As Back to School Week wraps up after a series of great events in Togo, Liberia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon, I spoke to Melki from JumpStart Academy who ran the campaign in Cameroon, about what impact the campaign had had in Cameroon and his thoughts about alumni engagement in the country.
For Melki, the best thing about the campaign was ‘the enthusiasm with which the students and headteachers of Cameroon welcomed the idea, and the fact that it is the first time such an event has been help in all the schools we went to.’
This campaign was the first of its kind in Cameroon and it was clear that the idea had been enthusiastically received. The campaign ran in six schools round the country but Melki points out there is already a great amount of interest from schools around getting involved next year: ‘we have had calls from other schools who want to have us [run the campaign there] next year, and we have also had alumni forming partnerships with schools… Having alumni support their alma mater is a great initiative and we encourage schools to open up to their alumni and organisations which support them with this.’
One of the key outcomes of Back to School Week is to engage alumni with giving back to their school, and to spread the word about the amazing things alumni can do. This has been extremely successful in Cameroon, with alumni really investing in support of their school. One example is that of Momo Bertrand, who runs his own online marketing firm, and who had taken the alumni pledge to offer internships within his company.
Melki says that they found students really connecting with the alumni from their schools, and that the campaign also provided alumni with a chance to thank their teachers and support their schools to in a variety of ways.
His advice to alumni? ‘Alumni in Cameroon and all over the world [need to] find time and go back to your alma mater and do something for your school!’
To get in involved, visit www.myalumnipledge.org.