“It would have to be Christmas Day,” Ngang Ernest Che says, recalling his most beloved childhood memory. “There was so much good food, everyone was nicely dressed. It was a celebration.”
Ngang, now the founder of Green Skills Africa, an organization aimed at training young leaders to be financially independent, is working to create a more sustainable future for all young adults across Cameroon.
“I got interested in financial development in 2015 when I began job searching,” Ngang says. “I saw around me in Mutengene food insecurity, theft, and other issues, and decided: I want to be the change. I could be a job creator for myself.”
In his work with Green Skills Africa, Ngang is helping young leaders to both prepare for the future and address long-standing social and economic issues.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ngang also began training young leaders to make their own hand sanitizers.
“So far, 50 people have benefited from these trainings,” Ngang says. “We’re also sharing accurate information about the virus and how to slow its spread. It takes persistence to change minds, but it’s worth doing; it’s the only way to keep ourselves and our communities safe.”
For Ngang, one of the most pressing challenges he faced in launching his organization was winning the support of others.
“At first, people didn’t believe in what I was doing,” Ngang says. “But I overcame that through persistence. I kept at it and, soon, others could see the benefits. Then the love and support kept increasing.”
In moments of challenge, Ngang reminds himself of his interest, first and foremost, in serving others.
“Don’t give up. Instead, do everything you can to put a smile on someone’s face,” Ngang says.
As he sees it, this posture is rooted not in seeking the approval of others, but rather in a desire to bring them along, to share his passions more broadly.
“Don’t see challenges as impossibilities,” Ngang says. “See them as opportunities and as lessons to learn.”
In his own work, Ngang hopes to one day start a training center for young adults to help them create new jobs and a more sustainable future.
“Service to humanity is the best work in the world,” Ngang says. “And unless you help others succeed, you won’t succeed.”
Interested in Ngang’s work? Learn how you can serve your community on our YALIServes page.
The views and opinions expressed here belong to those interviewed and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.