Reach Out Cameroon (REO)

Community Vision Underprivileged and marginalized groups are aware of their rights to participate in decision making, have equal access to resources and benefits, and become self-reliant within a supportive policy environment for sustainable development in Cameroon. Core Values ACT: Accountability, Commitment, Transparency Organizational Mission REACH OUT supports underprivileged and marginalized groups within the communities on health issues, wealth creation, and provide capacity building and information through the use of participatory approaches and advocacy. Vision for the organization REO is a self-sustained organization, attracting skilled staffs that work in cohesion to deliver se...
Jan 12, 2015

A new generation of KGA girls already making us proud.

Workshop on chin-chin, banana cake and puff-puff
Workshop on chin-chin, banana cake and puff-puff

It's 2015 already and we celebrate it with more news from the field and eternal gratitude for the almost 300 donations received over time.


As scheduled, we had a baking workshop and a business management workshop in early October, the disbursement of funds took place at the middle of the month for 21 new girls in two different locations . During both ceremonies we were privileged with the presence of Madam Justine, an experienced business owner and community leader in Tole (treasurer of Charity Sisters, one of our oldest groups of beneficiaries) her advice to the girls was invaluable. She talked about topics such as best business ventures to pursue, bookeeping, and the importance of cutting personal expenses, as she put it: "If you or your 'pikin' only have two dresses you clean one every day, but you don't touch the money from the business". She stayed long after the ceremony chatting and sharing her opinions with them.


How are the girls doing now? We have conducted follow-up meetings at random and the results are quite good, all interviewees reported more profit than in prior editions of the program, above the average of similar businesses according to our database. An interest fact when you consider that the individual funds disbursed were smaller than in prior editions (Because we want to disburse in two phases, an initial one to launch the business and a second one to give additional pushes to those proven worthy of it).The numbers? We can say, roughly, that Mae (Gateau Business) is having 10 dollars a week worth of profit, and Itoe (selling phone credit) 12, it might not look like much but it is: Considering cost of living in their communities, such revenues do improve substantially their quality of life. But more important, their capital was only 64 dollars, a figure they have already surpassed! Your money was well invested on them.

We saw Mae by chance just two days after the ceremony, as we were meeting someone else in Tole, and she surprised us with her diligence, she was already having a fully functional Gateau bussiness, and she brought some to try!

Itoe's case is also extraordinary, you must consider that phone credit has very low return on capital, to achieve the kind of revenue that she is managing, she must sell to an average of more than 240 people in one week! On an economically depressed community. We have advised her, and she had it in mind already, to complement the credit with other products with higher value added and we hope her revenues will increase even more in the future.


Not everything is perfect, the follow up showed that we still find it difficult for most girls to follow our advice on bookkeeping and we will work on how to improve the coaching sessions and materials, and make them more useful to their situation. We know that many of our donors are experienced in the field of development, and as always we will welcome any input on this or other issues of the program coming from you.


These past months we have also been using globalgiving microprojects, we use the tool to select and give extra assistance to those individuals that present extreme vulnerability or special potential for economic development (very often both). This is how we chose Aba(https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/build-a-tailoring-business-with-aba/) to support her future tailoring shop, and Itsa and Becky (https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/build-two-hair-saloons-with-itsa-and-becky/), for hairdressing ventures.


These are excellent news, but we must ensure the sustainability of the main project, the one that allow us to identify such cases in the first place, and we are looking for additional sources of revenue to make the program stronger and more consistent over time, in order to keep changing more and more lives. Because of this Reach Out is both trying to expand and put in place economic ventures that employ the vulnerable and finance the program (such as REO’s piggery) and to find institutions that could act as additional benefactors for it. We are absolutely sure the investment is worth it.


We hope the start of the year was great for you and that you know that for many of the girls it was you who made it to be great.


Thank you.

Group picture
Group picture
Madam Justine chatting with Becky and Head of Dpt.
Madam Justine chatting with Becky and Head of Dpt.
Nikes is going to start a callbox business
Nikes is going to start a callbox business
disbursement event with all the girls from Tole
disbursement event with all the girls from Tole
Becky, a few days after disbursement.
Becky, a few days after disbursement.
Jan 7, 2015

Back to University of Buea after the holidays

It’s been three months and Rahim has succesfully adapted to his new life as a Geography student. He will not be writing exams till March so we cannot inform of his first grades yet, but he has been following all his courses, even though sometimes that required additional investments on materials.
The change from the orphanage to student life in Buea was not easy, a lot of things went on at the same time. Anyone who has been a student knows how the first year is, add to that coming from a very humble background, being new in a city, struggling every day with economic scarcity plus being just 18. But he has managed with inspiring maturity.

