We did it again! For fourth year in a row, we visited Africa in search of new, solidary and sports adventures. This time, the chosen country was Cameroon, also known as Little Africa, due to its both geological and cultural diversity. Beaches, deserts, mountains, wild forests and savannah. All in just one country.
To what sport concerns, it has been the African country taking part in more football World Championships ever. Super high-quality players such as Samuel Eto’o or Roger Milla, as well as the legendary goalkeeper Thomas N’Kono, who is still living and working in our country as the RCD Español’s goalkeepers’ coach.
On 9th April 2017, an expedition of 30 people set off towards Cameroon, where the most important media of its capital city, Yaundé, were looking forward to our arrival. After a crowded press conference in front of the main local TV stations, it was time to train and get used to the wet weather typical of the region. 11th April, the so looked forward to date, had finally arrived. We were playing against the Yaoundé Dragons, who were in second place in the Cameroon football League. After 60 minutes playing, the score was a wonderful 1-1. Eventually, the physical superiority of the Africans was evident, leading them to a final 5-1 victory. However, as always, the score was not the most important thing we had been looking for. Once again, we got back home with a memorable experience.
With this trip, we have broken all our own records. Thanks to the solidarity of associates, friends and companies settled in the Vallès Oriental region, we raised nearly €10,000 for the wonderful project that the Catalan NGO Insolàfrica is carrying out in a town called Kribi: the building of a library at the town’s Nursery School.
We must highlight the fact that we were able to carry 700 kilos of school and sports material, split between the children from Kribi and the Yaoundé Dragons feeder team.
No doubt, a key moment of the trip was the instant we set up the first stone of the library which is going to me named after our Club.
Kids from the NGO welcomed us with songs and typical dances of the region. They were mad about meeting us and playing with us. That was a really moving moment.
Besides the above-mentioned situations, another very special moment was when we gave several children from the NGO Insolàfrica some copies of our book Jan’s dream. They could have fun with it and paint its black-and-white illustrations. Among many other initiatives, this book helped us raise money for the construction of the library.
But this is far to have been our last stop in our African adventure. We are already thinking about what our next destination will be next year. Each and every of these experiences have been really magical. They have enriched us not only as human beings, but also as a Club.
We have got good news from Cameroon. Half a year after our visit to the country, we get some pictures showing the progresses they have achieved with the materials we brought them during our stay in April.
We gave our friends from the Etetack neighbourhood -in Yaoundé’s up-town- sets of T-shirts, balls and other stuff they have used to create a youth team academy that embraces children and teenagers. The team, called Ramassa Espoir Etetack, is in full performance and has taken part in some summer tournaments. The team is currently in the way to enrol the Cameroon Youth Football League.
If we talk about their future careers, A.E. Ramassà’s help will let them supervise the boys and girls’ formation in fields like IT, mechanics, breeding, etc.
Our cooperation has also contributed to a social awareness, organizing sensitivity sessions and educational talks for the young, helping them to discover the Ubuntu concept.
In the sphere of culture they have created a theater and dance company: the “Compagnie Ramassa”, where they teach children to practice the traditional African dance and also contemporary dance. Children also learn music (in concrete, percussion) and theater, always related to the Ubuntu ideology, a philosophy of life created by Desmond Tutu, oriented to people’s loyalty and the relationship between them.
Here are some of the images of the group’s rehersals:
A.E. Ramassà’s theatre company is dealing with a very encouraging project. The association will organise a solidary cultural evening event to raise funds that will be used to develop a water source for the inhabitants of Etetack neighbourhood and to give their children the chance to celebrate Christmas with toys and new dresses.
On 20th December, there will be a life performance of contemporary dance, traditional music -percussion and drums- and songs. Some international artists will join the event, such as artist, choreographer, dancer, drummer and playwriter Mr. Tiomela Dany Stéphane, who is responsible for Cie RAMASSA Cultura.
Just for you to know, Etetack is in the north outskirts of Yaoundé. This is a cosmopolitan and heterogenous neighbourhood. It is known by the humbleness of its buildings and the low purchasing power of its inhabitants. 75% of the houses are built with low-quality materials and one of their main problems is the lack of potable tap water.
The area does not have a complete drinkable water supply, what makes its price go up for the citizens. This makes most of them go into the woods and fetch water coming down from the mountains. This is hard work as there is usually a lot of people at the point where water can be collected, and long queues are formed, needing to be there for hours to get just a tin can or a bottle of mountain water.
In addition, we must be aware that the place where water is collected is quite unhealthy as the pipes and tools used to direct and collect it are made of improvised materials. The aim of the cultural evening is to set up and clean up this drinkable water collecting point to guarantee some health standards for the Etetack neighbours.