May 26, 2003 - Rotary International: Paul Mickelson applied for early retirement, sold his house, joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Bamenda, Cameroon, in West Africa

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cameroon: Peace Corps Cameroon: The Peace Corps in Cameroon: May 26, 2003 - Rotary International: Paul Mickelson applied for early retirement, sold his house, joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Bamenda, Cameroon, in West Africa

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 8:50 pm: Edit Post

Paul Mickelson applied for early retirement, sold his house, joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Bamenda, Cameroon, in West Africa



Paul Mickelson applied for early retirement, sold his house, joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Bamenda, Cameroon, in West Africa

Hometown generosity supports computer school half a world away

Retired firefighter now providing computer training in Africa

(BELOIT, Wisconsin, USA 9 May 2001) Business people and residents throughout southwestern Wisconsin have joined together in an effort to support a former Beloit resident, Paul Mickelson, and his efforts to provide computer training for poor children and adults in western Africa. Mickelson, a retired Beloit firefighter, established a computer training school in Cameroon nearly five years ago. Today, Paul's Computer Institute (PCI) is one of the most respected and largest computer training centers in western Africa, providing more than 400 students with training that has given them not only jobs, but a new life for the students and their families.

The Rotary Club of Beloit and the Friends of Paul's Computer Institute have collected more than 400 computers, thousands of books and office equipment to be shipped to Cameroon on 10 May.

Who: Paul Mickelson, founder of Paul's Computer Institute; Stella Ache Mbah, a Cameroon native and graduate and employee of PCI; students from Beloit Memorial High School; Mary Beth Growney Selene and Terry Leahy, local Rotary organizers; and members of the Rotary Club of Beloit who raised the funds and equipment.

What: Packing and shipping of locally donated computers, office equipment, books in an 8-foot by 40-foot shipping container. In addition, US$50,000 has been donated for tuition reimbursements and equipment that will be purchased in Cameroon.

Where: Christofferson Moving and Storage, located at 2422 Springbrook Ct, Beloit.

When: Thursday, 10 May, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers will begin the final process of loading the container at 3:30 p.m.

Background: 1992 was a life-changing experience for then 52-year-old Paul Mickelson, a 26-year veteran of the Beloit fire department. That was the year he applied for early retirement, sold his house, joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Bamenda, Cameroon, in West Africa. After his Peace Corps stint Paul adopted Cameroon as his home and worked to bring computer literacy to the impoverished country by creating a computer-training center. This is a story of life-changing decisions, a near-death experience, acceptance into a different world and incredible hometown support from a half a world away.

Paul's Computer Institute was started in 1997 with money from the sale of his house, his retirement fund and life-savings. The Institute has been such a success currently there are about 200 students and a staff of 15 that work has begun to expand the Institute to create a new two-year college for computer management. This growth has been made possible through tremendous support from Paul's friends back home in Wisconsin.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of more than 29,000 Rotary clubs in 163 countries.

For more information, please contact Christine M. Sobolak at 847-866-3023.



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Story Source: Rotary International

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Cameroon; Computers; Older Volunteers

PCOL4997
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By chris thompson (0-1pool127-168.nas24.salt-lake-city1.ut.us.da.qwest.net - 67.2.127.168) on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 3:02 pm: Edit Post

hi i am intrested in learning of bamenda. orfanage, state of living, income. churces pictures, etc. i hope to hear from you soon thank you
my email is cdthomp@yahoo.com


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