Like most youths of my generation, after High School, studying courses like banking and finance, marketing or accounting amongst others were my immediate career choice, with the hope of securing a white-collar job in future. I later realised that realising my career dreams through such option, was only an illusion in Cameroon, as thousands of bankers and accountants are graduated every year and the number of jobs available are limited.
With such a thought, I was caught in a mesh, not having any clear idea of which career path to take. In the midst of this, I came across a friend, who told me about the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies. The training programmes caught my attention and I decided to follow up and attend their orientation and counselling sessions. The orientation gave me the courage and imporance of being an entrepreuneur and how the training programmes can make you „be your own boss“. My own definition i had of being an entrepreuneur was for you to have a very large and big enterprise which interms require much money to start up. But i was told that not everything big started big, you can start up from small and with time you may go bigger than you ever expected.
With this motivation, I enrolled into the Institute to study Agroforestry Management. While studying at the Institute, my eyes were opened to several opportunities to attend workshops and seminars nationally and internally. In fact, I was already making plans to start applying and taking part in these seminars, when financial constraints hit me. My sponsor said there were no funds to carter for my tuition and training needs. Being an orphan, the only option was to drop out of school. At state of dilemma, the President of ERuDeF Institute, Mr. Louis Nkembi, offered me a tuition free scholarship for the rest of my undergraduate studies. This was a heaven-sent opportunity! With this scholarship, I was able to bounce back and continue with my training; a training that took me to some of the most renowned training centres like the Institute of Research and Agricultural Development in Ekona and AGRO-COMPLEX Mambu-Bafut for internship. Through the training and internships, I have gained skills undergratrmizolarship that permizrough will to reach the on how to go about starting up a small business in the area of agroforestry. In fact, I have actually set up a propagator with plantain combs that have produced over 2000 plantain seedlings which is being sold at FCFA 150 per seedling.
I am very grateful to God for the decision I made enrolling to this Institute. I truly lack words to express my gratitude to the Management of ERuDeF Institute, most especially the President, Mr. Louis Nkembi.
By Osayo Leaticia
Final Year Agroforestry Student, ERuDeF Institute