Appointments and transfers in the Diocese of Kumbo

The Bishop of Kumbo, Mgr George Nkuo recently , made appointments and transfers of priests within the Kumbo Diocese. The appointments concern most parishes as well as schools. The transfers made by the Mgr George Nkuo come on the heels of those made by Mgr Immanuel Bushu of Buea Diocese and Francis Teke Lysinge of Mamfe. But who goes where and in what capacity?

Bishop George Nkuo appoints and transfers Decree No.KD/A-119/2008/3 ,


Kindly note the following transfers and appointments of priests in the Diocese of Kumbo.

1) Parishes:
Parish Personnel
1 Tobin Quasi Parish Fr. Aki ALOYSIUS Rector Fr. Augustine FOKA Curate
2 Mfumte Quasi Parish Fr. Roger NFOR Rector Fr. Edwin KINGA Curate
3 Jakiri Parish Fr. Hyacinth FORNKWA Curate
4 Ako Parish Fr. Bong EMMANUEL Parish Priest
5 Ndzevru Quasi Parish Fr. Omer SEVIDZEM Rector
6 Sabongari Parish Fr. Sylvester NGARBA Curate
7 Djottin Parish Fr. Polycarp YUKENG Curate
8 Kumbo Parish Fr. Isidore LAFON Curate
9 Nkor Parish Fr. Tobias NGAH Curate
10 Meluf Parish Fr. Evaristus KIVEN Curate
11 Mbve Parish Fr. Peter FOLENG Curate

2) Colleges:
1 St. Sylvester’s College – Sop Fr. Edwin KEWAI Principal
2 St. Augustine’s College – Kumbo Fr. Romanus KISI Chaplain
3 St. Peter’s College – Kumbo Fr. Peter FOLENG Chaplain
4 Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception – Kumbo Fr. Victor YUYAR Chaplain

3) Diocesan Services:
1 Bishop’s Secretary Fr. Gerald JUMBAM
2 Diocesan Coordinator of Mass Media (Radio Evangelium) Fr. Victor YUYAR
3 Diocesan Vocations Director Fr. Athanasius SANGNYUY
4 Diocesan Coordinator of Catechists Fr. Cyprian TATAH
5 Supervisor of Garage Fr. Isidore LAFON
6 Supervisors of Bookshop Fr. Edward LUKONG & Fr. Zephyrinus MBUH
7 Supervisor of Printing & Communications Centre Fr. Victor YUYAR

4) To Cameroon National Episcopal Conference – Yaounde
Fr. Robert TANTO Assistant Secretary General (CENC)

5) Going for Further Studies
1 Fr. Gordian BABA Pontifical Biblical Institute – Rome
2 Fr. Eugen NKARDZEDZE Catholic University of American Washington
3 Fr. Francis NDEY Catholic University of Yaounde – (UCAC)

The above appointments and transfers come into effect on the 23rd June 2008, unless otherwise indicated to you by the local ordinary. All those who are moving are expected to prepare handing over notes following the Diocesan Format available at the chancellery and a team will make a time-table indicating when the handing over exercise will take place.

We take the opportunity to thank each one of you for the services you have carried out so generously for the spread of the Gospel in our Diocese and we wish you all God’s choicest blessings in your new assignments. May our Lady of the Immaculate Conception guide and protect you as you daily give of yourselves in the service of his Son Jesus Christ.

+ George Nkuo
Bishop of Kumbo
May 23, 2008

Source: Kumbo Diocese and on
June 05

Over 100 students from colleges in Kumbo receive the Sacrament of Confirmation

By Emmanuel Wirndzerem

Confirmation_kumbo The Diocese of Kumbo continues to hold young
people in high esteem, following the integral position they hold in the church. To maintain this long standing tradition, a team coordinated by Rev. Sr. Rita of the St. Ann Community took time off during the 2007/2008 Academic Year to go round the various colleges in Kumbo and prepare students for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Photo: Mgr George Nkuo and the students

The solemn confirmation ceremony was celebrated on May 3, 2008, the feast of the apostles- Philip and James. Preaching on the occasion at the St. Theresa’s Cathedral in Kumbo, Bishop George Nkuo exhorted the confirmed students to emulate the example of the apostles, who through their preaching and teaching, made it possible for other Christians to experience Christ.

