We are ecstatic here at the CFDP office - and most grateful - to report to you that our project has been fully funded! Thanks to some generous support during last month’s Microsoft YouthSpark matching day, we reached our goal and will be able to follow up with our young women entrepreneurs in Kumba to see how to best continue to support them in their endeavors.
I am happy to share with you more about another exciting moment at CFDP… a shift in our social and health education initiative is happening. We are preparing to make some bold moves in the months ahead. And we need your help.
From July 29th until August 18th, I will travel around the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, working with our staff and partners to revolutionize our approach to community development. We have improved our Youth Enrichment Football League based on lessons learned from the one-year pilot project we ran in Kumba this past year. We’ve found a unique way to take our educational discussions – typical of our after school programs – and infuse them into soccer practices and games with certified Coaches who double as mentors. Of course, as you know with CFDP, girls play too.
In August, we will launch our new youth league model in two communities, Mamfe and Ndu, and lay the groundwork for a regional network to build social infrastructure with youth soccer. It won’t be easy; but our team is ready. The time is now.
Please check out our new project on GlobalGiving. I know that you believe in our mission to leverage the beautiful game as a sustainable platform for community development. If you are inspired and able to give, please don’t hesitate. The time is now. Check out my itinerary for the trip and select a specific activity that you want to fund and let me know what it is. I will be sure to report back to you upon my return. No amount is too small; every little bit helps.
Thanks for your consideration.
Two awesome activities to update you on from the first quarter of 2014.
March: GIRLS ONLY Soccer Tournament to Celebration UN International Womens Day! We succeeded in rallying five teams of girls to participate. It was an awesome weekend of girls' empowerment through soccer. Teams gathered to play friendly matches and learn from mentors like Caroline and Nenne, our two CFDP staff who run the programs for girls and young women and helped organize the event. We are planning an expansion for the summer to complement our boys league. The buzz we created from the activities on the field - and on the sidelines - reverberated throughout the Kumba community making this Womens Day one for the record books.
April: CFDP young women featured at US Peace Corps National Girls Forum. Another fantastic opportunity to showcase the achievements of this program!! Caroline and Adrian, our Peace Corps Volunteer, led the trip to the annual gathering along with one of our most successful young entrepreneurs, Cynthia. Caroline participated in the Strong Women Panel, which featured successful women who shared their story with girls in attendance. Cynthia presented a demonstration of her bead-making techniques and sold some of her necklaces and bracelets to attendees. She brount in 4,000 CFA - which is about $10US. While this may not seem like a lot, it is actually more than some young men make in two full 10-hour days of manual labor. Not a bad take away!
We continue to explore the best way to grow our economic empowerment activities for young women and girls. We want to build a sustainable model to assure long-term impact. Thank you for supporting these activities to date. I can confidently speak on behalf of the girls when I say that these opportunities would not exist without our programs - and without your support.
Happy New Year from Kumba, Cameroon! It is an honor to write and THANK YOU for fully funding our project!! We are very excited to be able to offer these crucial trainings to girls and young women, many of whom are some of the most vulnerable populations in our community. We got things started with our first training earlier this year and have successfully carried out a second one Thanksgiving weekend. I will use this opportunity to update you on those two activities and share with you the exciting outlook for 2014.
Here is a play-by-play, as provided by the CFDP staff, Nenne, in her report on the day’s activities:
The workshop opened at 9 am, with an introduction by Nenne (CFDP) who gave a brief history of CFDP and its activities and reiterate for the girls to take these workshop serious and be committed to all the activities that were to be taught. We shall do a follow up of all the girls after four month and evaluate what they have been doing which explains why we asked for their contacts on the registration book.
Immediately after the introduction we started with an ice breaker, so that the girls should be relaxed, interact and feel free with all the Peace Corps volunteers. The ice breaker, led by Caroline, was called Rapid Fire.
After breaking the ice, the girls were taught how to make soya milk, which took us 2hours. After, the girls drank the milk and were very happy. Nenne (CFDP) concluded with the nutritive values of soya milk.
After soya milk we continued with the tofu led by Jamexis (Peace Corps) and Nenne, this took about 3 hours and 30 minutes because we had to fry the tofu and within this process we gave the youths opportunity to express some of the challenges they face as girls in their community and which we proposed solutions for them.
Tofu meat was served with rice as lunch to all the participants and volunteers with a bottle of drink, immediately after that we commenced with bead-making and with 52 girls, it was not easy because we had to monitor each and every one but all the same we were proud of all the participants and they were willing to work.
We concluded with a business plan presentation done by Ashley (Peace Corps) who impacts the girls with the 5P’s of marketing which is product, price, place, promotion and personnel. This was followed by our newly-posted Peace Corps Volunteer, Adrian, who gave a presentation on HIV transmission and prevention.
This workshop was conducted in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Kumba, called Kossala. There are currently four sections of Kossala, and this training targeted women and girls (ages 18-40) in two of them. In 2014, we hope to reach out to populations in the other two areas and monitor the success of this first batch. With your support, we will be able to continue these training and provide support to these ladies when they need us. I invite you to stay connected with CFDP on our blog and via newsletters (sign up here) for more updates.
Wishing you all the best in the New Year!
We had a very exciting summer! Thank you for being a part of it! We made huge strides in setting up our Youth Enrichment Football League and dedicated a great deal of time to further empowering “the Ladies of CameroonFDP”, specifically Nenne and Caroline, our management team members. From presenting at a national conference in Kribi, Cameroon to continuing our research and development for a girls program in Kumba, we were busy on both continents engaging in dialogue to elevate the status and improve the condition of girls and young women in Cameroon.
In June, Nenne and Caroline traveled to participate in the US Peace Corps National Girls Forum where they found several potential collaborators and received accolades for their persentation and the Q&A session which followed. CameroonFDP was highlighted as one of the most progressive and innovative nongovernment organizations (NGOs) operating in the region. Several other contributors came together to discuss one of the most pressing questions: how can we promote economic development amongst our women in Cameroon?
In July, the CameroonFDP ladies were back in action, again with Peace Corps Cameroon, in a village outside of Kumba called Ekombe. The long weekend was spent with teenage mothers providing training on all sorts of issues, the most important being cultivation, marketing, and management of the Moringa plant, a very nutritious vegetable.
Now... for the Girls Soccer Camp. Unfortunately, we had to postpone the event due to our extremely packed summer! As you can see, we were busy! We look forward to engaging all of the girls in our after-school programs in a series of events which will provide them the opportunity to work with mentors like Nenne and Caroline and play the game they love. Please stay tuned to our website and blog as the coming months will provide plenty of opportunities for girls in Kumba to learn and play!
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