Beltivate is one of those familiar faces in child-friendly spaces in Bamenda, Northwest Region of Cameroon, where she coaches various youths and children. Without reservation, she dedicates her time to giving lessons and talks on gender-based violence, sexual health, menstruation and self-esteem.
“In 2011, I joined the children’s forum created in my community by Plan International. I was a very shy girl with low self-esteem and no big dreams. The community volunteers saw potentials in me I was totally blind to. They kept encouraging me to talk and speak out. Gradually I began to involve myself with other children and to my own amazement became one of the most active participants in the forum. In 2015 I was voted president of our children’s forum.” Beltivate, 23-year-old girls’ rights activist, today the voice of youth in West and Central Africa.
Genesis of her passion for girls’ rights
At barely 15, Beltivate developed great passion for child rights. She started sensitising the public on the rights of the child especially the right to girls’ education in her community. With more confidence in herself, empowered through various trainings, Beltivate braved up in the competitive exams for the 2017 junior parliamentary cohort and was selected. This gave more momentum to her activism for children’s rights.
“In 2018 I was selected to participate in Plan International Cameroon’s Youth Advisory Panel session. From there my passion for advocacy increased. The various advocacy activities I carried out in my community steered my selection in 2019 to participate in the launching of the Girls Get Equal Campaign in Ghana. Thanks to my zeal and engagement, I topped as the most active participant and I received a small drum”.
Amplifying girls’ voices
Speaking on behalf of youths at the WACA Regional Leadership Team meeting held in September 2023, Beltivate reiterated her determination to ensure that the voices of young people are heard, and their opinions considered at every level of decision making.
“Today I am the vice president of the Regional Youth Advisory Panel for Plan International West and Central Africa. Today I can stand and express myself in front of millions of people. Moreover, I don’t just speak for myself, but for the youths in my community, country, and the entire region. Plan has given me many life changing opportunities and I’ve been to places that I never thought I will. I have equally sat with decision makers to clamour for girls’ rights. Without doubt, I believe that all my dreams are valid and I have a bright future ahead.”