In the past year, the activities of the SPEAK CLEAR ASSOCIATION OF CAMEROON, SCAC, witnessed a remarkable change with several persons inside and outside of Cameroon being interested and supportive of our work. Since last year, we had a remarkable increase in our membership with many chapters set up in several localities of Cameroon. While struggling to help our adult PWS, we focused particular attention to children and the female PWS in Cameroon. By focusing on children, we are working to prepare for the international year for children who stutter (2004).

In October 2002, we had a visit from a speech therapist from the Fluency Trust of the UK who specializes in working with children who stutter. Clare Thomas visited us and participated in all the activities we had programmed to mark the International Stuttering Awareness Day ISAD 2002. After the ISAD activities, Clare did a training course for 24 teachers and parents of stammering pupils and other interested members from SCAC in three different localities in Cameroon. After these training courses, those who attended the training have often been solicited by officials of the Ministry of National Education to give a series of talks and lectures during the teachers' pedagogic seminars that were held in many different localities of Cameroon on how teachers and other school officials can help PWS

We produced and shared photocopies of leaflets we had got from the British Stammering Association, the National Stuttering Association, Stuttering Foundation of America, ISTAR, Speak Easy and CAPS of Canada. All these leaflets contained useful guides that can help teachers and parents of PWS. The feedback from these handouts has all been very favorable. Several teachers and parents of PWS who had not got these leaflets and had learned of them contacted us to ask for copies. A total of 875 leaflets have been distributed.

Another great project we launched here geared at helping stammering children was the 'TEASING AND BULLYING TAB: UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR' project. With the help of the material we got from the INSTITUTE FOR STUTTERING TREATMENT AND RESEARCH of Alberta, Canada we used their TAB publication and the STUTTERING HURTS -- WE CAN HELP posters to organize seminars for teachers of PWS and other school officials to organize a series of seminars in different localities in Cameroon. Many of the participants at these seminars learned a lot of things on how to handle teasing which is common with PWS in their schools. The feedback from this has also been very favorable and we distributed more than 150 posters and leaflets on how to deal with teasing and bullying.

We also concentrated on girls and women who stutter here in Cameroon who are often in the minority as compared to their men who stutter. Since they are often in the minority they feel ashamed of joining our self help movement. Learning from the experience of famous women PWS who openly admit their situation and have been doing a lot in the field of stuttering both in their countries and in the international scene, and learning from the experience of the international support group called Girls and Women Living with Stuttering, a similar group was set up within SCAC co-chaired by Nicole Tatah and Bronhilda Lukong. They got some articles written by famous women PWS published in several magazines and put them at the disposal of other female PWS here: An inaugural meeting of the Cameroon group of girls and women living with stuttering held on the 27th of April 2003 and was very well attended by women who stutter.

In order to enable many PWS to be computer literate so as to have access to the valuable information on stuttering available on the Internet, we organized a series of computer learning classes for our members. This was made possible with the help of a lap top computer generously donated to us by Mrs. Elisabeth Versteegh Vermeij, a retired speech therapist and our friends from the Netherlands stuttering association Demonthese. Many of our members are able to do some elementary work on the computer and have been able to be in touch with many other PWS over the world through the medium of the electronic mail. Many members of SCAC have joined the E friend list of the BSA and are able to talk and share experiences with many other PWS from many parts of the world. Other email support groups that some of our members have joined are: Indian Stuttering group, Christians stutterers group, Girls and Women Living with Stuttering, etc. Thanks to our computer literacy classes, about 121 members of SCAC have email addresses and are able to receive and send out information using electronic mail.

The research project we had with the National Institutes of the Health the NIH in Washington DC spearheaded by Dr. Denis Drayna with the support of Jane Fraser of the SFA, aimed at investigating the genetic causes of stuttering, continued last year. Dr Drayna visited us here in Cameroon twice and studied about some 60 members of SCAC. The research project will continue this year involving 100 members of SCAC. At the invitation of the Dr. Drayna of the NIH, Joseph Lukong visited the WARREN GRANT MAGUSON CLINICAL CENTER of that Institution for a neurological examination related to the inherited causes of stuttering in July this year. Also, many members of SCAC have taken part in a research project on brain research conducted by Anne Foundas, of Tulane University Health Center . The SFA has sent out many copies of research project survey to us here in Cameroon. Hopefully this year, we shall have some data collected from Cameroon here on the framework of the INTERNATIONAL PROJECT ON ATTITUDES TOWARDS STUTTERING IPATS. The Coordinator of that project Professor Kenneth O. St. Louis has been in touch with our association in view of collecting some data from here.

In July and August this year, two members of our association took part in the SUCCESSFUL STUTTERING MANAGEMENT PROJECT, the SSMP at the University of UTAH in the Salt Lake City in the US. In summer of 2004, Professors Bretenfeldt and Gurrister who are responsible for this program, will come to Cameroon and set up an SSMP program that will focus on treating stutterers and training clinicians. This project will go a long way to fill the vacuum that has existed here in Cameroon as far as the provision of health care to stutterers is concerned.