Mbonteh Roland Ndunge is a Physics and Mathematics teacher in secondary school, and founder of the Astronomy Club of Cameroon. Living on the outskirts of Cameroon's city, Kupe-muanenguba, it's a place full of African culture and expression of the beauty of the universe. Mbonteh grew up with a single mother who worked as a small-scale farmer among beautiful forests and mountains.
His dreams for the cosmos began from childhood as he often went out at nights to enjoy the Moon and stars.
With a chance meeting with Francis Walsh, an amateur astronomer and host at Revolution Radio, who mentored Mbonteh to make the best of his situation in a country where over 40% has little or no formal and primary education. Francis's advice, "you are in the place, just do the best you can...". This inspired Mbonteh to help underserved children, orphans, less privileged, school dropouts, to help improve gender equality, the internally displaced (IDPs), poor schools, and churches. Mbonteh's goals are to provide grants and scholarships to students, materials and other financial benefits to the above groups, including myself and to help give back to the universe, what the universe gave to him.
Working extra hard in his studies to create his future, he received a scholarship eventually receiving a BSc(Hons) in Physics and in Renewable energy in 2018. Through Mbonteh Roland Ndunge's hard work, he became a Swiss Space Tourism Senior Advisor for Cameroon, ISS ( International Space Station) Ambassador for Cameroon, IAU OAO NOC for Cameroon, IAU WAROAD ( West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development) IAAC (International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition) Ambassador, and many others devoted to space exploration and the greater understanding of astronomy.
Through the mentorship of Francis, and with the aim to of giving citizens of Cameroon a future in astronomy and its related sciences, I opened Astronomy Club Of Cameroon /Astronomy Outreach Of Cameroon (ACC) affiliated with IAU (International Astronomical Union). Roland explains: "Our mission is to promote and safeguard the science of Astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development through International cooperation. With our inspirations, we create awareness and give equal opportunities to children to have equal opportunities in pursuing a career in STEM education, and to parents, tutors, and government policy makers to implement Astronomy and all its related sciences into our educational system."
With a kind gesture and generosity from Jean Pierre Grootaerd, who donated a telescope to the Astronomy Club Of Cameroon that was signed by Astronauts, Scientists, Noble Prize Winners and the IAU president, will be used by the ACC to inspire people to learn more about the universe to improve scientific literacy throughout Cameroon.
Starting up as the first astronomy group in Cameroon to disseminate all Astronomy activities in a country is not easy: Some of their plans before the end of the year are to tackle all the universities in Cameroon (state and private ), some secondary, primary, nursery and pre-nursery schools, as well as underserved groups. Telescopes donated by BRESSER (the first telescope ever to arrive in Cameroon) have helped ACC to open the heavens and forever change the concepts of Cameroons' geology and astronomy, to bring the concepts that Copernicus and Kepler laid out centuries ago in this part of the world.