CAMEROON SOCIAL CLUB (CAMSOC) is a nonprofit organization since 2003.
The Mission of the Cameroon social club is to promote, encourage and sustain good fellowship, social vitality and cultural vibrancy of our Cameroon heritage. CAMSOC aims at promoting shared understanding and values for the development of an inclusive Cameroon community through the reinforcement of the social link between Cameroonian living in N.E.
Before the inception of CAMSOC, various attempts had been made by well meaning Cameroonians to create a national organization here in New England, but all attempts came up short. Actually, some of the founding members of CAMSOC had been in earlier teams which did not succeed. However, they had faith, and trudged along. “There were three attempts, I remember”, says one of the people who had been in attendance at the earlier trials. He continued by saying there was a zeal to form a group, but somehow it did not catch.
After these attempts, most of the earlier group got discouraged, but then some of them still believed. So, in September 2003, Peter Tamajong, Nawain Kangsen, Bernard Nkwantah, Bouh, Ben Nkeng, John Salle who had been part of the earlier team, made another try. They contacted a group of Cameroonians in whom they had faith and convinced them to join this group they were creating. Those who were contacted were Ntang Elad, Julius Enang, Divine Ngah, Romeo N, Merimee Kwagheu, Cyril Fankam, Njiki Osseini, Ikeh, Henry Ntoro, Lizette Ebua, along with a few others and asked them to join in the launch of a Cameroonian association. They all enthusiastically accepted and put in their effort and dedication, which culminated in the launch of the Cameroon Social Club.
To celebrate the creation of this group, a party was held at John Salle’s Mattapan abode at which the group was introduced to Cameroonians. This get together marked the beginning of CAMSOC.
Through the years, CAMSOC has grown into a well recognized organization, not only in New England, but in the rest of the country. Earlier, at its start, CAMSOC celebrated our national days, i.e. Youth Day, and 20th May. On May 20th, we would have a soccer competition during the day and culminate the festivities with a party at night.
However, anyone who knows New England knows its weather. It either snowed or rained on our parade during these celebrations. So, instead of subjecting ourselves to the temperamental weather hiccups of New England, we created an All Cameroon Cultural Day, which would serve to celebrate our heritage and sort of bundle our national day festivities into this one event.
This started in 2006. The occasion is celebrated in collaboration with every Cameroonian civic and cultural group in New England. We have also had the pleasure of a cultural group from the DRC and Gabon grace us, with the DRC being featured at the celebration every year. The event showcases our traditional attires, our food, and our dances; in short, our culture and heritage. This event is celebrated every summer and it sometimes assembles all of 2000 Cameroonians and well wishers in the hall.
Along with the All Cameroon Cultural Day, CAMSOC also instituted a life insurance policy for all its members. Since the introduction of this program, we have lost four members and the insurance has come in handy.
CAMSOC as an organization, is still growing, it is young, but even at this juncture, it has accomplished quite a bit, so as to receive citations from Hon. Senator John Kerry, former Senator from Massachusetts and now Secretary of State, Hon. Governor Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, and the Limbe Association. All these recognitions for the work CAMSOC is doing in mobilizing Cameroonians to participate and build a better community wherever they live.
CAMSOC had a fundraiser for the Haitian quake and the proceeds were handed over to the Red Cross of Massachusetts.
Credit: Eric Chu (Bouh).