This July 2020, Afro Real Initiative (AFREIN) spotlights FORSI Ferdinand, from Cameroon: a 20-year old, impactful, and community-driven leader, with a very compassionate heart portrayed through his strong passion for educating youths in crisis-stricken zones.
Be inspired to aspire, as you go through this phenomenal profile.
Who is FORSI Ferdinand?
FORSI is a high school graduate currently in his gap year. His journey officially began in 2016, when the sociopolitical crisis started in his home country, Cameroon. Schools were closed down and the level of insecurity kept on increasing. But, FORSI was rather motivated to start taking part in little community services, like community water projects, around him.
Later, he joint Open Dreams and made a big move by traveling to Bafut with a team of students from the University of McGill, Canada, to volunteer at the Eco-village, for the Education Design project.
In his quest to impact his community, FORSI developed a strong passion for education.
After his volunteer mission to Bafut, he moved to Yaoundé where he started The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Cameroon — which enabled him to offer 1,000 hours of tutorials to lower secondary school students, after their school lessons.
FORSI (at extreme right in all 3 pictures above), during the Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Summit, at Rwanda in 2018, convening over 150 delegates.
Photo Credit: FORSI Ferdinand.
FORSI also founded EduMail (Educational Mail) in 2019, a non-profit making organization with the mission of assisting needy students wherever they are on the African continent.
FORSI is motivated by the joy he sees when he aids someone, through his volunteering in different community outreaches.
He is also inspired when he sees how youths are transformed and encouraged to use their innate gifts to change their communities, no matter how small that may be.
FORSI is passionate about using education to design solutions to community problems, as a sustainable pathway to positive change.
FORSI enjoys dancing, listening to music, singing, and doing physical exercises and or sports.
Accolades, achievements and awards
FORSI is an alumnus and leader in several organizations and programmes that are impacting lives of people around him. He is an Open Dreams Scholar, and a Yale Young African Scholar Alumni Ambassador, 2018 Rwandan Session.
Through EduMail, he has assisted over 300+ students in the restive Anglophone (Northwest and Southwest) Regions of Cameroon who are being affected by the crisis, by providing them study materials. Currently, EduMail is running a campaign against violence in schools.
“I presently manage a team of about 60 youths…to accomplish EduMail’s mission”, FORSI disclosed.
“This serves as one of my biggest motivations”, FORSI stated.
The EduMail team at GBHS Etoug’Ebe, Yaounde, on a campaign against violence in schools, on February 21, 2020.
Photo Credit: EduMail.
FORSI and his team have visited 5 schools so far to campaign against violence in schools, and sensitized about 10,000+ students both on-campus and through online or social media platforms.
“I was recognized as a 2020 Global Teen Leader by ‘We Are Family Foundation’ in the U.S.”, FORSI revealed.
At press time, FORSI said that he was participating in the 2020 edition of Just Peace Summit, held online this year instead of at New York as usual, due to restrictions imposed by Covid-19. The summit this year recognized only 34 teenagers worldwide.
Moreover, he served as the master of ceremony for two of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards hosted in Cameroon, both at the British High Commissioner’s residence and at the National Museum.
Challenges, future projects, and the way forward
“My greatest challenge still remains effectively communicating with the students we are assisting in the crisis affected Regions [of Cameroon]”, FORSI regretted.
“Most of [the students] have no access to smart phones [and or] internet. So, we use normal text messaging for a few and the others, we get to them physically”, FORSI highlighted.
“Moreover, the insecurity made the task complicated”, FORSI lamented.
“But, our team has been doing their very best in getting to [the target population] using group work strategies. [That is, we use] normal messaging, which leads to physical meetings”, FORSI mentioned.
“We are working towards establishing a Moving Library project. That is, a revolving book system whereby, a network of students in need of textbooks can access the said textbooks, use them for an agreed period, and pass them on to other students. This will enable us to meet up with the full needs of students in a sustainable way”, FORSI uncovered.
“There won’t be a specific physical location, like a library structure. But, we are targeting the crisis zones, including the Northwest, Southwest, and Far North Regions of Cameroon”, FORSI asserted.
EduMail (in partnership with Science Catalysis), distributed some books to students in Buea, through school authorities.
Photo credit: FORSI Ferdinand.
Word of wisdom to the youth
“There is greatness in you. You can be the change you want to see. Stop complaining and start working”, FORSI admonished the youths.
“Use your EDUCATION to change your community. YOU’RE UNSTOPPABLE!!!”, FORSI emphasized.
You can contact FORSI or EduMail through the following online links: