28 September 2008

CAMEROON : Youths Receive Basketball, Leadership Training

A non-profit making organisation, Kossengwe has trained over 50 youths in basketball in a one week camping that took place at the Presidential Guard Sports Complex, Yaounde. The youths came from Nigeria, Chad, Gabon and Cameroon. The youths were schooled on leadership skills and the dangers of contracting the HIV/IIDS.

The Washington-based organisation, through the Yaounde workshop sought to transmit important messages that could positively affect youths around the world through these selected teenagers.

The workshop participants were students who have distinguished themselves in their various schools in both academics and in basketball. According to the organisers of the workshop, the guidance would ignite a spirit of leadership in the youths. After training them, the organisers believed, the youths would disseminate the lessons to their brothers and sisters in their respective villages.

The exercise, organisers said, was an opportunity for the participants to gain scholarships to study in the USA. The organisation, they said, has sponsored 30 youths who have studied in the United States.

Commenting on the choice of the venue of the camping, Joe Touomou, the founder and promoter of Kossengwe who is also the coach of the National Basketball Association, NBA, said the Presidential Guard Sporting Complex was chosen so as to ensure that the youngsters involved in the exercise and the entire team of Kossengwe is secured. He added that the complex offers good play grounds.

Kossengwe is working in partnership with Hope4Africa, another organisation with similar objectives. Its assistant organiser, Sookie Som, said her organisation has embarked on the sharing of knowledge to youths so they could take it to remote areas and promote wide awareness on the strengths of leadership and the vices of HIV/AIDS.

Sookie revealed that it is the first time they are organising the camping to train youths in Africa and Cameroon in particular.Kossengwe, it should be noted, was born some five years ago and the idea came from a group of basketball players at Essos, Yaounde under the leadership of Joe Touomou.

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