On the financial side as you know we have not gathered enough support yet, we could assist with the fees and some small academic expenses, but the bulk of the support came from Faith Building Association (FABASSO) of Muyuka. Fabasso loaned Money for the rents and feeding of the whole year for Rahim. Fabasso is a small group of people living with HIV that shares business practices, savings and moral and nutritional support among otheir things, they continue to be partners and beneficiaries of Reach Out, and even though their members are struggling in the informal economy, they  have been supporting the orphanage for years, now they assisted Rahim. As we thank all of you we also publicly thank them, we are all part of this fight.


We hope all of our donors had great holidays with their families, Rahim did have them too although there was little time for leisure. He went back to the orphanage and spend most of his time assisting with house chores, since he is the eldest and one of the few adults, cleaning and even cooking for the children were parts of his daily tasks.


We will continue giving information about him through facebook (http://www.facebook.com/reachoutcameroon) and further globalgiving reports.


Rahim plans for the future also include earning some income as a photographer as he keeps studying, we are looking into the vialiablity of it and we will support him as we know how crucial it is for him to have a sustainable way of earning a living, so he can go through all of his academic years. For the long run we know that if he is lifted through these first rough patches, eventually he will succeed in life and transform into an example and a benefactor for all the kids of the Father House’s Orphanage.

As you can see you are not supporting only one boy, but a whole community.
Thank you for everything on our behalf and his.


P.D: We apologise for lack of new pictures, the holidays caught us and this report is due, but we will be updating the project with pictures from his Classroom this same morning, as soon as they reach us.We hope they might be available by the time this report is being read.

Nov 11, 2014

A new bright future thanks to you

group picture with office of the Chief present
group picture with office of the Chief present

Dear Donors,

Last Sunday Florence’s family started a new journey towards self-sufficiency, and it is all thanks to you.

We could deliver on some immediate needs of the family (school fees, feeding, and treatment for baby Franklin, who was sick with malaria) but most important, we brought the ingredients for them to start two ventures. Firstly, they will be selling gateau (local pastry) in her house, this was agreed because they were already doing it last year, but stopped because capital was slowly reduced by their life expenses. Secondly, Melanie (15) has stepped-in. She has taken responsibility and will be cooking and selling chin-chin and ground nut sweets (again, typical local products) while in school, and she will also be part of the Gateau business. The senior lady on the pictures is the grandmother of Florence, she puts the expertise on the team, since she did Gateau for a long time herself. Great-grandmother, mother and daughter will work to push the family further.

Even the younger members of the family, like Gabriel, have a strong sense of responsibility and willingness to help, every few days he tries to teach English to his great grandmother. In all fairness their progress is small, but it shows the great attitude that every member of this home has. It might be the positive side of their life of scarcity, the three young brother and sisters have developed a maturity, humbleness and love for each other that are inspiring for any other family in the world. You can see it on the way they help their mother around the house at any moment, on the serious look on Visneida’s face when we were discussing with the older ones about the management of the business or on how the two children play with each other without need of toys. Florence might be blind but she has four extra pairs of loving eyes working for her. No doubt Franklin will soon join the team, let’s just hope it does not have to be too soon. With their well-being improved thanks to you; he should have some time to be a kid.

Our main concern now is that between all of them, with Melanie being the key part of the team, they can keep appropriate records of their business and maintain a clear separation between family expenses and business expenses. We will be monitoring on their situation and their records biweekly, it is of almost no cost for us since we have so many reasons to go to Tole village. The expenses do not cover all money donated; we will keep some to use it for a financial push in a few months time, once the business is set in movement, or in case an emergency arises.

Sunday was a great day for those working at Reach Out and we left Florence’s home with the feeling that besides all their problems they are going to make it work, we hope that you feel the same way.

P.D: You can get more information on Reach Out through facebook (www.facebook.com/reachoutcameroon) and very soon also twitter (@reachoutdev1), you can also check our other three projects in globalgiving: Aba, another story of a brave woman making it against all odds (http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/build-a-tailoring-business-with-aba/) the parent project Keep a Girl Alive, which contributes to identify cases like this one and generally provides training and finance to vulnerable women to start micro businesses (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/make-an-impact-girls-education-cameroon/ ) and our project to sponsor Rahim, and orphan from one of our partner orphanages who made it all the way to University. (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-an-orphan-go-to-university/ ).

Discussion about the business and what lies ahead
Discussion about the business and what lies ahead

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