Monica Chow has been a volunteer with the International Children’s Awareness (ICA) since 2019 helping the organization with social media management, and taking photos and videos. Born and raised in Ottawa, Monica is a Senior Project Officer for the Government of Canada with a background in business. Prior to her current position she worked in project management, government administration and high profile agency wide committees.
She learned about the ICA from a co-worker whose son visited Cameroon a few years ago and it turns out that her union – the Public Service Alliance of Canada is affiliated with the ICA and sponsors a board member annually.
Monica felt that the fit would be right to volunteer for a smaller NGO (non-governmental organization) focused on basic human needs, such as education and clean water. She realized that she is very fortunate to live in Canada and wanted to help those, who are less fortunate. Monica also appreciates that all ICA board members are volunteers unlike the bigger NGOs.
Monica was offered the opportunity to visit Cameroon in 2019, and she took it. She witnessed firsthand some of the ICA projects, including the Rainbow Bilingual College and Lycée de Litieu where more classrooms were built. These two schools and many others are in Dschang – an area heavily impacted by the displacement of people from the south west region. During this trip, Monica and the ICA delegation brought over 1,500 pairs of eyeglasses to donate and held a pop-up eye clinic.
Monica was truly amazed by her experience in Cameroon. She especially felt honoured to visit the schools and spend time with the students. “Seeing this developing country where people live with the bare minimum while being so kind and happy humbled me,” she said.
She believes that water and education are the foundations to help any economy improve and potentially thrive on its own. “Without these fundamental pillars, Cameroon will not only remain in poverty, but will never be able to self-sustain and will always rely on outside help,” she said. Monica hopes that the ICA can help change this reality in the long run.
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