Thanking the students for choosing the Catholic Faith, the prelate prayed that the students should be able to live their Christian lives with conviction. Though receiving confirmation will not prevent them from sinning, the Bishop reminded them that Christ will from hence expect them to recognize him as their friend, the way, the truth and the light. It was in this light that the bishop challenged these students to adopt a different way of life in their different schools.

Though the receipt of Confirmation would mean strengthening and solidifying them in Christ Jesus, the prelate assured them of difficult moment to come as they fulfill their Christian obligations. It was on this note that Bishop George warned them against being easily discouraged. Other shortcomings, he noted, would be the fear to accept the truth and stand out different, accepting temptation and allowing themselves to be carried away by pride. By going around different schools to meet and prepare students for the sacrament, Sr. Rita explained, shows the commitment, care and concern the church holds for young people.

Many of these students have always missed the preparatory doctrine classes back in their villages because they are carried out when they are busy in school. Going to meet them in their schools therefore, give them the privilege to be treated equally as others in the church. Present at this ceremony were the principals of GBHS Kumbo, GHS Kikiakom, City College Kumbo, and GSS Shisong, who accompanied their students to be confirmed. Rev. Fr. Peter Watson and Edwin Kinga Boye concelebrated at the Mass.

June 05, 2008

Besuch einer Delegation aus Kamerun

Liebe Kamerun-Freunde,

im August 2008 kommen Alice Fanka Simoben und Michael Tanlaka aus unserer Partnergemeinde Djottin zu Besuch nach Unterliederbach und in unser Bistum.
Wir freuen uns, ihren Besuch Stück für Stück konkreter vorzubereiten.
Zu einem Vorbereitungstreffen möchten wir Euch/ Sie herzlich einladen.

Es findet statt am Dienstag, 3. Juni 2008 um 19.30 h in der Begegnungsstätte Altes Pfarrhaus, Königsteiner Str. 96, Frankfurt-Unterliederbach

Wir bitten um Entschuldigung wegen der sehr kurzen Einladungsfrist.
Aber auch diejenigen, die nicht dabei sein können, sind wichtig und wir möchten Dich/ Sie darum bitten, sich zu folgenden und eigenen Punkten Gedanken zu machen und Interesse an der Mitarbeit durch Rückantwort auf dieses Mail zu bekunden:

  • Unterkunftsmöglichkeiten für vier Wochen für die beiden Gäste (z.B. in 2-Wochen-Blöcken)
  • Programm/ Schwerpunkte
  • In der Gemeinde
  • In der Stadt
  • In der Region
  • Im Bistum
  • Begleitung durch den “Kulturschock” – z.B. durch einen Tagesverantwortlichen für jeden Besuchstag
  • Verpflegung
  • Verschiedenes
  • Wir freuen uns auf Deine/ Ihre Rückmeldung und sehen uns hoffentlich am Dienstag.

    Mit freundlichem Gruß

    für die Eine-Welt-Gruppe:

    Ulf Erdmann

    Bishop Nkuo inaugurates Nkambe Youth Centre.

    By Wamey Panky Bishopgeorgenkuo

    The Bishop of Kumbo, His Lordship George Nkuo, on April 27 inaugurated the Divine Mercy Youth Formation Centre Binshua in the Nkambe Quasi Parish. In his inaugural address the bishop said the Catholic Church focuses more attention on young people because they remain the pillars of tomorrow’s church. He said the centre is a pathfinder to a better future for Binshua youths.

    Mgr Nkuo added the centre will protect the youths from some societal ills that could distract and derail them from a responsible future. But that is not the sole purpose of the centre as Bishop Nkuo said, “The centre will also nourish the youths with God’s Word and improve on their faith in order to safeguard their souls from the claws and the snares of the devil.”

    Bishop George Nkuo challenged the youths of Quasi Parish and beyond to make extensive and intensive use of the centre. He reminded them that the structure and its content have not been put there for fancy, but for them to exploit properly. He told them that Nkambe Parish is the only parish to boast of a youth formation centre of such magnitude in Kumbo Diocese. He therefore called on them to use and maintain the centre jealously.

