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Volunteers testimonials

Here are the testimonials of some volunteers that FAPEFE/NOULA School have received


 

Yvette TOKO

USA (Minnesota)

This is my second time in Cameroon. I have been spent time with my new family, friends, Papa David, Mama Solange and their children. Papa David and Mama Solange are one of several families that offer housing for volunteers while in Cameroon. They are very welcoming and show what it means to give the gift of hospitality to others. For anyone coming to Cameroon and having them as a host family while here, is the best place to be. I was welcomed, ate delicious meals, and learned more French.

Volunteering has always been a privilege for me. I enjoy serving others. I knew I would be coming to Noula school to offer skills I teach in library/literature. But I had no idea how much this experience would challenge me mainly because everyone is French speaking. However, in spite of the challenges, the experience has been very positive and the children were very patient and gracious with my emerging language skills. It showed me that I still can offer something to children at the school, which was a variety of academic games, phonics assessment, and a mini lesson on the parts of a computer. All the teachers have welcomed me, and we exchanged some teaching practices. I wanted to have students write e-stories using Word PowerPoint but the computer lab is in need of upgrading. Having a functional computer lab would benefit the students very much. The school has computers but the computers need software programs and internet service. With this students will be able to practice their English speaking on a multitude of free online reading programs, do research online, and practice a variety of other academic skills. The teachers would also be able to research information to supplement lesson planning. I envision the children at this school mastering the English language, and computer classes open to the parents of students who want to develop/enhance their computer skills. I have been compelled to start a fundraising campaign to help with upgrading the computer lab. And hopefully next summer, it will be in full use. Near the end of the week, I helped draw and paint a few murals near classroom entryways. As a teacher we are called to have multiple skills and I was happy I could pull a little art work out of my teacher “toolbox”.

In closing, if you are reading this testimonial and decide to volunteer your time at Noula school, I hope it is as enjoyable for you as it has been for me.

Yvette Toko

 


 

Isabelle NGAPA

Canada

Mon nom c’est Isabelle Ngapa, je suis canadienne et j’ai passé quelques mois à l’école Noula pendant l’été 2014 pour un stage en coopération internationale dans le cadre de mon cursus universitaire. L’expérience a été extraordinaire grâce au soutien et à l’accueil prodigué par Jean Eudes David Noumegne (dit Papa David) et sa famille tout au long de mon séjour. J’ai habité dans l’appartement réservé au volontaire à côté de chez eux et c’est aujourd’hui une famille que j’ai trouvé. Grâce à eux, j’ai pu comprendre la culture locale, gouter des mets inusités et passer des moments très agréables.

À l’école, l’équipe et les enfants sont chaleureux et le travail ne manque pas. Que ce soit pour faire des activités avec les jeunes, de l’administration, améliorer les communications ou travailler sur l’un de leur nombreux projets, il y en a pour tout le monde. C’est un bel environnement coopératif qui favorise l’épanouissement.
J’invite toute personne qui désire se sentir utile, acquérir une nouvelle expérience, passer des moments agréables, et connaitre une nouvelle culture dans un environnement chaleureux, à s’engager auprès de Noula.

J’encourage les volontaires, les personnes et organisations à contribuer à l’effort que fournit l’ONG FAPEFE, dans l’accompagnement des plus démunis et de les soutenir au mieux de leurs capacités.

Isabelle Ngapa

 

 

Augustin Martz

SWITZERLAND

Hello, dear reader.

I am Augustin Martz from Switzerland. My experience at « the public thing » (translation of the Bamileke word « Noula ») is bound to 6 sessions that I held with my colleague, Anja, in the english speaking part of the school. I am working for Noula's partner organisation Rights For All (www.rightsforall.net) which is doing sensitisation about human trafficking in schools and women's groups.

After having done this work for 5 months, I can say now that the workshops at Noula have been extraordinary. The pupils were much more collaborative, interested, curious and open to other ways of teaching than in other schools. We made little sketches with them explaining the concept of trafficking and after the final exam, they could paint a picture of their choice on the back of the paper. They are skilled!

