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05 March 2014

48th Edition of Cameroon’s National Youth Day, What Place does the Environment Occupy?

Posted in News, Views 1058

IBiNS Students march pass

 The day dawned fair and clear. It was yet another eleventh day of February. What is so special about this day, I would often wonder. History tells me that on this day, the UN conducted a plebiscite in Cameroon and the then Western Cameroon opted to join French Cameroon. I go down memory lane and remember my primary school days. I remember when we would practice endlessly how to march in front of the Divisional Officer. The only government official we were privileged to see at the time. I remember the traditional dances, the choral music competition and the sporting events that took place during this season. All of these make me smile at those very beautiful and youthful moments even when you had to trek long distances to the celebration ground. I equally remember that the few francs we had saved to use for that day could get us some sugar cane and 'makara'.

What I do not remember is whether there was any explanation to why the day had been baptized 'Youth Day'. I equally do not remember whether there was ever anything in all these celebrations that linked youths to the environment or the conservation of it. Young as my mind was then, if there was, I should have remembered or was it because there were no such phenomena as global warming or climate change?

The Youth Day celebrations for 2014 were different. The usual march pass was done beginning with those of Basic Education through Secondary to Vocational and then Higher Education. The difference actually came when the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies took their turn. These pacesetters in conservation carried with them picture messages of conservation. Birds, gorillas, chimpanzees, degraded landscapes and more appealed more to the senses of the crowd to not only send children to be trained as conservationists but to practice sustainable ways of living at peace with the environment.

Even when the journalist announcing the schools referred to it as 'IBIS', I only said, it was a good thing to be mistakenly likened to a successful venture, IBiS being a consortium of successful hotel businesses in and around the world. With pride the first and second Batch of IBiNS set the pace even in marching forward to a bright future for conservation!

By Ita Nawom