    The Divine Mercy Youth Formation Centre, worth FCFA 7 million, is a donation of the ICM Sisters, Nkambe Quasi Parish and some foreign donors. The Bishop thanked the ICM Sisters under the leadership of Rev. Sr. Josephine Hillary Jaya for the commendable efforts they have been making to improve on the spiritual, educational, health and even economic life of Nkambe people. He urged the elites of Binshua and its environs to equip the centre, reminding them that is was not only for Catholic youths but for all. Parents were also called upon to keep a close watch over the activities of the centre since youths cannot be allowed to run the centre on their own.

    The President of the Binshua Catholic youths, Mirabel Samba, on behalf of all youths thanked the reverend sisters for the centre. She promised that they would make the best use of it. She hinted that the ICM Sisters had started formation activities with them on medicinal plants and tailoring under the supervision of Sisters Aline and Caritas. Corroborating the Youth President, the chairman of the Binshua Mission Station Council, Captain Nforba Ngengeh Patrick, appreciated the development efforts of Rev. Sister Josephine Hilary Jaya in particular and ICM Sisters in general, citing the health and the professional training centres which the sisters have constructed.

    Rev. Sister Josephine Hilary Jaya, the project coordinator and her Diocesan Superior, Rev. Sister Rita de Swaef, thanked the Binshua people for their team spirit. They disclosed that the centre will carry out activities such as sewing, craft, computer studies, agriculture and carpentry. She explained the centre will also have a library. The four room structure already has benches, tables, chairs, cupboards, a sewing machine, a computer and some sports equipment.

    By Wamey Panky

    May 26, 2008

    Message of the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province to all the faithful about the project of a Provincial Catholic Radio Network

    By The Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda

    Bishops_bamenda_ecclesiastical_prov Dear brothers and sisters,

    1. The Lord Jesus “made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom” (Mt.9:35). After his resurrection from the dead he commissioned the disciples: “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation” (Mk 16:15). Following this command and in imitation of its Divine Founder the Church has continued to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God through the different aspects of its work of evangelization.

    In carrying out this task of proclaiming the Good News the Church has always endeavoured in every age to make use of the various means of social communication that are at her disposal. In fact, in the Decree of the Second Vatican Council on the Means of Social Communication it is clearly stated that the Church believes her “task involves employing the means of social communication to announce the good news of salvation and to teach men how to use them properly” (Decree on the Means of Social Communication, Inter Mirifica, n. 3).

    The Church and the Modern Means of Social Communication

    2. In the modern society the communication’s media play a major role in information, cultural promotion and formation. This role is increasing, as a result of technological progress, the extent and diversity of the news transmitted, and the influence exercised on public opinion (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.2493). We are all aware of the overwhelming influence that the television, the radio, the internet, the print media, the video and other forms of the communication’s media are exerting on us and especially on the young people.
    Since the Second Vatican Council the Church has issued many documents on Social Communication, stressing the importance of the mass media and the need for the local Churches not only to use but also to own and run various means of social communication. Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization in the Modern World emphatically states that “The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means that human skill is daily rendering more perfect” to evangelize (Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 45).

    3. One of the major topics of the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops was the Means of Social Communication. The Synod Fathers emphasized the urgency of the use of the means of social communication for the evangelization of Africa . This is what the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Church in Africa and its Evangelizing Mission towards the Year 2000, said in this regard: “Today the Church has at her disposal a variety of means of social communication, traditional as well as modern.

    It is her duty to make the best possible use of them in order to spread the message of salvation. In the Church in Africa many obstacles impede easy access to these means, not the least of which is their high cost. Moreover, in many places government regulations impose undue control on them. Every possible effort should be made to remove these obstacles. The media, whether private or public, should serve all people without exception. Therefore I invite the particular Churches of Africa to do everything in their power to meet this objective.” (Ecclesia in Africa , n. 125).

    The Situation in the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province

    4. The Church in the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province has been making some effort to use the means of social communication for evangelization. As far back as 1962 the then Diocese of Buea, which is co-terminal with the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province , established the Catholic Information Services.
    This consisted of a printing press, the publication of the Catholic Information Bulletin, now known as the Cameroon Panorama, and the production of radio programmes like Catholic Panorama and Catholic Meditation which were and are still broadcast through the Buea Provincial Radio Station of Cameroon Radio-Television (CRTV).
    The Archdiocese of Bamenda and the Dioceses of Kumbo and Mamfe also make use, in varying degrees, of the air time allotted them by the Cameroon Radio-Television and other private and community radios found in their respective localities. In general, all the dioceses of the Province are making an effort to establish pastoral commissions for Social Communication according to our Provincial Pastoral Plan.

    The Necessity of a Catholic Radio Station for the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province

    5. However, we think that this is not enough. It is necessary and urgent for our local Church to own and run her own means of social communication. In the past this has not been possible not only because of the high cost that it entails but also because of the government regulations. For some years now the Government of Cameroon has a new law on the media which liberalizes the media and makes it possible for communities and individuals to own and run private radio and television stations.
    There are a number of private radio and television stations now in Cameroon owned by individuals and some Christian Churches . The Archdioceses of Yaounde and Douala , for example, own and run radio stations which have proved to be very effective means of evangelization. It is about time that the Catholic Church in the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province should own and run its own Radio Station.

    Why a Radio Station?
    6. Among all the means of social communication the radio is the most popular, easily accessible and affordable by our people. Almost every family, even in the most remote village owns a radio set. This is because, from a practical point of view, there are very simple and cheap radio sets which are easy to operate and to maintain. But, above all, it is because the radio responds more to the African culture and traditional means of social communication.
    Ours is basically an oral tradition where history and important messages are communicated through narratives, story telling, oral composition, singing and dancing. A lot of importance is attached to the spoken word, which like the Word of God in the Bible, is considered to be alive and active (cf. Heb. 4:12), and especially when it is proclaimed viva voce. A lot of importance is equally attached to listening. Our people are better listeners than readers. This is evident from the number of Parish Newsletters that are sold in our Parishes on Sundays.

    7. As the Apostle Paul rightly and vividly puts it: “Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). The Sacred Scriptures were first proclaimed and handed down orally in the Christian community before they were put down in writing.

    8. The radio is therefore the most preferential and probably the most effective means of social communication for evangelization in Africa , where oral tradition is still very strong. Aware of this fact, the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), held in Lome, Togo from 22-29 July 1990, on the theme “Evangelization in Africa through the Communications Media”, affirmed, among other things, that “The Catholic Church should do everything in her power to establish and operate on the continent one or several networks which will be used to propagate the Good News, the Christian culture as well as the integral development of man.” (Final Communique of 9th Plenary Assembly of SECAM).

    The Bamenda Provincial Catholic Radio Network

    9. Convinced of the fact that the radio is the most effective means of social communication for evangelization, especially in the context of our local Church, we, the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province , have decided to establish a Provincial Catholic Radio Network (PCRN). The Project has been conceived in consultation and with the expert assistance of the Catholic Media Council (CAMECO) based in Aachen , Germany , which has a lot of experience in setting up Catholic radio stations in many local Churches in Africa .
    The network shall consist of radio studios in all the dioceses of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province , with one coordination centre. This Provincial Catholic Radio Network (PCRN) shall be owned by the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province . It shall be called RADIO EVANGELIUM.

    10. Its primary mission is to evangelize, that is, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn. 14:6). It shall contribute towards the liberation of the whole person by the promotion of human life, truth, justice and peace, as well as authentic moral values. Radio Evangelium shall be the voice of the poor and of the voiceless by proclaiming, like Jesus Christ himself, the Good News to the poor (cf. Lk. 4:18).

    11. Our desire is to have this radio network go fully operational by September 2009. We have already set up appropriate committees with timelines for this purpose and the project will soon be submitted to the competent government authorities for approval.

    The Urgent Need of Funds
    12. The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II regretted the fact that the Church in Africa cannot avail itself of the means of social communication which she badly needs for the work of Evangelization because of the high cost that this involves (cf. Ecclesia in Africa, n. 125). To establish and run a private radio is an expensive venture. It involves a lot of human and financial resources. Nevertheless, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, aware of the importance of the radio as an indispensable instrument of evangelization exhorts the Particular Churches in Africa to make every possible effort to remove these obstacles (cf. Ecclesia in Africa, n. 125).

