The Youth Advocacy Network (YAN)
Empowering local communities to advocate internationally.
Talk is Cheap. We Act.
The Youth Advocacy Network (YAN) is dedicated to empowering communities that are underrepresented in the local and global governance to advocate for issues of local relevance to an international audience by teaching young people how to effectively use available technologies.
YAN Fellows teach a unique Leadership and New Media Advocacy curriculum that incorporates leadership skills, email, social networking, web-based research and video production. Students are encouraged to develop advocacy strategies for struggles they see in their own communities and to implement one of these strategies online, building a network of international support. Throughout the process students are learning technological skills that encourage cross-cultural communication, both online and with YAN Fellows, as well as preparing them for local job opportunities that were previously out of reach.
Maddy Hejna, Youth Advocacy Network Intern 2014
Maddy is a junior at the University of Vermont, earning her undergraduate degree in Women's and Gender Studies. She has carried her interest in social justice to Cameroon, participating in a Community Development exchange program through Antioch University in Ohio. She is studying at Buea University, and is excited to be working with YAN as her service learning project during her stay. Social change begins with a grassroots approach, and Maddy is happy to be impacting the lives of the students through media technology education.
Charles “Chalo” Bawe, Local Partner
Charles is the manager of I.T. Solutions, the internet café YAN uses every week in Buea Town. He believes his work is more than just a profession, it is a call to carry others to the world by giving them access to computers and internet services. It is in this respect that he is "proud and privileged to accommodate Youth Advocacy Network in my cyber café and to help pupils and students of GHS Buea Town.”
Pasiah Kenneth Bobvah, Local Partner
Pasiah is the Chief of the Multi Media Resource Center at the Bilingual Grammar School – Molyko. He has had personal experience with the YAN program as his daughter was a student in 2012-2013 and has donated much time and energy to the program. Mr. Pasiah touts the tangible benefits YAN brings to the students.
Antonia Morzenti, Youth Advocacy Network Fellow 2013-2014
Antonia just completed a 6-month internship in Buea and is ecstatic to be extend her stay in Cameroon as a YAN Fellow. Her passion for human rights, gender equality and social justice led her to a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Post Colonial Africa and Globalization. Antonia has taught environmental education in Uganda and conducted cultural research throughout West Africa. Change and progress come from the youth and Antonia is looking forward to empowering Buea's youth this upcoming year with YAN!
Walters Chin, Project Coordinator
Walters Chin is a student at Buea University who has been working with YAN since 2009. Walters coordinates all program logistics, runs orientation, and is available to YAN fellows throughout the year.
Maddy Hejna, Youth Advocacy Network Intern 2014
As an entrepreneur and artist, Wegmuller ikome efokoa owns a production studio blue drops studios and has directed and produced award winning video clips. One of his artists is presently a KORA All Africa nominee. He is a producer with a passion for quality work and the founder of Bluedrops Studios in Buea, Cameroon.
Akwanga David Nkemtaji, Advisor and Board Member
Akwonga is the emeritus Chief of the Technology Center at the Bilingual Grammar School Molyko - Buea. His dedication, hours of overtime and wealth of ideas are the foundation upon which YAN's program in Buea was built.
Gabga Stanley Miki, Advisor and Board Member
Gabga Stanley Miki hails from Limbe and has been in cinema for eight years. As an editor, he began developing a love of motion graphics. In 2007 Stanley started working as a cinemotographer, editor and graphic designer in both national and international projects. He was involved in BREAK-IN a soap opera which won Best film by the public in Fako Film Festival and MBELIGI a Doc-Drama which earned a nomination to the Nuff Global Festival for climate change.
Erin Wildermuth, Executive Director
Erin Wildermuth started YAN after completing her MSc at the London School of Economics, where her thesis centered on how access to technology prevents the global south from participating in global decision making. She began working with young people in 2001, when she spent a year designing and implementing a learning-service program for underpriveleged youth. She has since worked with a number of youth organizations to teach service-learning, leadership, and new media technologies. She has also managed a range of projects relating to youth, training, and video production.
