By Denis A. Foretia, MD.MPH.MBA.,
[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#FFFFFF” background=”#8C212A”]A[/dropcap] few months ago, I received an email that nearly brought me to tears. This email touched me not because the situation appeared helpless, but because I could vividly see how a brilliant and extremely gifted young man was about to lose his dreams.
Mr. Ajong had written to the foundation to tell us about Clinton Achale, a young man from the tiny village of Etam near Kumba in the South West Region of Cameroon. Etam, like many of the villages in Cameroon, has no tap water and no electricity. Its only secondary school has but a handful of teachers–none of whom has earned a Bachelor’s degree. Achale is the fourth of five children and, with the family being extremely poor, it is not surprising that working hard on their farm took precedence over pursuing an education. He is the only one in his family to have completed secondary school; his siblings dropped out after primary school. Despite these odds, it became clear as early as secondary school that Clinton was an extremely gifted young man.
Growing up, Clinton was intrigued by how machines worked and the logic behind modern technology. From a tender age, he had been very inquisitive, developing a habit of trying to find out the “mystery behind” everything from wristwatches to motorbikes and beyond. He passed ten subjects, scoring an “A” in eight in the GCE Ordinary Levels. He earned a “D” grade in French teaching himself the language because no French teacher had been hired by the school in his village. By comparison, the next best student in the school had simply passed five subjects. That Achale could achieve this level of excellence, despite his economic and social environment, was nothing short of genius.
At the GCE Advanced Level his performance was even more amazing. He passed all five subjects obtaining four grades of “A” and one grade of “B” in Further Mathematics; the latter being self-taught. This represents a whopping 24/25 points. To put this in perspective, of the 48,058 Cameroonian students who wrote the A-Levels in 2015, Achale was ranked 17th in the entire country. That is simply astounding! His stellar performance does not end with his own education. Achale tutors students in physics and mathematics, helping many gain admission to a variety of national schools.
I heard about Clinton Achale because of his desire to become an engineer, and the lack of funds to fulfill that dream. His family could not afford the registration fee for the entrance exams required by the National Polytechnic Institute in Yaoundé. No one doubted that Achale would pass those exams easily; it was simply a matter of money.
My wife, Lenora, and I had been thinking of endowing a scholarship to cover full tuition and fees for talented, academically-gifted young students from deeply underprivileged or impoverished backgrounds in Cameroon. We believe we should start now and offer the first scholarship to Achale. Our hope with this scholarship is to identify the “Achales” of Cameroon and the Central African Region and help them pursue their dreams to the fullest. We expect recipients to commit to giving back to their communities and to the continent, as well as becoming citizens of the world. With the right resources and opportunity there is no limit to what a talented young man like Achale can achieve. Or the impact he can have on his community and society as a whole.
“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual,” Albert Einstein once said. Lenora and I hope this scholarship opens many new doors for the deserving recipients.
Denis Foretia, MD is a surgeon and the Co-Chair of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation.
Dear Mr and Mrs Foretia,
I have just read the incredible story of Clinton Achale. I was humbled in the way you saw the potential in the boy and decided to support him in his educational partway.
If all like you, could do same to our talented people, we would/could be making efficient leaders in our country, continent and around the world.
Do this happened some years ago, I am very curious to know to how Clinton Achale is doing presently.
Many thanks for doing what you people are doing. May Gods Bless you people in your endeavours.
Thank you for your followup message.
Clinton’s family happened to prefer medicine to engineer so we respected their request and prepared him for the medical path. He is currently a medical student in his 4th year.
Thank you for your service. Quite an inspiration for some of us. Please keep up the good work.
God bless u Denise and Lenora foretia
Wow wow wow really amazing story and dedication to make impact in Achale’s life. God bless you sir
Excellent job. Your reward is in heaven.
Dr. Denis Forentia and wife, May God multiply your resources hundred fold for many to benefit.
You shall surely be at father Abraham’s bosom in heaven.
Great one there Dr. Denis and Lenora! May God bless your efforts.
This is LOVE. It is the greatest and most solid foundation. With Achale Clinton as the beginning, Cameroon,
Africa and the World would be a better place if more is geared towards that direction. Thanks for this.
Good jod Dr and wife.
I am so glad to see kind hearted people like Dr. and wife. We have so many similar issues like this in Cameroon. My time spent with the orphans of God’s of Grace Foundation Philanthropic Orphanage Bunduma Gate Buea makes me to discover that the best talents are found where there is limited resources. I will beg on people of good will to copy from the example of Dr and wife and reach out to so many out there in need of our assistance. In Cameroon today, we always hear of suicide bombing by children, have we asked ourselves that where are these children coming from? They are those kids whose talents have not been utilized positively and today they are lured by terrorists to fight against the state simply because they lack the right way to go. Shalom
Agreed. We need to identify real mentors for these young stars.
