By Paul Njie and Kesah Princely
When Ngu Justance Falone was 19, her quest to assist humanity heightened. It wasn’t because she wanted the fame that came with owning an NGO, but because deep within her, there was something not going right with the way society treated the less privileged.
What motivates this young woman?
Growing up in Muea, one of the roughest neighborhoods in Buea, South West region of Cameroon, Falone despised the notion that people had about her locality. The area is largely considered an avenue for everything evil —theft, promiscuity, violence, filth, moral decadence and a high propensity of dropping out of school.
Touched by these phenomena in her area, she was poised to change the narrative. And, in 2016, it was just about time she unleashed the bombshell. The then teenage high school student launched the Child Enrichment and Future Leaders’ Association, an NGO aimed at creating awareness on the need to embrace education and lead a decent life.
As much as things went well with the foundation, there was need to restructure and re-strategize — this prompted a renaming of the organisation to Falone Foundation in early 2019. Since then, Falone Foundation has made huge impacts on the lives of Cameroonians, especially those from the crisis ravaged Anglophone minority regions.
After a conflict broke out in the two Anglophone regions of the bilingual country in 2016 — the same year Falone began her humanitarian work— her zeal towards philanthropy doubled, owing to the devastating consequences of the conflict which turned violent.
The challenges she has faced
But something went wrong along the way. Deep within the ongoing socio-political upheavals, she’s been finding it difficult to organise her routine campaigns to promote education in Buea, where she began before relocating to Douala, a neighbouring Francophone city.
Threats from Anglophone secessionist fighters who want a breakaway state called Ambazonia, have made it even more difficult for the 22 year-old. The separatists have banned all school related activities, against what they claim is a poor system of education initiated by the Francophone dominated government.
“The Anglophone crisis has affected me a whole lot because, most of the activities I always carry out are in the South West, and that’s Buea. Given the fact that they [separatist fighters] said no schools should operate in the North West and South West regions, I could not donate there,” she said.
According to a recent UNHCR report, over half a million people are internally displaced in Cameroon, owing to the ongoing violence in the English speaking section of the country. The fifteen-member team of the humanitarian NGO has been able to locate and assist a few out of myriad internally displaced persons in Douala.
This young woman would not give up!
Though faced with a plethora of challenges, the dynamic enthusiasts have succeeded to visit and donate didactic material to students, organise clean-up campaigns in different orphanages and streets, as well as hold seminars to empower youth and promote sustainable development in Africa.
The Falone Foundation is gearing up for a mega project in Dschang, another Francophone town, in 2020, to provide aid to internally displaced persons despite financial constraints.
“It’s very difficult for me because the number is large and getting donors to sponsor this project is not really easy.”
Amid these challenges, the quality of her deeds to humankind has earned her foundation a nomination at the Returnees Awards 2019. But, on thing is for sure; win or lose, Falone will always derive pleasure in one thing: reaching out to the vulnerable and knowing that it meant a great deal to them.