I also appreciated the small class size of the english class which allowed us to work on a much more individual level including every single student.

The director, Mr. David Noumegne, invited me to stay at his house for a weekend, which I enjoyed a lot. I was welcomed very warmly and could take part a bit in family life eating the delicious food of Mme Ngoumegne and climbing on the Coco-nut tree in the lavish garden to cull some coconuts. I also showed the children a few songs on the violin and gave them basic instructions on how to play it.

On the closing ceremony before summer break, I could play a piece for the whole school and received a document testifying that I know Noula and function as a Swiss person of reference for this organisation. It was a very colourful event in which also other social enterprises took part.

I am very grateful to Noula for receiving us and doing such great work with these children and encourage anyone willing to work for some time at a school in Cameroon and getting to know this country a bit to come. Thanks!

Augustin Martz (in Cameroon: Ateba)

 

 

Ville HEINONEN

FINLAND

I am Ville Heinonen, a student of journalism from Finland, and I worked in Noula as a volunteer through AIESEC from the beginning of  March to the midway of May in 2013. My duties included being responsible for teaching English to classes CE1 and CE2 and also assisting in Information Technology education. The experience was an eye-opening one, as I had never before actually worked as a teacher. I really had to stretch my pedagogic imagination in order to find new ways for the children to learn. On a personal level I also got an indispensable lesson in managing children and organizing classes so that an efficient learning session would be possible.

But, more importantly, what did Noula gain from my internship? I naturally wish that at least some of my English teaching stuck to the minds of the pupils, despite their young age. However, I wish even more that I was able to create a motivational and encouraging environment for learning so that the pupils wouldn’t be discouraged from studying languages henceforth.

In a broader perspective I hope that my stay here showed the kids that there are different kinds of people in the world and we can all work  together to help each other. I sincerely hope and believe that meeting interns from all over the world will help the children to gain multicultural awareness and to treat different people respectfully  even at an older age. I want to thank Noula for the great  opportunity it provided me and wish its pupils and staff all the best!

 

 

Septeena JVAUN Houen

USA (New Jersey)

I initially met Mr. Jean Eudes David Noumegne in January of 2011 during my first visit to Cameroon as a tourist (and researcher). I and at least two other companions listened with interest as Mr. Noumegne spoke to of us his school and the volunteer program that NOULA/FAPEFE offers for anyone seeking to assist in any helpful manner. Sporadically throughout the remainder of that year, I remained in contact with Mr. Noumegne, and because I was unable to return again in December with my prior companions for a SECOND trip to Cameroon, I expressed my well wishes for the students and the volunteer program by making a donation in lieu of a visit.


I continued my communications with Mr. Noumegne from then on into and throughout the year 2012, and an opportunity for a visit to see Cameroon, Mr. Noumegne, and NOULA school transpired in June of 2012. I had always dreamed of doing some type of volunteer work in Africa, and I was finally going to be able to do so; the added bonus was that my volunteer stint would be done in the country in where my maternal ancestry begins.


I have to admit that although I was very excited to visit and volunteer -with the full expectation of doing meaningful WORK- I, like any presumably normal person had my reservations. I was a bit afraid, but I was not afraid of 'Africa', or being harmed by anyone. I was afraid that I would not be able to measure up to the students -or the teachers- expectations; I was afraid that I would not have much to offer the students and the program in general, for you see, I am not a teacher of any sorts, nor do I work in any type of educational or scholarly field. I am just your 'average' working-class individual, but this should not be a deterrent for anyone similar to myself who is considering volunteering, and offering what EVER it is that you may be able to offer to someone else, especially someone of a different cultural background than that of your own; this aspect is VERY beneficial, not only to the students, teachers, and Mr.Noumegne (and his family, whom you will share some contact with as well), but to YOU the volunteer, probably MOST especially, as you will be impacted so greatly and you will never forget the experience. You shall cherish it forever, and if you are most fortunate, you will dream of returning to volunteer again.

