Earth Charter Youth Group of the Month: D’ Girls Initiative


The Earth Charter Youth Group of the Month recognition in February goes to the Rural Women Development Center (RUWDEC) in Cameroon. RUWDEC is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is committed to improving the lives of communities by promoting sustainable development.

“RUWDEC promotes and supports women empowerment, community health development and management, economic empowerment of vulnerable groups, wealth creation, environmental conservation and natural resource management, training and advocacy.”

One of the current projects of RUWDEC is the D’ GIRLS INITIATIVE – “Transforming and inspiring young girls in Cameroon.” This is an afterschool-mentoring program that helps young women between the ages of 10 and 19 to become change makers by inspiring, encouraging, and educating them in our community. This program will enable these young women to improve their leadership skills, share their experiences with each other, meet and interact with pro-active leaders of the community, and “create a solid network of young ladies.”

D’ GIRLS INITIATIVE project leader, Nelly-Shella Tchaptcheut Yonga graduated from Earth Charter International’s most recent online YOUTH LEADERSHIP, SUSTAINABILITY AND ETHICS course organized in partnership with Youth Action for Change. This course took place in September and October in 2012. The graduates were required to turn in a proposal of a project that was going to take place after the course and be implemented by course graduates.

The D’ GIRLS INITIATIVE upholds values that serve as great examples for other organizations and individuals all over the world. Here is a great one: “Educating a girl is giving her an opportunity to contribute to the development of our community because investing in girls is investing in a nation.”

Relatively simple, yet essential expectations were established by the girls participating in the workshops: “Teach us how to build our self-esteem”, “bring out the talents in me” and “build up courage so as to face life challenges.” These expectations show how important it is to ensure that women around the world are encouraged to be active citizens and take charge of our shared planet we call earth.

Leke Solange (left photo), a student participating in the D’ GIRLS INITIATIVE, shares her experiences about the initiative: “I think this program is very educati and also very important because I now know my limits, my talents, and weaknesses.  It is a great program and I will say I am privileged to be a part of it.”

You can help D’ GIRLS INITIATIVE to empower other young women, like Leke, by making a donation on Earth Charter’s partner 1% CLUB’s website here.

If you want to learn more about RUWDEC, you can go to their website.

Don’t forget to check out their Earth Charter Youth Group wikispaces page!

Earth Charter International would like to congratulate RUWDEC and Nelly-Shella for all of her efforts and encourage our Earth Charter Youth Groups around the world to keep up the great work and let us know more about your activities and projects (you can send your updates to [email protected]) ! Don’t forget to also update your wikispace pages so that others can learn and continue to be inspired by YOU to take actions towards building a more just, sustainable and peaceful world!

Who knows, your group could be the next featured ECYG showcased on our website!