Cameroon Explored

Learning from and about Cameroon (and ourselves!)

Map of Cameroon

Thoughts, ideas, views and challenges of those who participated in a study visit to Cameroon, February 2005


Our Cameroon project began back in September 2004 when we participated in a Transition Year module called 'Third World Development Studies' with Sr. Denise. Through subjects such as Civic Social and Political Education and Geography for our Junior Certificate, we had all become familiar with studying the Third World but it was here that we first began to learn in detail, about that world and about our responsibilities towards it.

When a number of students showed a keen interest in taking part in an overseas trip and approached Sr. Denise about it, she put forward the possibility of travelling to Cameroon. Luckily, our school has many contacts in many countries around the world thanks to the La Sainte Union (LSU) sisters who founded our school, and their work across the globe.

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At first, the only thing we knew about Cameroon, was that Ireland had played them in the 2002 world cup, but after much research we began to learn about Cameroon's rich culture, its tribal structures and about many of the challenges facing the country. We were also supported in our agenda by Colm Regan and Valerie Duffy of Irish development education NGO 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, who helped us in exploring our ideas and in delivering the project before and after the visit.

At the outset, it was decided to hold an information evening about the project in order to persuade our apprehensive and worried parents to permit us to go. This was a huge success and, within days, plans for 10 students, Sr. Denise and Valerie Duffy to travel to Cameroon were under way. We soon got in touch with Sr. Julie Wheatley, a LSU sister working in Cameroon, who very kindly agreed to accommodate us during our stay there.

After a lot of hard work in the months prior to our departure, organising many fundraising events (such as a music benefit night, bag-packing, non-uniform day, cake sale and sponsorship from local businesses and companies), we were finally ready to set off for Cameroon.

Our Lady's Bower Cameroon project 2005 was a huge success in many ways with each and every student learning a great deal about the Cameroonian people, about their rich culture and their beautiful country.