If I can offer any advice and suggestions to anyone who is even considering volunteering with NOULA/FAPEFE, even if one is not yet sold on the idea, I would not mind it one bit, in fact, I would be glad to do so. I would love to tell you about how wonderful, how 'normal', and how intelligent the children are (they are children, and children are delightful and beautiful EVERYWHERE on this planet). I would love to tell you about what myself and my co-volunteers taught the children during the summer school program in 2012, and I would love to tell you that the children looked forward to visiting school and seeing us volunteers and learning from us, and WITH us.


I would love to tell you about my wonderful experiences staying with Mr. Noumegne and his family, whom I have adopting as my own family. I would love to tell you just about anything about my experiences, both good and bad (the only bad parts were my 'fears' of not being good enough, but even then, I'd love to tell you about how Mr. Noumegne, his family, and my co-volunteers quickly put those initial fears at rest).

I would love to tell you that you will be changed for the better after having given your time and care to the students and the organization. And the people that you will meet! Mr. Noumegne will take care of you, and he makes it his business to ensure that your needs are taken care of. He wants to know that you will be pleased with the decision that you have made.

I'm not sure what I should say in closing, but I am forever thankful for Mr. Noumegne for reaching out to me, and for continuing to keep in contact with me. In fact, we still keep in touch til this very day, and he, his family (my little sisters), some of the teachers of NOULA, and myself, are looking forward to my future visit.

I am so very glad that I did not change my mind due to my initial fears of not measuring up to the program. If I can travel to Africa, on my own (I volunteered withOUT an organization backing me up!), with no prior teaching/volunteerism experience, and still succeed at making a difference, well so can just about anyone with drive and dertermination. However, having the right resources at hand, and helpful advice from former volunteers is a bonus.

All the best to you all, and I wish much success for NOULA/FAPEFE!


 

Leatrice BROWN Jr

USA (New Mexico)

Mr Jean Eudes David Noumegne the owner and founder of the FAPEFE NGO and the founder of the NOULA School. I was invited to tour the School, the school has 14 teachers and 450 sttudents. I was amaze at the warm welcoming that I received by the children, when Mr Noumegne introduced me. The schoool has all of the lireal Arts, Math, History, geography,sciences, etc. The teachers are good teachers and the children are very intelligents.

The school is in need of donators to partnership.Fapefe provides Education freely for all the children in needs.The NOULA School open in 1997 and the N.G.O. Was founded for all children Rights for free or low cost Education. They inform about AIDS, Training for ICT. The school is in need of modern computers, toilets, classrooms, school Bus.etc So when I return to the U.S.A. I will work and partnership with Mr. Jean Eudes David, to help raise materials, He is in vision and wisdom working in the aspect that children are the future.


All my commitment.

 

Leah FARMER

CANADA

FAPEFE
Je vous remercie pour ces six mois incroyables au Cameroun.
J'ai vraiment apprécié travailler avec vous et j'espère que vous avez senti que vous avez appris quelque chose de notre travail ensemble.

S'il vous plait, garder contacts et sache que si jamais vous avez besoin je ne suis pas loin (juste un courriel ou un appel au téléphone).
Vous allez tous tellement me manquer.
Prenez soin de vous.


Gael  KEUNMOGNE SANDOCK

CAMEROON

 

I am a Cameroonian citizen and I taught at Noula School in Yaounde-Cameroun for 3(three) weeks. The school is run by the NGO FAPEFE and directs its actions towards orphans, disabled, large families and poor people.

Since the school year was about the beginning at that time, I started planning and organizing courses for children at Noula School. The courses were supposed to give student English and ICT (Information and communication technology). Therefore, I put effort and I have done all my best to make sure students will understand better. I gave courses to all francophone classes and ICT to Anglophone classes. During that period, I had a lot of fun and some great moments together with the students. The teachers were also very kindly and we use to plan everything in order to help the students as much as possible.

