One-on-One with Diaka Camara
Founder of the Diaka Camara Foundation
Hello Diaka, first tell us about yourself and walk us through some of your background.
My name is Diaka Camara, I am originally from Guinea. I grew up in Houston, TX, I graduated from Waller High School and later from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s in Communication Journalism. I moved back to Houston in 2011 to start my own production and communication company. The goal was to create content made in Guinea, content that would tell success stories of Guinea first, then the African continent. Africa is a continent in perpetual evolution and where great things are happening every day.
Through my production company, I have produced and hosted many popular shows including the Francophone West Africa’s first reality TV show le Mannequin. I also created the Diaka CamaraFoundation for education in 2018.
What does the Diaka Camara Foundation do? And your company CBC Worldwide?
The foundation’s main focus is education and especially the young girls education. I came to the realization that any socio-economic development will have to be done through education. With the Diaka Camara Foundation we have donated books, food and clothes to a lot of orphanages, computers and books to students. We launched a telethon during covid to raise money and feed needy families. Our latest project is One School, One Library. We are building libraries in public schools in disenfranchised areas in Guinea. We also launched the campaign against gender-based violence called:
“Break The Silence” campaign was launched by you and the Diaka Camara Foundation; can you tell more about the campaign?
The whole point of the campaign is to give a voice to all the survivors of VBG in Guinea. The topic of rape, domestic violence, FGM, sexual harassment and child marriages are taboos in Guinean society. Despite the laws that forbid and punish these crimes, they are rampant because the victims are too scared to even talk about let alone press charges. We are changing that with the #BreakTheSilence campaign by talking about gender-based violence via public service announcement and billboards. We launched the campaign via a round table. We invited all of the concerned parties to the table: government, law-makers, civil society, the UN agencies and the media. The objective was to create a synergy amongst which will make them more efficient in the fight against gender-based violence. #BrisonsleSilence is encouraging the survivors to share their stories and press charges against their abusers. The president and the first lady have both joined the campaign and have spoken against gender-based violence, urging the survivors to speak up and use the law to punish their aggressors.
What are your plans and goals for your service with the Diaka Camara Foundation?
We are going to keep pushing the conversations around sensitive topics. We want to effect real change in the educative system so that we can teach future generations to be and do better. We are planing fundraisers to build stand-alone libraries all over the country. Eventually, we would like to build a school of excellence for girls and women in Guinea.
You grew up in Houston and went to University of Houston before returning to Guinea. Congratulations! The city of Houston just awarded you the Honorary Citizenship. How do you feel about it?
I am speechless and so humbled. It feels amazing to be acknowledged by your adoptive city for the work you did halfway around the globe. I did not expect it at all, and I will continue to work hard to be worthy of the honor.
Do you have any advice for people who would like to know more about Guinea?
Guinea is a very beautiful country filled with warm and welcoming individuals. It is a country with vast resources and immense potential. The country is booming with plenty of opportunities in every sector. I invite people to visit Guinea there are a lot of business opportunities and now is the time to come and invest in Guinea.
Is there anything we have not discussed that you would like to mention?
The city of Houston was my home away from home. I have cherished all the years I spent there. Houston made me the person I am today and I would not trade my years living there for anything in the world. It is and will always be my second home.
Please tell me how to contact the Diaka Camara Foundation, your company CBC Worldwide and to stay in touch with you through social media.
Social media on:
Facebook: Diaka Camara