    13. In order that the project of the Provincial Catholic Radio Network may succeed we need enough human and financial resources. We need finances for the appropriate infrastructure, for the purchase of the equipment, for the training of the personnel, for the production of the programmes and for the running of the studios.
    We need a minimum of about 200.000.000 (two hundred million) francs CFA for the initial expenditures in order to be able to launch the project. We want to count on the generosity of all the faithful and people of good will in and outside our Ecclesiastical Province in order not only to be able to raise this amount but also sufficient funds for the continuous running of the radio once it has been established.

    14. We have decided to start the fundraising for this project on Sunday, 4th May 2008, the 45th World Day of Communication. We request that on that day a special collection for this purpose be taken in all the parishes and institutions throughout the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province . Special appeals shall be made to the sons and daughters of our Ecclesiastical Province and to benefactors within and outside the Ecclesiastical Province .
    We earnestly appeal to all of you to donate generously and to make the necessary sacrifices in cash and in kind, so that this project which is so dear to all of us may see the light and become a complete success.

    15. We want to thank all of you in advance for your whole hearted support of the project. We know how much each of you cherishes it. We are immensely grateful to the members of the various preparatory committees, which have been constituted for this purpose, for making themselves available to render this service to our local Church.
    They have been working very hard and making enormous sacrifices in order that we may respect the timelines set for the execution of the project. So far they have been doing a commendable job. We call on all of you to give them the fullest support.

    16. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has declared a special year dedicated to St. Paul , the Great Apostle of the Gentiles. This year, the Pauline Year, will begin on Sunday, 29th June 2008 and run until 29th June 2009, Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul. St. Paul can rightly be considered the greatest communicator of the Good News. He tells us: “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16). Like him we must use every means available to us to proclaim the Good News to the people of our own time.

    The Radio is the privileged and indispensable tool of evangelization in the modern time. This is the mission that our Provincial Catholic Radio Network, which has been baptized as “Radio Evangelium”, is called to accomplish. Let us put all our hands on deck to make it a reality. May the Holy Spirit, the First Evangelizer, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, enlighten and guide us so that the project may become a great success. Given this day, 20th April 2008 5th Sunday of Easter.

    +Cornelius Fontem ESUA
    Archbishop of Bamenda

    +Immanuel Balanjo BUSHU
    Bishop of Buea

    +Francis Teke LYSINGE
    Bishop of Mamfe

    +George NKUO
    Bishop of Kumbo

    May 09, 2008

    „Melim has shown that it is possible to develop a new way of being Church,“ Mgr George Nkuo

    Interviewed by Livinus Tal Bam

    Bishopgeorgenkuo Since April 25, Kumbo Diocese has a new
    parish in Melim. After the High Mass celebrated to mark the event, L’Effort Camerounais talked to the Bishop of Kumbo, Mgr George Nkuo, to have an over all appraisal of the new pastoral landscape in Kumbo following the creation of the Melim Parish. Excerpts:

    My Lord, today marks another historic event in the life of the Church in Kumbo Diocese. What are your impressions after this celebration creating a new parish in Melim?

    I must say that I am deeply impressed by the turn out and the key event which we are marking today, the opening of a modern parish. Melim is a parish which lives after the great desires of the local Church. We are trying to look into the plight of this parish, whose idea of the new way of being church has started very well. It is really an occasion for us to celebrate and thank God for this wonderful gesture and for the positive response from the people of God to become the Church in a new way.

    What advantages will there be for Melim and its inhabitants now that it has become a parish?

    Well, a new parish is also a moment of grace. Now that it has attained the status of a parish, it has the grace and the canonical rights which every parish is entitled to. This is something that we have to celebrate.

    You have spoken at length and on many occasions about the dignity of the Priesthood and the exemplary life priests are called to lead. What advice can you give to the priests who will serve in this new parish?

    One thing is very clear. Priests who are here already have a lot of experience on the new way of being church and I am very happy that they have really tried to live up to it. They have made a lot of effort and sacrifices to bring up the parish to where it is. I will only encourage them to keep it up, to build the spirit of the parish and through their lives, make the parish a family community of God’s people.

    It is becoming more difficult for many of our Christians to distinguish between culture and faith. What advice can you give to the lay faithful in Melim?