In 2013, Youth Advocacy Network started an internship program for students who excelled in the class and were commited to their further education. Last year, 10 students were given internships with non-profits that operate in Buea.Internships give our students invaluable experience; they allow our students to take advantage of not only helping a local NGO in their community, but also gaining knowledge and hands on experience about how non-profit organizations work. This year we are hoping to place a minimum of 8 student interns at different NGOs in Buea.
|Kendja Djapa Elisée||YAN|
|Gibril Labi Madaki||YAN|
YAN began teaching a unique leadership and new media advocacy curriculum at the Bilingual Grammar School Molyko - Buea in Fall 2009. Students are asked to identify an important local issue that does not receive the international attention that they think it deserves. Students then developed an advocacy campaign that includes web-based research, social networking, basic website design, podcasting and video production to enhance the visibility of their chosen local issue. The program is going on its fifth year and has graduated over 65 young leaders with an additional 24 students in class for the 2013-2014 school year.
There are 8 motivated, enthusiastic and bright YAN graduates from previous years who couldn't get enough YAN and asked for an "Advanced" class. This class continues teaching the same leadership and new media advocacy curriculum as the original club but takes it to the next level. The classes start with a review of previous lessons and moves much more quickly into website creation, podcasts, photography and videos. The end project for the advanced students will be to sensitize their own community on the problems they have chosen for research. Students will organize their own outing in which they will present their research to the community.
In 2012, YAN was expanded into two new schools, the Government High Schools in Buea Town and Limbe (see below). At these schools, the same leadership and new media curriculum that YAN has been developing over the last several years was used in the same manner as described above. Last year there were 32 graduates and this year (2013-2014) there are 21 potential students who will graduate.
YAN's program at Buea School for the Deaf in 2009 - 2011 is an example of how fellows are encouraged to build ties with the local community, providing assistance as identified by those who best understand the problems in Buea. Cameroon provides public funds for blind children, but not for deaf students. This prompted the creation of Buea School for the Deaf, where deaf students from throughout Cameroon convene to learn in a supportive learning environment.
At the request of the school, YAN worked with students to produce short sign-language videos that can be distributed to the families and communities of these young people. The aim of this project was to allow those closest to the students in their own villages, whether this be their parents, siblings, or neighbours, to better communicate with them.
The 2012-2013 school year graduated 11 YAN students from GHS Limbe. That year was a wonderful year for YAN as there were two Fellows which certainly maximized YAN's outreach. Ties were not cut with GHS Limbe but as for the 2013-2014 school year, YAN will not be working in Limbe. YAN hopes to make it back to Limbe and teach the YAN curriculum in the future.
Gremlins have chewed through the wires of our blog; full access will be returning shortly.
Time is Flying By
Last week the classes at Lycee Molyko were a change of pace, as the kids finally began editing their videos on the computers. Some of the groups still had conclusions to shoot and interviews to conduct, but others began the task of uploading scenes and editing title pages. A few of the computers had new editing software, which posed some learning opportunities for the students...
The Ring Road: Kumbo, Ndzenshwai, Wvem and Oku
People: Man at the car park in Bambili, Edwin, Alison, Gilbert, Mary, Divine, Roland, Hassan and Bonafice. Places/Things: crammed car ride, travelers inn, coffee shop, waterfall outside...
Let the editing begin! And lets make it fast!
The Advanced YAN students met not one, not two but THREE times this week. They were so motivated they came to the regular club class on Wednesday to use any extra computers for editing! We tried to make it four days, but...
The Ring Road: Bafut, Wum, Fundong and Belo
I would like to use these next couple of blog posts as not only a memoir for me but also as a guide for future travelers to the regions that we went to. I also hope to inspire those on the couch reading to...
Fellowship Dates: September 15, 2014 - July 15, 2015
Application Deadline: Rolling
Fellows will be tasked with the following responsibilities:
Joint applications of two people wishing to work together encouraged. This is an unpaid, volunteer position. YAN will make every attempt to aid fellows in their fundraising efforts. Last year's fellows were able to raise over 5,500 dollars.
Fellows can expect living costs to run an average of 350 USD/month. Past fellows have gone on to work at the United Nations, Education for Employment and the Squaxin Island Tribe.To apply please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.