As I was a Cameroonian citizen, I lived with my family at biteng a nice quarter in yaounde and my boss is my neighbor. Sometimes, I use to go to my boss house and his wife made me trying many different traditional Cameroonian dishes. It was good, and I was delighted all that time.

All in all, I had  ran out of time really quickly and could have stayed even longer.I  had a great time at COMPLEX INTERNATIONAL Noula School ONG FAPEFE.


Gaby  SCHWARZ

GERMANY

July 2012  –  July 2012

 

I arrived in Cameroon on May, 30th, 2012 and I am teaching at Noula School in Yaounde, Cameroon for one month now. The school is run by the NGO FAPEFE  web site www.fapefe.org .

Since the school year was about to end at that time, I started with planning and organizing summer courses for children at Noula school together with my boyfriend Jonathan Karczewski and another volunteer from the US, Septeena Jvaun Houen. The summer courses were supposed to give children the opportunity to learn things during their vacation that they wouldn’t learn at normal school. Therefore we put effort in making it as entertaining as possible by teaching German, introducing different kinds of sports or let them challenge themselves in front of a video camera. Although the participants were at various different levels of knowledge which made things difficult, we had a lot of fun and some great moments together with the students.

We lived with the family of the founder of FAPEFE, our boss. Since he has a huge family there was always someone who wanted to talk or to play and it rarely got boring. Our host mum also made us trying many different traditional Cameroonian dishes. Living in the family we could experience the daily life and culture of Cameroon which made our experience even more valuable.

All in all, we ran out of time really quickly and could have stayed even longer. We had a great time in Cameroon.


Jonathan KARCZEWSCKI

GERMANY

April 2012  –  July 2012

I arrived in Cameroon on April, 30th, 2012 and I am teaching at Noula School in Yaounde, Cameroon for two months now. The school is run by the NGO FAPEFE  web site web site www.fapefe.org .

In the first month the school year was still going on and I was directly asked to teach English and Computer Literacy to the children on the first day. Since the children were aged between 6 and 14 years, many of them knew little or no English and I had to rely on my French to be able to communicate with them; thus I could really work on my French skills and improve them a lot – in fact, some children even helped me by correcting my mistakes. This was also my first time that I worked with children at that age and sometimes it was a huge challenge to keep them occupied with the lessons. Nevertheless I also had a lot of great moments with them.

Besides teaching, I was also involved in the school’s administration, as well as in representing Noula school and FAPEFE towards other organizations and partners which gave me a detailed insight into the work of an NGO in Cameroon.

On May, 30th, 2012, my girlfriend Gaby Schwarz arrived to volunteer at Noula school as well. Since the school year was about to end at that time, we started with planning and organizing summer courses for children at Noula school together with another volunteer from the US, Septeena Jvaun Houen. The summer courses were supposed to give children the opportunity to learn things during their vacation that they wouldn’t learn at normal school. Therefore we put effort in making it as entertaining as possible by teaching German, introducing different kinds of sports or let them challenge themselves in front of a video camera. Although the participants were at various different levels of knowledge which made things difficult, we had a lot of fun and some great moments together with the students.

We lived with the family of the founder of FAPEFE, our boss. Since he has a huge family there was always someone who wanted to talk or to play and it rarely got boring. Our host mum also made us trying many different traditional Cameroonian dishes. Living in the family we could experience the daily life and culture of Cameroon which made our experience even more valuable.

All in all, we ran out of time really quickly and could have stayed even longer. We had a great time in Cameroon.

 

 

Sara STALLAND

USA (Minnesota)

September 2009  –  February 2010

My experience working with the Noula International School was invaluable to shaping my professional interests as well as who I am today. I worked with the founder, David Noumegne to create an internship that fit my skills with the needs of the school. I had previously lived in francophone Africa before arriving in Cameroon, which gave me a more advanced starting point both in the French language as well as in understanding the cultural differences. I recommend seeking out resources on culture and language before volunteering (if your program does not provide it); it will be helpful as you navigate the country. That being said, communicating clearly and openly with the founder and staff made a huge difference in successfully and happily completing projects.