Hi Denis & Lenora,
Great job and Thank you again for all the Good Work. I’m willing to offer the next Clinton Achale a FULL Scholarship. We’ll workout the modalities.
My Son in his final year at UB, had almost similar GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level results but the difference is that I provided a conducive academic and learning environment for my son.
I’ve insisted that he obtains a B.Sc in Biochemistry in the Cameroons before coming to Europe. Let me know how to contact you privately. Keep it up Doc
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek” Mario Andretti
We are very excited to read your post. We will contact you by email shortly. Our team has established “The Opportunity Fund” to support the many “Achales” in Cameroon. 100 percent donations go directly to support these students. The foundation covers all management expenses. Thank you again.
WOW! WOW! May God bless you and your family my brother,Thank you madam Nalo Martins for such a wonderful advise.AIMS is a place to be.OUR SUCCESS IN LIFE IS A FUNCTION OF OUR BACKGROUND..God is still saying something.
That is the greatest gift. We all can give back. Please let me know how I can help.
Indeed the story is a touching one,many of my fellow brothers(Cameroonian) are in this situation.But i personally thank the Lord for who so ever informed u about this young guy.May the great God who says in his words ” give and it will come back to u,good measures ,press down, shaken together and running over” replenish u a thousand time.I Feel like it was done for me or my relative so thanks again and may God Almighty bless u.
Many THANKS to the FORETIA family and FOUNDATION for bringing a candle into the life of Clinton Achale. Your reward will be great in Heaven. The WAMEY family (Julius and Beatrice) and NASCENT SOLUTIONS have thought me through such GREAT LOVE FOR HUMANITY and OUT REACH that you do not need to have too much to reach out to the deserving needy of our communities. While THANKING GOD for both these families, I wish to throw in a word to say we can all begin from our little corners to usher change into the lives of those who we sometimes are more likely to despise. This is sure not just about Means; it is about a Loving Heart. May God Almighty continue to Bless and Enrich you in way that replenishes your sources. Be Blessed
We couldn’t agree more. It’s not about how much money you have but what you do with what you have.
This is truly an amazing story and the decision made by the Foretia’s to sponsor the less fortunate is really to be commended and emulated by some of not all successful Cameroonians in the diaspora.
this is touching, praying God Almighty to continue to Bless you as you are a source of Blessing to others, this Young Man i belief will be Lifted up if he is given the opportunityn there are many others out there especially in my own Native Byo Division, with no one to tell their stories. Thumbs up for Your Foundation. I am a trained Social Worker By Profession and i belief if we continue to identify such cases and stretch out our helping hands, Cameroon will have a new generation of talented and useful Youth.
Inspiring! Greetings to the person who identified this young man and came to you for assistance. God will reward you many times over for your generosity. Let him know that the best way he can ever repay you is to also stretch out a hand to raise someone else from the gutters of poverty. Let him pass on the torchlight of generosity as soon as he can.
What a story! I hope every Cameroonian with some level of income would single out just one Achale within their communities; this will go a long way in eliminating nationwide poverty and build fulfilled destinies as well.
We agree completely with you. We simply need to help ONLY one (1) individual and that will be really transforming.
I feel touched, moved and tear-eyed with this. I have met someone like this in Bertoua before, but Achele’s is just amazing. Thanks for your outreach. I will pray God for the success and fruition of your endeavors.
Indeed a laudable gesture from you both. This is a life changing decision you have taken for Achale, and by extension, his family and his entire village. Worth emulating. I salute your interest in identifying and developing talent like Achale’s. My encouragements.
This is awesome and worth engaging. We have many like Achale in many villages in Africa. My father invested in a similar case in my village Nwa. Today the youngman is a Medical Doctor in Nigeria. Do not hesitate to extend your assistance to him as agreed. God Bless You
Waow, what a wonderful journey. Really impressed by that young man and the vision your foundation has for similar under priviledged children. Keep it up!
God Bless You
My humble advice would be for him to apply to AIMS-NEI after his studies as an Engineer. AIMS provide full scholarship for brilliant students like Clinton.
I Hope you provided the foundation full links as they strive towatds bringing hopes to many more families. Blessings! Mr. Ajong.
What an inspirational story. Kudos to Denis and Lenora for this laudable gesture, and best wishes to Achale in all his future endeavours.
Thanks for this interesting article.I know they are many of them with amazing talent but which are being waste because of lack of financial means.
Thanks Mr Ajong for your welcoming help to this family.