Archive for April, 2007

Help combat child labor in Cameroon

April 11th, 2007 by bobebill

The U.S. Embassy in Yaounde would like your help fighting child labor in Africa. The Embassy is sponsoring the second annual Child Labor Day Fashion Show in conjunction with World Child Labor Day. We are asking for your help in the form of fabric and notions, such as thread, zippers, velcro, snaps, and buttons, etc. that can be used by rescued children to fabricate fashions for this event. In order to make this happen, we need to receive your donations as soon as possible. Thanks.

Send your donations to:

Nancy Roth

2520 Yaounde Place

Dulles, VA 20189-2520

Here is some background information on the event:

U.S. Embassy Creates Awareness Against Child Labor with an Exhibit and a Fashion Show

http://yaounde.usembassy.gov/child_labor_day_event.html

The U.S. Embassy in Yaounde is partnering with the International Labor Organization and Cameroonian non-governmental organizations to combat child labor. The trade fair and fashion show extravaganza takes place at the Embassy on June 13, 2007, in partnership with NGOs to inform the public on the issue of child labor in Cameroon. The models are previous victims of child labor, wearing their own hand-tailored garments as proof of the benefits of vocational training. The idea behind the fashion show and arts-and-crafts fair was to allow these children, rescued from child labor or child trafficking, to show us what they are capable of doing and to prove to us that their talents are better served in school or in vocational training rather than in cocoa fields, rubber plantations or domestic servitude.” Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi E. Frazer has declared that “the United States is determined to end this modern form of slavery. We have a particular duty to fight this scourge because trafficking in persons and child labor is an affront to the principles of human dignity and liberty, upon which this nation was founded … A solution to a problem begins with awareness.”

More information on Child Labor:

International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC)

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/index.htm

We appreciate your taking part in this effort!

Bobe Leonard passes away

April 7th, 2007 by bobebill

Bobe Leonard_1.jpg

April 7, 2007: I am updating this earlier post as I learned today that Bobe Leonard passed away at the Njinikom Catholic Hospital earlier this week after illness. It was a pleasure to see him last year after so long, although I would like to have met up with him again when next I visit Cameroon. He was a wonderful man who took great interest and concern of the Peace Corps Volunteers he met over the years in Njinikom, Bamenda, and whenever he crossed paths with a PCV. We all have our favorite Bobe Leonard stories, I am sure. He will certainly be missed.

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Many Peace Corps Volunteers in the North West Province will remember this man who kept life interesting as he worked with, and often for, PCVs in the ’70s and ’80s. Bobe Leonard is a titleholder from Laikom, a traditional doctor, a house caretaker, and someone who knows where to find the best palm wine in the North West. Originally from Njinikom, he has spent time with PCVs there and in Bamenda, taking pride in keeping them safe and sharing his knowledge of the area traditions. I knew Bobe in the 80s, and recently had the chance to visit with him at the Njinikom Catholic Mission Hospital, where he now works. He is older but still going strong, and has not forgotten a single PCV that he ever knew over the years. It was great to meet up with him after twenty years, and I expect that he will strong enough for many more to come. He does extend greetings to all of his old friends, and invites everyone to come back for a visit.