    I will not say that it is difficult for them to make the distinction. There is a mix up. The whole idea of inculturation means that people should be able to know their culture and way of life. They should be able to separate the good from the bad and steer clear of what is contrary to the Gospel. With inculturation, we allow the gospel to come into our whole culture as it is and to transform and uplift those areas of our culture that are anti Gospel. Let us incorporate those good values of our culture into the Gospel. That is the purpose of inculturation.

    How can the erection of Melim to a parish contribute to the growth of the Diocese of Kumbo?

    Melim is a pilot parish where people have actually shown that it is possible to develop a new way of being Church. Melim has taken a giant stride by demonstrating the power of Small Christian Communities. It has worked very successfully and I am very impressed with the effort.

    Do you have a word for other communities, especially those that have had quasi-parishes for a relatively long time?

    No two parishes are the same. I can only encourage and to appeal to them that a number of things are required for a parish to be created. I will encourage them to graduate from, call it the nursery school parish (quasi parish) and become to a full- fledged parish through hard work, cooperation and by trying to implement the pastoral plan we have for the Ecclesiastical Province.

    May 09, 2008


    Christians should own, love and make schools truly Catholic – Bishop Nkuo

    Interviewed by Mirabel Azangeh Tandafor Fru
    Mgr George Nkuo might have moved from Education
    Secretary to Bishop, but it would always remain his second nature to bother about what is happening to Catholic schools. In this exclusive interview conducted while he was on a short visit to Buea Diocese, he talks about the challenges facing Catholic Education in his current Diocese – Kumbo. To him, there is no magic but for Christian communities to own, love and make schools really Catholic. He also has a message for the flock in Buea. Read on! Excerpts

    You have been Bishop since July 2006. How are you faring in that office?

    It is very challenging, but by the Grace of God, I will make it. It is an exciting experience to work with the people of God in Kumbo. Somehow, I admire the great dynamism, youthfulness and vitality of the Church in Kumbo. Praise be to God!

    What do you attribute your numerous achievements after this short duration as Bishop to?

    I don’t want to talk about them as achievements, but I know that we have been doing a lot of work. I believe in team and community work. In Kumbo, there is already this beautiful set up where people have learned to work together, and are doing their best. I only joined a programme that had been put in place. We are now trying to improve on it and to make the Diocese alive.

    If a lost Christian community of the Diocese recently joined the fold and the Diocese celebrated its Silver Jubilee under you, what then should such efforts be called if not achievements?

    I think we are doing the work of God – building the Kingdom of God. For me that is what it is. That every hand is put on deck to see that it is done and done very well.

    Should we presume that it would only be second to your nature to extend your skills as former Catholic Education Secretary to the education family in Kumbo?

    When I went to Kumbo, people thought that having been Education Secretary and now Bishop, I was going to bring miracles to solve all the education problems in Kumbo. I am not a miracle worker. There are very pertinent problems of education in the Diocese, and we have this far, gathered the people, tried to sensitize them and to draw their attention to what needs to be done. There is low enrolment in our schools, teachers go for months without salaries, and there is general low morale among them. We are trying to put all these things together to sensitize them to see what we can do concretely to ameliorate their situation. We are really working very hard to get every single community where there is a Catholic school to own the school, love the school, and to make it really Catholic.

    How feasible are these proposals?

    They are quite feasible. I think if the people of Kumbo make an effort, we would go a long way, rather than depend everyday on government assistance which is not forthcoming.

    Does the idea of richer schools helping the poorer ones, obtain in Kumbo?

    That is unfortunately not the case because most of the schools in Kumbo are in rural areas. So, there is no question of the richer schools helping the poorer ones. I am not sure we have come to that stage where the schools in Yaounde, Douala, and may be Buea, would have to send us emergency help. However, if schools in Kumbo have to survive, they need to mobilize themselves, even if they are in rural areas. One of the things that have come up in our meetings is that Kumbo hasn’t got a monopoly of poverty. This means that even if the schools are in rural areas, people can do a lot to keep the schools alive. Lets all join hands to see how we can get the schools going.

    What do you attribute the poor enrolment in Catholic schools to? Perhaps, low salaries accruing from the rural nature of schools?

