Back to top


Surayya Diggs

Organization: One Summer One Well
Dates: 8/2/2016 to 8/19/2016
Facebook page:

In Surayya's own words

How I contributed: I interviewed residents in the community where I was working them to ask them about how they get access to water and the day-to-day challenges that they face. Additionally, I conducted film interviews and occasionally helped with the building of the well at the site.

What I felt most challenged by: I think the most challenging thing was being able to communicate in French. For most the project I was visiting sites without the help of a translator, so to build relationships with people, and interview them, I had to use a conversational level of French. At Cornell, I completed FREN1220 and FREN1230, which helped a lot, but native-speaking French is much more difficult than French you will experience in a classroom.

What I enjoyed most: The best part of being in Cameroon was the sense of community. Everyone in Cameroon treats each other as family, whether they are related are not. If a visitor comes over they are fed and made to feel welcome.

Would I recommend this experience: I would highly recommend this experience. Franck, the founder of the project was an amazing guide and mentor during this trip. Additionally, traveling to Cameroon with a native allowed me to see places in the capital that I would never be able to see on my own. Locations, where there is no running water and residents wake up at 4am every day to fetch water.

Martin (Franck) Onambele

Organization: Minader
Dates: 11-Jun-12 - 6-Aug-12

In Martin (Franck)'s own words

How I contributed: I did not change who they were because I was just there for few week but I did impact a lot of people life by helping in farm and also showing some how to use internet to have access to information. I am sure today some of them are very efficient at looking for help when it comes to seeds selection and fertilizer.

What I felt most challenged by: My first 2 weeks were the most challenging in the fact that internet was really slow and people were always late but i got used to it after. Transportation was also one of the biggest challenge because I spent approximately 4 hours per day where I had to manage taking 6 taxis back and forth.

What I enjoyed most: What I enjoyed the most, people were very friendly and respectful so it was easy to work with them specially my supervisor. The food and also soccer because I am a big fan.

Would I recommend this experience: Yes, definitely I will recommend it this experience to other student first because learning about a country on media is different than actually being there. Also it easy to compare or make an experiment if you travel to the place that you want to study or learn about.