and finally listened to the encouraging words of the Pope and watch him sign the “covenant” so that we can promote together in communion for a global change. It was a blessing to see and feel this happen one on one while standing ten meters away from him.
This great event was excellently enriching and as take home message, I learned that for long “The only just war is the war we are not fighting” and that it is only when we young people and change makers are protagonist of positive change that the world will experience transformation. A transformation where there will be smiles in agriculture and justice, life and life style, work and care, business and peace and policies for happiness. A transformation where there is no single victim and no one is left behind in the process of poverty eradication while safeguarding our environment.
Nkemcha Matin Tiku (Mc Tiku ROBOGA)
Youth Leader and Social Entrepreneur
Founder and National Coordinator of ROBOGA Youth Association
National President of YALI West Africa Alumni Association Cameroon
Participant at Economy of Francisco Assisi 2022
Change Maker in Agriculture and Justice Village
Nkemcha Martin Tiku is a youth leader and social entrepreneur with over ten years in coordinating community development programs particularly voluntary career coaching and socioeconomic empowerment of youth, young girls and women. In 2012, he founded ROBOGA Association for counseling, orientation and mentorship of young people for self employment. His principal role is orientating high school students to get involved in technical vocational education training beside their formal education. Between 2012 – 2016, he reached out to over 100.000 youth before the Anglophone crisis break out in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon stopping all the activities. He relocated to the French speaking region of Cameroon as an internally displaced person. Here, he wanted to do the same thing he was doing with students in his region through schools but it was practically impossible because of other barriers beyond his control. During this period over 1.000.000 natives of the South West and North West regions have ran away from the conflicts and were now living in much safe host community in absolute poverty and misery. On noticing this, he is part of the team who initiated in November 2018 the SMILE AGAIN INITIATIVE for the training of internally displaced women, girls and boys on income generating activities. Together with the team, they mobilized a few resources and began the first training of 50 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the city of Yaounde in January 2019. They trained on different vocational income generating skills and at the end of training offered them some start up materials to start small businesses while they do monitoring and follow up. This initiative attracted so much admiration from some other organizations and collaborators who decided to join him do more of it. Since January 2019, with partners he has trained and empowered 600 internally displaced persons in eight different cities of Cameroon (Yaounde, Dschang, Douala, Bafang, Melone, Limbe, Santchou and Buea). After training and offering them start up kits at the end of every training session we did in every town and doing monitoring and follow up, over 75% of them are doing extremely well and in turn training others. He plans to build a youth empowerment center in his community to empower youth through technical vocational training in order to reduce the rate of unemployment in his community.
He is the National President of YALI West Africa Alumni Association Cameroon with over 700 youth in the domain of business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management.
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