    We pay teachers with what we have. It is not like we have money and refuse to pay them. The government subventions we get and the low school fees paid is all we have at our disposal. We are also trying to see if the communities can contribute to the growth of our schools. Yes they are poorly paid, but that is all that is available, and we give the teachers every single franc that is made available to us.

    Concretely, what can be done to revive Catholic Education?

    People should love the schools. This would boost the morale of the teachers there. Also, the government should try to appreciate what is being done by making a substantial contribution to private education, and treat it fairly. The problem of government schools being constructed very close to mission schools is even more serious in Kumbo because our schools are situated in small villages. It is a big problem, and I think we have to educate the people about that. Politicians are to blame for this because they want to confuse and deceive people by opening schools which only exist on paper.

    Almost two years out of this Diocese, what do you think has changed?

    Lots of things! I am extremely impressed by the vitality and the new spirit that the new Bishop with his great team have done. The John Paul II Institute of Theology – JOPASIT is one of the exciting things I have seen I find other new schools around and vibrant parishes. It’s amazing and it is really beautiful to see Buea taking major strides. I am really proud of Buea that gave me birth, in a sense.

    What about the measures taken by your successor in the education sector?

    I think it is important for change to come. All we need to do is to get people for this. The Church is not a clerical Church. It is the people’s Church, and we should get the people more and more involved in Church affairs. This shows the Church is growing. I have nothing but praises for what is happening in the education family I left behind.

    As a product of Buea, what message do you leave behind for the flock here?

    It is important for the people of God to be knowledgeable about their faith. I see what is already happening here through JOPASIT. People should be committed about their faith and should live their faith fully. One of the key things is that people should not lead double lives. What we say and do in Church should be shown in our daily lives so that our lives are truly transformed by the Gospel. We should not be seen as doing one thing in Church, and the next day we are an embarrassment to the Church. People should be authentic Christians.

    Anything to add?

    I come to Buea really refreshed, and I am happy to see that the Church is so alive and growing. I want to ask the people of Buea not to forget the Diocese of Kumbo. I am a product of Buea, and if there is anything they can do for Kumbo, they should not hesitate to call on me in order for us to see how we can build the Church together.

    April 24, 2008

    The Plight of Catholic schools and Teachers: a cause for concern

    By Livinus Tal Bam

    Fr_zepherinuskumbo L’Effort Camerounais met with Rev. Father Zephyrinus
    Mbuh, the Catholic Education Secretary of the Diocese of Kumbo, and he had the following to say on the plight of the Catholic school and of the Catholic teacher. In 1985, the Government issued a salary scale for Private Education according to which teachers were paid. The scale took into consideration the zone to which a teacher belonged, his/her qualification and longevity. In order to ensure that the salary scale was fully implemented, the Government assisted Private Education Agencies through subventions.

    This practice came close to the grants in aid that obtained in the days of West Cameroon. The 1985 salary scale was respected by all Private Education Agencies until the 1992/1993 School Year when, due to economic crisis, the Government could not give subventions to Private Education.

    This situation took the Private Education Agencies by surprise. As a result, they had to look for ways of coping with it. For the Catholic Education Agency in the Diocese of Kumbo, as was the case elsewhere in the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province, secondary school teachers and auxiliary staff suffered salary cuts while their counterparts in the primary schools went on token allowances, paid only as far as the income from school fees could go. This continued for two years until a protocol agreement was reached with these teachers. The Catholic Education Agency in Kumbo Diocese continues to owe fabulous sums of money to both current and former teachers for the 1992/1993 and 1993/1994 School Years.

    The inability to pay teachers’ salaries was coupled with the unavoidable failure to pay contributions on behalf of the teachers to the National Social Insurance Fund. As a result, the Agency has accumulated huge debts, both contributions and penalties, with the Fund. The Diocese has been molested time and again, irrespective of the fact that State subventions have not been paid for the period concerned. Efforts are being made to clear the debs. The Catholic teacher continues to receive meagre salaries neither commensurate with his/her effort, sacrifice and dedication nor adequate to meet their needs.

