VOLUNTEERS TUESDAY: MEET RENE NDEBI

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Tell us about yourself

I’m René NDEBI, mostly known as Ray NDEBI, researcher – author – translator – literary analyst – editor – humanitarian – member of OneAfricanChild (former Head of Media & Com).

What are you most passionate about?

Smiles… That’s why I leave my bed every day. Especially those of children; a smile means all to me. When I see a child smiling or anyone smiling like a child, I feel Free,  I only see the most powerful tool to Peace. Where I don’t see a smile, I strive to draw a way for it to come out, fresh and eternal.

What is your guiding philosophy?

I have just the following one: Never go to bed with a lost or a failure, close your day with a positive mind. As we get up every day, we don’t have to look for the purpose God has for us; we have to achieve ourselves on a daily basis, for we are the purpose.

Do you have specific likes and dislikes? If yes, tell us.

I have no identified dislike, because I’m very patient. Nothing goes beyond… The Passion I have for life is endless, and I always take time to appreciate anything I’m offered. Even when the worst, as some circumstances are called, happens, I received them as the best opportunities to grow stronger and see clearer into the interactions between people.
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What are your career goals and life ambitions?

I have no career goal, because I have never felt at work. I stopped having an employer in August 2013, because that was limiting my ambitions.
What I want is simple: Freedom. All my activities aim at setting children and other people free. If that means becoming the best in my field, I’ll become that best; I want to be a legacy, a way to more freedom, and each breath of mine calls for excellence in designing ways to open spaces.

What inspires you?

Horizon… As a child, I used to think there was a place where one would touch that line. But the increasing age taught me I would never be there… That’s why I keep walking; if I can’t reach that line, at least I will have gone farther than any material thing I would have ever targeted. Whatever I have to do, I first place it on that line, then I start walking toward it.

How did you learn about OAC and reason(s) for joining?

This is one of my most beautiful encounters. In December 2013, shortly after OAC was created, I received a message on Twitter, asking if I would like to join a Nigerian group called OneAfricanChild. The message said it was a group of young students. I accepted immediately, not because of the goals described by the sender, but for what the name of that sender inspired me: “Victory I’ll be with you.” That’s how I read Victoria Ibiwoye.
History is writing Victory.

 

How has been the experience so far?

I’ve been through many feelings with OneAfricanChild. So many. What a Family! That was my first experience with Africans other than Cameroonians. A beautiful Family opened arms and I dived into them. Not all days were brilliant, but that’s what makes a real family. Some people left, more joined and the strong Team kept growing; work became easier as strangers turned brothers and sisters.
From the position of Head of Media and Communication, I discovered ambitious young people giving out their best for children to smile. 5 years in this Family, and it seems as I’ve been here since my birth.

Please share with us your best moments in OAC.

For now, let me just share one of those moments.
We had an activity, and each one was sharing money or words for some orphans… That was two years ago, I guess. Two days later, I received a call from Nigeria. It was a young girl, thanking me for the kind words I had for children in her community. I wasn’t even there, I remember I just sent a message. It was an ordinary call, not a WhatsApp or Messenger. I stopped it and called back. I was embarrassed, but she said it was important for her, to hear the voice of that brother she would probably never see.

What do you think of OAC in the universe? 

My mother had a special passion for children, and my mother meant Positivity to me. People, about her, used to say, “She’s the art of Peace”. OneAfricanChild means that. If there is a place where children can be safe, it’s absolutely here.
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Parting Words

When we met, I promised Victoria that I would spend 40 years with OneAfricanChild. Each year seems the first.
I’m home here.

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