In order to wrap up the month-long celebration of the 2022 international day of the girl child coupled with its 10th anniversary, Plan International Cameroon organized a girls’ takeover activity in the ministry of external relations on Wednesday, 16th November 2022.
Marie-Rose Atangana Bella, a 16-year- old student at the Okola technical high school situated in the outskirts of Yaounde, precisely in the Lekie division of the Center region of Cameroon has been chosen by Plan International as the 2022 Girls Takeover champion to fill in the shoes of Director of the United Nations and decentralized cooperation in the Ministry of External Relations.
The female student mentored by Plan International Cameroon was welcomed in Yaounde by Mr. Bien-Aimé Johnson, Country Director, and later on in the office of the Director of the United Nations and decentralized cooperation, His Excellency Ebenezer Mouandjo where she held a meeting with her various collaborators.
Marie-Rose for close to 30 minutes reviewed files of the ongoing COP-27 taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt; current issues at the department of the United Nations and decentralized cooperation and ended discussions with the Girls Takeover initiative.
The young student studying food and nutrition in the class of “Premiere”, francophone sub-system education was warmly applauded for her dynamism and bravery, as she was able to play the role of director with a lot of serenity.
As one of those championing the rights of the girl child in Cameroon notably in her community, Marie-Rose said this exercise was of great importance for her who believes in female leadership.
His Excellency Ebenezer Mouandjo, Director of the United Nations and decentralized cooperation said: “My impressions are really great because to be the representative of the Minister of external relations in this occasion gives me the opportunity to portray the strong commitment of the ministry alongside the government as a whole in order to point out the advocacy of the girls’ right in our country. And as recalled during the discussion that we are celebrating this year the 10th anniversary of this day of the girl child and so ten years ago the United Nations took that commitment to work with Member States to foster and promote the rights of the girl child…”
The Diplomat equally praised the bravery of the young girl who to him is a good example of female empowerment and clearly shows the need to invest in the girl child.
The Department of the United Nations and decentralized cooperation in the Ministry of External Relations is a broad office that has among others duties: relations between Cameroon and the United Nations; the coordination of multilateral cooperation between Cameroon and the United Nations System, in liaison with the other administrations concerned; the monitoring of activities and programs of the United Nations bodies and its specialized agencies; maintaining and updating the file of United Nations bodies and its specialized agencies; maintaining and updating the file of United Nations Member States; monitoring cooperation with decentralized entities, non-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations; research and exploitation of employment opportunities with a view to Cameroonian access to the UN Public Service and the periodic evaluation of Cameroon’s cooperation with the United Nations.
Taking part in this Girls’ takeover activity was equally the staff of Plan International Cameroon led by Mr. Fagnon Paul, Head of Programs who represented the Country Director.
Girls Takeover Initiative
The initiative launched worldwide in 2016 by Plan International is a call to action for radical social and political change to tear down barriers of discrimination and prejudice that continue to hold girls back.
Plan International equally states that, through this exercise, hundreds of girls step into the roles of leaders for a day to demand equal power, freedom, and representation for girls and young women. Through the Girls Takeover, young girls occupy spaces where they are rarely seen or heard, making it clear they have the right to be there without being silenced or ignored.