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At 2013 Convention: WICUDA-USA Revs Up Dev 

By a Correspondent — Fired up by their zeal to help improve conditions of the population back home, members of the Wimbum Cultural and Development Association in the United States (WICUDA-USA) recently raised 28,000 dollars (over 13 million FCFA) to fund development projects.

WICUDA-USA delegates at the 2013 Covention

This amount, raised at this year’s WICUDA-USA annual convention that held on May 25, adds to 16,000 dollars (about 8 million FCFA) that was raised last year to finance sanitation projects in Mbum land, making a total of over 21 million FCFA in development aid in barely two years. Most of Donga Mantung Division is Mbum land. An ecstatic Oliver Tangiri, President of WICUDA-USA, told The Post after the fund-raising, one of the key activities at the annual convention in New England-USA, that he was proud of the commitment of his kin to charity and development ideals.
“I am very impressed that our members always rise to the occasion whenever there is a need for us to contribute our widow’s mite to assist our brothers and sisters back home,” Tangiri said. “This year, the response has been overwhelming. But we are just getting started. We intend to raise even more funds in the future.”
In a highly anticipated speech in the convention hall, where delegates from all over the U.S. and Canada gathered, Tangiri called for generous contributions, an appeal that was largely heeded. He, however, noted that they need credible partners back in Cameroon to leverage the development projects that they fund. In that light, he urged the Cameroon national leadership of WICUDA to step up their game and give them the necessary support and encouragement, especially in the area of project supervision.
Taking up the challenge, WICUDA President General Henry Shey, who made an unprecedented trip all the way from Cameroon for the convention, promised closer coordination between the mother organisation and WICUDA-USA. Shey received plaudits when he announced that his presence was the beacon of a new era of collaboration, adding that his executive will henceforth closely supervise projects funded by WICUDA-USA in Cameroon.
Still on the development front, the Wimbum Community Foundation (WCF), an organisation that has executed projects on the ground in Donga Mantung Division, made an expose on their experiences in order to share lessons learned with WICUDA-USA. Incidentally, the founders of the not-for-profit development organisation are also members of WICUDA-USA. It is expected that the two organisations will henceforth work in synergy.
Apart from being an annual convention, the occasion also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the official launching of WICUDA-USA, making it an important milestone and a historic moment, the organisations’s President enthused. In that light, Tangiri called for renewed commitment and sacrifice by both the executive and ordinary members of the association.
He noted that as WICUDA-USA is a charity, the leadership must sacrifice time and personal resources to advance the organisation’s mission, and their only reward is the appreciation of members and the thousands of people whose lives their work helps improve. Delegates were also proud that the 10th anniversary witnessed the highest WICUDA-USA annual convention turnout ever.
Equally speaking about the strides made by the organisation, Fon Kennedy Nganjo, one of the prominent Donga Mantung traditional rulers present, commended the current WICUDA-USA leadership for bringing the Wimbum family in the U.S. together. He exhorted members to continue supporting the executive.
A landmark achievement at the convention, by the account of several delegates who spoke to us, was wide-ranging constitutional reforms that are intended to oil the operational machinery of WICUDA chapters in the U.S., facilitate collaboration between the chapters, and ensure the channelling of efforts towards common goals between the chapters and umbrella organisation.
Another subject of pride to convention delegates was good organisation, which the President of WICUDA-USA attributed to highly committed and inspired national and host-chapter planning committees. Much of the convention was punctuated by cultural displays, which added to the festive mood and fervour that straddled the occasion.
First published in The Post print edition no 01437

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