My job duties were not easy-but through it I learned what I was capable of achieving. I had enormous opportunity to make changes at the school in just a short time. While my six month stay was short on the grand scale of sustainability, I look back on the suggestions and contributions I made and have never been more proud of myself. I created electronic financial record keeping, designed and published the first website for the organization (which has since spurred on their other activities to connect with the globalized world), fund-raised enough money to remodel and equip a library, and frank conversations about improving human resource management and customer relations with the director of the school. As a recent graduate from college, I would never have been able to exercise my expertise and knowledge in such a significant way.

On the level of affecting change in the lives of the kids, I saw my role as one of many others working to find ways to sustain the school. Providing quality learning opportunities for students that are otherwise crammed in a public school classroom with 75 others was incentive enough for me to see how the Noula School was cultivating better citizens of tomorrow for their developing country. The school"s commitment to bringing in international volunteers is not only a way to gain free assistance and knowledge, but also to bring the world to these kids" lives. Understanding the importance of global competency is rather unique in the school system.

If you want to know what it feels like to stretch your abilities and capacity, to know just how hard you will work, what creativity your mind can generate, how it feels to directly impact childrens lives, and how you respond in a completely different environment, this is the perfect place to learn. Don"t wait for someone else to walk you through a project; grab this adventure and give the students of Noula School hope for the future.

 

Sword DO

CHINA

January 2012 February 2012


January 23rd 2012, the eve of Chinese Spring Festival, I step on Cameroon, started my Volunteer career. I am both an English teacher and computer teacher in ICI ECOLE NOULA, which founded by NGO of FAPEFE. And I learnt environmental education. It’s amazing how friendly the children are when I first came. They were cheering and running around me, submerged me into a happy ocean. I love these kids, maybe we have difficulties in communication sometime, but we can also fell the warm heart of each other.

The level of primary English in this school is not high, so I starting my class from very basic words. Some time, I show the Traditional Chinese Paper-Cut to teach them the name of animals. Some time ,I tell them how to say twelve months in English by showing a calendar. I thought having class with some real things is very helpful to stimulate students to learn. As for those youngest students, I read the English books for them. I have taken many poster cards from China as prizes for those active students. Every time when I see the happy face smiling to me, I felt really delighted.

Most of the students in school never used computer before, so I have to teach them how to turn ob the computer, how to click the mouse and how to type. Children can learn it very fast, and I try to make my class high-efficiency. The youth in Cameroon may not have good condition to learn computer, especially those poor children and orphans. So it’s definitely important to insist on this computer lesson to help young people to understand new science.

I lived with the schoolmaster of ICI, who has 7 children. In this big family, I always feel new experience of life. I play with them, help them to do housework, share and exchange cultural things with each other. On the last day, David and his children show his farm with me. I have seen many novelty plants in his garden. I cut plaintain, bananas, cassava and coconut and so on. It’s a memorable life in my Africa family, and I will always value this period of time.

21 days flew away quickly. I will go back to China soon. I love the kids in my school, I love my host family, I love Cameroon.

 

 

Johann SPECHT

GERMANY

 

 

July 2016

 

 


My name is Johann, and I came from Germany to Cameroon in the context of an AIESEC Volunteer project. My task was to give young children free classes in English, in German, and in Math in their summer holidays.
The day I arrived in Cameroon, I suddenly noticed that I did not know much about in which institution I was going to start, with what kind of work and what my living situation would be like. After these inquiries Aimé, the Aiesec coordinator responsible for me, took me to David’s Noula School. I was lucky, as it turned out to be a time I will never want to miss. Although I only had two weeks of time to spend with the children – the rest of the program was scheduled to take part in Douala - it feels like much longer. I will never forget the core of my small class, consisting of my pupils David, Ashley and Megan, who together with me hopefully learnt a lot: I did at least, by speaking a mixture of French and English. The children maybe also did, on the one hand because they did speak the same diverse mixture, but on the other hand because we did many things together that seemed to be interesting to them, such as how to handle Computers, listening to the tales of Grimm, and some basic German phrases. On the most important topic to me we did unfortunately not spend much time: Environmental studies. I would have liked to draw more of the pupil’s attention to the problem of trash in Cameroonian cities:
This though confronted me with one serious problem I encountered during my stay in Noula, which was maybe the huge age different among students or the different perception of Cameroonian students and German students of the task that an authority has. Firstly, young students were bored because they could not concentrate for longer periods of time. Older ones were bored because the classes were too easy. I was left in a sometimes extremely unproductive general class-mood which made it impossible to convoy a clear message, that is: do not throw trash away and try to use as little plastic as possible. Secondly, I could have done so by forcing this message in, as I think pupils sometimes expected me to speak up a bit harsher. But I generally prefer to make the students find the solutions more on their own, not by me forcing them to remember something that I gave them.

Then there were some manual works around the school compound that I did. This included above all the painting of a part of the front wall of the school towards the road. Because of my short stay of two weeks, proper fundraising was difficult and not as successful on the large scale. But I did some material donations which I hope will last for some while.

I hope that David will keep up his strong efforts of leading the school as successfully in helping especially poor families to have access to classes. I also strongly wish that the school with FAPEFE remains integrated a network as international, of which from Germany and the Netherlands I will certainly be a part. This seems like an efficient and long term way to exchange knowledge and experience, and to in the first place seek improvements for children that need help.

Best, Johann. When I come back to Cameroon, we will meet again.

Audrey Laïrle

FRANCE

Décembre 2016

 


Bonjour,
Je m'appelle Audrey, je viens de France où j' exerce le metier d'infirmière puéricultrice (specialisee chez les enfants..).
En cette fin d'annee 2016, je suis venue passer 2mois au Cameroun en tant que volontaire...d'abord en brousse puis sur Yaounde...
Suite à un partenariat avec Fance Volontaire, j'ai été orientée vers l'école Noula pour mes 2dernieres semaines au Cameroun.
Dans un premier temps, j'ai pu dispenser des causeries educatives aux eleves de chaque classe,dans le domaine de la santé,et plus précisément sur les soins d'hygiène, les premiers soins de secours,le brossage des dents,le lavage des mains...
Puis, la fête de Noël de l'école approchant, j'ai participé aux activités de preparation de celle-ci .(décorations, spectacles, danses,chants..),notamment dans la classe de Candice, institutrice de de la grande section de maternelle.

Je souhaite remercier tous les enseignants de l'ecole Noula,ainsi que les membres de la ditection pour m' avoir accueillie aussi chaleureusement au sein de leur équipe..
Un grand remerciement plus particulier à l'équipe des institutrices de maternelle avec qui jai partagé la majeure partie de mon temps...et qui aura fait de mon passage une  expérience haute en couleurs...:Candice,Marilyne, Appolonie, Léonie, Rosie,Solange ,Estrella..
Et enfin un gros clin d'oeil et un immense merci à Candice pour m'avoir prise sous son aile...elle a su m'ouvrir la porte de sa classe et,au travers de  ses élèves, me faire decouvrir les coutumes locales.. Merci à elle pour sa joie de vivre et sa bonne humeur!

Bonne continuation à vous tous ,et bonnes fêtes de fin d'annee 2016!!
Audrey.

 

These other people have been volunteers  at FAPEFE/NOULA School:

2006 - Enike (Dutch), Laura Botch (Dutch), Pinarg (Austrian)

2010 - Robin Pitt (English)

2010-2011 - Maarten Waterman (Dutch)

2010-2011 - Angela Kusters (Dutch)

2011-2011 - Georges Jodocy (Luxembourg)

2011-2011 - Oshima Yoshihito, Ko Yamashita (Japan)

2011-2011 - Helene Bevort (Dutch)

2011-2011 - Marzia de Lorenzo, Elisabetta Carpino (Italy)

2011-2011 - Sun Xio Fei, Hu He (China)