"It was ... so incredible to see how happy it made them."
The Central African nation of Cameroon is home to nearly 1,800 unique linguistic groups, beautiful beaches and mountain regions, and one of the highest school attendance rates in all of Africa. With higher than average literacy rates and an burgeoning population of refugee families fleeing the neighboring Central African Republic, Cameroon has become a microcosm of the continent it inhabits, surprising visitors with its wealth of diversity. In Lebock Village, that distinct brand of melding culture and education is particularly apparent.
Recently, Random Acts had the chance to contribute to and connect with the people of Lebock Village on an especially memorable scale. Random Acts Destination Projects Manager Tracy Liu, who was scheduled to visit family in the region that month, first proposed a novel act of kindness back in March, after discussing the notion of a sponsored project with her uncle, who is from the area himself. Eventually, they were able to compile a list of a few necessary items.
First on the list? “Instruments for the marching band, which serves the whole village,” Tracy noted. While the band did have its own instruments at the time, they were worn to death and in poor condition. Random Acts happily supplied the group with new instruments, including three side drums, a bass drum, two trumpets, one trombone, one baritone, and one set of clapping cymbals — all of which were gratefully and excitedly received.
“We presented everything to the highest chief,” Tracy said later. “[…] You should have seen them. As soon as we took out the first drum, the whole town went nuts. They started shouting, playing everything, singing, dancing […] It was crazy, and so incredible to see how happy it made them.”
Next on the list: A generator to provide electricity to the school. While Cameroon itself brags of higher than average school attendance rates, having no electricity in the school certainly puts a damper on things. Random Acts then supplied funding, thanks to its incredible supporter and donor base, to purchase a laptop computer for the school as well, “to introduce the kids to computers, because most of them have never seen one before,” Tracy explained.
In the end, the project was such a success that the village ended up requesting further aid, which Random Acts was more than happy to provide. By supplying zinc tiles and funding to replace it’s unfinished predecessor, Tracy, her uncle, and the village of Lebock, along with Random Acts, were able to finish the roof on the town’s only church, which, as Tracy described, is used “regularly, even in the rain.”
“The ceremony [they threw for us, the guests] was nuts,” Tracy joked afterward. “They made me a queen! [In the future], we’ll see if there’s anything we can do… especially since they’re my people now, right?”
Check out footage of Tracy’s trip to Lebock Village and the items Random Acts was able to sponsor below: