Tuesday October 22nd marked the very first day of Advanced YAN classes!

At the beginning of the school year, Vice Principal Ayuk (from Lycee) approached me with the list of 11 YAN students interested in continuing the club. I've met with several if not all of these students between then and the first day of class Many of them would stop by on Wednesdays during regular club hours just to visit and see how everything was going with the club. Once I was able to finalize the timetable to secure a day/time for Advanced YAN, I began telling the students who would pass on the message to the other students. I was quite surprised to have only two students show up! It was just me, Desmond and David for the two hour class. But on the bright side, I got to know those students pretty well and it seemed they felt free talking to me about their ideas and visions of the Advanced YAN.

Last year, Desmond researched Malara with his partner who was not present. I questioned him on how he could get his research 'out there' to the community and to the people who need it the most. We both agreed that those who need the information most are those living in the villages and those who are not able to attend school or go to hospitals. Desmond admitted that he was shy and wouldnt feel comfortable speaking infront of a large group so instead he came up with the idea of distributing small pamphlet like information sheets. He was aware of the multiple languages spoken here, so he even suggested that the information sheet come in English, French and Pidgin English for optimal outreach and understanding.

David on the other hand did research on poverty but didn't sound like he was satisfied with his work last year. He and his partner weren't able to find too much information last year, so he would like to continue researching about poverty in Buea and the Southwest region. I could see the excitement in his eyes when I mentioned sensitizing the community on his research.

Before passing out a "review worksheet" and a "review checklist", the three of us brainstormed ideas about what direction the Advanced students could take this year. Some ideas we talked about include the following:
•    Working with the same partners as last year while expanding their research on the same issue/problem.
•    Find a new issue/problem and work with the same or new partners.
•    Do 1 or 2 issues/problems as a collective group.
•    Use their research in the community by sensitizing others about what they have learned.
•    Actively work/act towards the solution(s) they have found from last years research. (This could include things like writing letters about corruptions to officials, doing local fundraisers to send less privileged kids to school, etc)
•    Create a webpage focusing on their tribe. This would include things like traditions, ceremonies, and a phrasebook of their dialect among other things.

The boys told me that some of the others students had class and maybe others did not know. I made sure it was their homework to inform everyone about the class hours. Looking forward to seeing how the Advanced class develops and grows!