Mentors and Scholars after an evaluation meeting
It's another great opportunity to reach out with words of thanks to you all who make our work possible through donations. Last summer was extra-ordinary; not only did we have more experts participating in our summer academy - we also did the best selection of students, refined the curriculum and re-started our program in Bamenda, Cameroon, a zone we had left in hibernation due to the armed struggle that had rocked the region since late 2016. In total, 50 young Cameroonians at the level of the high school benefitted from the very intensive summer training program, which ran programs from entrepreneurial leadership to community volunteering and technological solutions challenge (hackathons). Today, most of the scholars are engaged in their applications to college while a handful of that number already got full scholarships to top universities within Africa and the rest of the world.
During the summer, there were several community-immersion programs during which Open Dreams Scholars had a chance to volunteer while honing their leadership skills.
- alongside "Game Changers", a community-based organization, they took part in "Climate Action" activities which involved planting trees, cleaning up the communities and carrying out education on the preservation of the environment;
- they took part in a Technology Innovation Challenge, which brought together young tech geniuses from across Cameroon to pitch their startups, learn how to upgrade their prototypes etc. They also enrolled into a tech mentorship program that is planned to run for years;
- they organized, for university students, a tech competition titled "PremierDev Technology Solution Challenge". This challenge entailed exposing technology solutions they had designed to tackle local community challenges. Several groups of students from universities across the country participated. A 6 week boot camp later followed. This is one of the independent initiatives led by Open Dreams Scholars, who have benefit from leadership opportunities offered by the Open Dreams mentorship program;
- Open Dreams Scholars reached out with assistance in books and handouts to internally displaced students within the country, encouraging them to return to school. This operation was conducted in three regions in Cameroon, with over 300 students benefitting from enough material to go to school for a whole academic year.
- Open Dreams Scholars organized 3 week skills-development programs to 150 internally displaced young females, empowering them to engage in socio-economic activities which keep them safe and less vulnerable to exploitation from the society.
- we had partnerships with new institutions among them the Ashinaga Africa Initiative and most recently 'special consultative status’ with the UN's Economic and Social Council.
- we support and continue to support more dreamers by hosting them in our Yaoundé center, where we provide safe spaces for them to continue to pursue their dreams. We pay particular attention to young girls who have been excelling at Open Dreams, and doing exceedingly well in the STEM programs.
We have conquered new grounds, with scholars going into universities we had no scholars there before. More graduate scholars are getting great opportunities – medical doctors are leading in this professional development endeavor.
This December, we plan to re-organize Open Dreams to create more room for committees in which scholars put their leadership to work through volunteering. We continue to seek more funding for our growing programs and outreach which has seen greater community dependence on our programs. Thank you all for making the work possible through your generous donations, for which we are extremely grateful. We are truly indebted to you. We hope to continue to cover more grounds. Thank you for your unrelenting support. Together, we broaden our support base, as we continue our mission to equalize access to educational opportunities for community impact
The Girls have found a safe niche for their dreams
Graduate Students enriching the scholar experience
Family moments before flights
Trauma Support - discussing female resilience
Girls in STEM