Helah Robinson

Helah Robinson (Vital Voices in Cameroon): Helah did her undergraduate degree at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She graduated in 2009. During her studies, Helah studied in Dakar, Senegal for five months, traveled to Guinea and the Gambia and volunteered with the African Assembly for the Defense of Human Rights (RADDHO) in 2008. She also interned with Vital Voices Global Partnership. After her fellowship, Helah wrote: “As cliché as it sounds, this summer was truly a life changing experience. I learned not only new skills and how to work in varying environments, but much about myself as well. How I interact with people, work best with others and more. Furthermore, in a more practical sense, I had no video, editing, much interviewing or blogging experience before this summer. Now, I have developed those skills in addition to experience working abroad and more practice in a foreign language. I feel I am more capable, confident and equipped to do real substantial work.”



And So it Begins!

27 May

It hasn’t really hit me yet that I’m going  to West Africa or that I’ll be there for three months. The closer departure dates comes, however, the more real it becomes and the more nervous I get.

Douala, Cameroon

Cameroon

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, planning and travel. During the hustle of graduation, moving out and making last min visits, I have also been in the last phases of confirming the logistics of the upcoming trek to Cameroon. Buying the ticket, talking to on-site contacts, securing a visa and lodging in Douala… most of which I have at least a handle on. But it wouldn’t be worth it without some last minute confusion, right?

I’d like to thanking you for all of your support and generosity. You’ve been so wonderful and I know you’ll keep me going all summer! While it hasn’t quite sunk in just yet, I can’t explain how excited I am to begin working in Cameroon. I’ll be traveling with another AP Peace Fellow, Johanna Paillet, and we will be splitting our time between two Vital Voices sponsored NGOs in Douala. The first half of the summer will be with the Sandaga Market Women’s Association (AMA), an organization committed to the promotion and advocacy of an improved taxation framework and HIV/AIDS sensitization for women in the market place. We will be working with Nku’mu Fed Fed for the second half, a program devoted to breaking cultural barriers and misconceptions of HIV/AIDS and advancing disease awareness.

Having worked with Vital Voices Global Partnership, a women empowerment and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., since October, I have heard about the progress AMA and Nku’mu Fed Fed have made in Cameroon from a distance. Now I have the opportunity to go work in the field with people I have only read about, and I can’t wait!

Posted By Helah Robinson

Posted May 27th, 2009

6 Comments

  • Helah Robinson

    June 4, 2009

     

    :)Thanks so much Laura! We arrived yesterday, spent all day today with Eric in the market and we’re meeting Kah tomorrow! Working on the next post–need to make sure it’s up to par.

  • eric dufosse

    June 8, 2009

     

    I am so glad to see a young person like you, smart and very talented, to be so dedicated to a noble cause like this. We are very proud of you and will be please to read fro myou. I am sure it will be a wonderfull experience for you and your contribution will be great.
    Cheers

    eric

  • lori coleman

    June 16, 2009

     

    i am living vicariously through your travels!
    love all that you’ve written so far – would love to hear about your first day there…where you’re living, what you’re eating….
    am learning so much…keep it up!
    be safe, be wise….
    you are awesome helah!
    love,
    lori jane coleman

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