Shortly after the July 2008 Fako America convention, the newly elected FA President, Dr. Henry Njie, and the new Board Chair, Mr. Edwin Ndoko, traveled to Cameroon for a brief visit.
From left to right: Board Chair, Edwin Ndoko; Buea Mayor, Mbella Moki; FA President, Henry Njie
While in Cameroon, they met with a number of local political, administrative and educational authorities in Fako division to discuss possible avenues for cooperation between the Fako Diaspora in America and the Fako community back home. Prominent among those whom they met were the mayors of Buea and Tiko.
In a two-hour meeting with Mbella Moki, Mayor of Buea at the Buea Council Offices, the FA leaders discussed possible ways to enhance existing relations between the Buea council and Fako America. An important item on the agenda was the annual Fako America scholarship program for meritorious and disadvantaged kids in Fako division. The mayor agreed to work closely with FA to identify kids in villages who qualified for the FA scholarship, and also assist FA in distributing the scholarship to recipients.
The FA leaders had a similar discussion with Mr. Richard Fombon, Mayor of Tiko, during a brief meeting at 3813 a business center that the mayor has constructed along the Tiko/Douala road.
Planned meetings with the mayors of Limbe and Muyuka failed to materialize because of scheduling conflicts and time constraints.
Perspectives of an educator
Dr. Henry Njie and Mr. Edwin Ndoko also met with Mrs. Etonde Mbua, principal of GHS Bokwango, to get a better understanding of the needs of Fako students from the perspective of a seasoned educator. During the discussion, Mrs. Mbua highlighted to problems and challenges facing not just Fako students but all students in the area, most of whose parents where dealing with the worsening economic situation and had to make painful choices regarding the children’s education.
Mrs. Mbua also suggested a number of ways that the scholarship program could be made more successful and relevant to the community. She promised to help FA in whatever way possible to make the scholarship program a success and urged FA to serve as a permanent bridge between the Fako Diaspora community and the Fako elite back at home.
Honoring a fallen member
During the trip, the FA President and Board Chair took time off their busy schedule to represent Fako America at the funeral service of one of FA’s most dedicated members, Ms. Efeti Kebbi, former FA Vice President, who died in Houston, Texas on July 4, 2008.
In his speech at the occasion, President Njie highlighted Efeti Kebbi’s service and dedication to Fako America and the Fako community in the US. Molas Njie and Ndoko were also present at the wake which was animated by the wana wa wabiye choir who were performing on behalf of Fako America.
The trip by the new FA leadership helped give FA more visibility on the ground and create relationships with local authorities which would prove valuable in the long term. It also highlighted the new vibrancy at the top of Fako America, which would hopefully translate into a more responsive, dynamic, innovative and relevant organization.
FA Communications Department