CWU News

CWU Biology Professor Featured for His Humanitarian Efforts

CWU Professor Blaise Dondji works with kids at the June 27-30 camp.

CWU Professor Blaise Dondji worked with local kids at the June 27-30 fundraising soccer camp at Ellensburg High School. (courtesy photo)

CWU Professor of Biological Sciences Blaise Dondji was featured in the Ellensburg Daily Record over the weekend for his work at last week's Bawa Soccer Camp at Ellensburg High School. 

Dondji is a native of Cameroon who lost his mother when he was young due to insufficient medical resources in his village. He has helped run the fundraising camp since 2013 as a way to raise money for things like health projects, medical supplies, mosquito bed nets, water filters, education for HIV, and more.

CWU women's soccer coach Lindsey Lee also helped out with the camp, along with Dondji’s colleague and exercise science faculty member, Robert Pritchett.


Bawa Soccer Camp advances humanitarian effort

By Jake McNeal, Ellensburg Daily Record

Bawa Soccer Camp’s June 27-30 kids’ skill drills weren’t just about young talent.

Since 2013, the camp at Ellensburg High School has welcomed youngsters 5 to 13 years of age and raised money for medical relief in Central Washington University professor of immunology & infectious diseases Blaise Dondji, Ph.D.’s village of Bawa, Cameroon, Africa, home to around 400 people in the nation whose official languages are English and French.

The Bawa Health Initiative, founded in 2005 and online at, turns funds from camps and dinners into health projects, mosquito bed nets, water filters, education for HIV, supplies and the Sophine Awounke Health Center, named for Dondji’s mother, which opened in 2017.

“What I tell them is that parents give me the money to go work and help in Cameroon, and you get the skills, so it’s a win-win camp,” said Dondji, 55, who has a son and two daughters and finds his work with colleagues and chemists to develop new drugs to treat infectious disease at Central “the coolest thing ever” since he got the job in 2008.

“I tell them about the project, and as a teacher I believe that you have to pass it on: What they do here they can do later on in life. Even now, I tell them you have to make other people’s lives better — that’s your job as parents. Make other people’s lives better and it will make your life better for sure. You have to go every day and think, ‘What can I do to make other people’s lives better?’”

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