    This has caused untold suffering and pain to the Catholic teacher in particular and to the Private Education Agencies in general. Cameroon having attained the completion of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, the Catholic teacher would like to feel its rippling positive effect, as a teacher feels fulfilled when he/she receives a just wage and witnesses the progress of his/her pupils or students. Some of our teachers erroneously think that the Church is indifferent to their suffering. The Church, that is the voice of the voiceless, the strength of the weak, the wealth of the poor, the defender of the defenceless and the mother of all cannot afford to be indifferent to the pain and misery of teachers and their families!

    That is why the Bishop of Kumbo leaves no stone unturned in search of a solution to the problems of the Catholic school and the Catholic teacher. On March 30, 2008 an educational process was launched in all the parishes of the Diocese of Kumbo, through which the Priests, Religious Men and Women, teachers, members of the Parents’ and Teachers’ Associations and the Education Commission, explained to Christian communities that Catholic schools belong to them and they are obliged to work tirelessly towards their survival. It is hoped that this sensitisation will make parents realise the need to pay fees and make other financial contributions to ensure the survival of Catholic schools and Catholic teachers.

    The transparent managements of resources by administrators, is also indispensable. This will give a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment to both the teachers and the managers. Parents need to be reminded of their obligation to bring up their children in the Catholic faith. Convinced of this obligation, parents will be able to send their children to Catholic schools where this is guaranteed and pay higher fees to enable the Church to educate their children. The Catholic teacher has an enormous task to offer quality and faith-based education to their pupils. It is the duty of the Government to provide for the education of her citizens.

    It is important to take note that although Government subvention to Private Education has dwindled and is not promptly disbursed, the Government always makes the effort to allocate it. We are close to the end of the 2007/2008 School Year and we have only received 71 percent of the subvention allocated for the 2006 Financial Year, to say nothing of the 2007 Financial Year! With the recent 15 percent increase in the salaries of civil servants, we hope that the Government will do well to increase the subvention package so that teachers of the Private Sector can be paid equal salaries with their counterparts in Government schools.

    The Government teacher and the teacher of the Private Sector offer the same service to the State – educating the Cameroonian child. Is there any reason why Government teachers should be paid salaries about 5 times more than those of the teachers of the Private Sector? It is undeniable the Church runs schools for the purpose of evangelisation. This explains why the Church opens schools in the most remote areas of our country, places where those who run schools for the purpose of making profit would not go. We know that the Cameroon Government has made a lot of effort to bring education nearer to the people by opening schools in every community.

    We also know that there are Government schools that do not have teachers because the few posted to remote schools spend most of their time chasing dossiers and salaries or running businesses in townships. The Catholic teacher, on the contrary, is very dedicated to his/her job in spite of the fact that they are not well paid. In dealing with teachers Priests need to function as pastors of souls, bearing in mind the fact that being called ‘Father’ does not only connote a title of respect, but a certain and conscious fatherly approach in dealing with the flock entrusted to their care. The Catholic teacher in particular, and every teacher who takes his/her job seriously, deserves to be congratulated on his/her careful, conscious and focused task of moulding consciences and raising responsible citizens and leaders of society.

    We call on our Members of Parliament and the leaders of our country to give due and favourable attention to the cry of Private Education Agencies and to the teacher of the Private Sector and encourage him/her in his/her noble teaching profession!

    April 24, 2008

    Fr. Andrew’s priest ministry celebaration 19th. april

    Most noble one,
    On the 19th of April 2001, I became a priest. On this day I thank God for all those through whom he let me to his altar and those with whom I have journeyed so far. You are one of those.You may not know that you have an irreplaceable role that you have been playing and are still playing in my life. Everything I think of all the goodness arround your person, I am convinced of the reality of holiness. Time has unfolded to us all a practice wherein every good act is received with the words, Thank You. I thank you so much from within my being. May God purify and grant all your hearts desires for these and the life hereafter.
    Pray for me that God in his mercy may forgive my so many sins and give me the grace of perseverance in the promised life of evangelical simplicity, and chastity in obedience to his will all the days of my life. My prayer for you is this psalm line, “let those who hope in you not be put to shame through me lord of Host; let not those who seek you be dismayed through me God of Israel.”
    Remain blessed,Remain Good and remain positive In the Risen Lord.

    Fr. Andrew Solii