Dear donors of the KGA project,
A lot has been happening since our last report.
We provided small grants to the latest small group of girls based in Tole. Claudine could get a very nice hair dryer and her hair-dressing saloon is improving every day, Comfort is having both a palm wine bar and a table shop business that she manages at the same time and we also gave a second chance to Glory, because she just gave birth to twins when she started in the program and could not cope with that(and the costs involved) and starting a new business. She is now selling Gateau, a kind of sweet bread typical of Cameroon, and we check up on her regularly.
We have been following up with them and also other, interviewing and assisting young women in Bakwery town, Bumaka and of course Tole.
Just checking on their bookkeeping and listening to their business ideas have made some of them progress a lot, and we keep learning from them. It is exciting to see how they sustain their families and dream of bigger enterprises. This kind of practice helps open them up and help us get a better picture of their situation. Also sometimes they bring new problems to us.
This is how we got to know about Thelma case, the deaf daughter of one of our beneficiaries, who was not learning sign language nor going to any kind of school. We could address this problem before she is too old; she finally started receiving an education in an adequate school. We made a small micro project about it in globalgiving (http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/send-thelma-to-school/), because Thelma is at school for a period of grace conceded to us by Buea School of the Deaf, but we still have to find sponsors for her. Anyway you can say that it is thanks to all of you that that girl has discovered and given an opportunity to grow, so be proud.
Last 15th of July Bonus Day was a success thanks to our donors and we received 2990$. Adding to that a fundraising campaign took place during the month of August that reported additional 1378$. That was thanks to Melanie Harbinson, former volunteer of Reach Out. None of this money is yet in Reach Out office, and we are still planning on how we will spend it, but we will do it slowly since we can’t count on such two extraordinary events to keep happening so often.
Next steps include slowly and carefully augmenting the number of girls reached out by the program, and small trainings on income generating activities, according to the needs of both old and new beneficiaries.
Thank you for all that you have done for them.
On Monday 7th of July, a group of volunteers from REO went to Tole to conduct interviews with some of the beneficiaries. The main objective was to see if the businesses we already had in the program kept working and what they required next from us.
Most of the girls in Tole had good stories to show up for their business. Almost all of them are making a profit and improving every month. But we have to keep in mind that this profit can be small and even though they are progressing they might still lack resources for very important things. Particularly school fees. There is a lot of work to do yet and after picking up the data the volunteers in REO agreed to organize individual 1on1 meetings where the volunteer goes over knowledge that might not have been sufficiently comprehended during the workshops and looks at the whole business itself in order to learn and share good practices.
We agreed to help the two most successful businesses directly with economic grants, since they have gained our trust several times and the rest of them with the materials they required the most.
We would like to expand to more girls since Toule has 6175 people, and we are setting up meetings with a new group of around 10 beneficiaries that might be exactly what we are looking for.
I could interview two of the beneficiaries, Stephanie and Claudine. Stephanie went from selling one basket of okro(local product) and pepper we gave her to four tomato baskets (which she finds more profitable) and one of okro and pepper on her own, she's looking to expand her business to a small table shop that could be set up the days that she does not go to the market and she feels now independent and empowered, and very grateful that she can give her child food and education.
Claudine could open a hairdressing business in the neighborhood after we gave her some of the materials and the business is now growing steadily, she's looking to improve her training so she can offer more things, like nail decoration services. She feels now as a source of support to her family and often helps economically other members, while before the program she was the one asking them for help.
Today is Partner Reward Day and we will receive 40% extra from globalgiving for every donation we get. This could be the perfect opportunity to push for developing a virtuous circle in Tole. Every new empowered girl is a wealthier client to some of them, a rock for their families and an example for all.
You have given us so much already that we can't ask for more. We would be more than happy if you could just promote the program during this day, explaining it to your acquintances or sharing the globalgiving link in your social media accounts.
Dear Donors,On the path to success, day after day, the story is changing for the best. And in the lips of our beneficiaries, the praises are endless. Things will never be the same again in the lives of our beneficiaries thanks to your support. With the positive results revealed by the evaluation on project impact for the support to 36 girls on different business activities, the last three months was a period to scale up the businesses of the different previous beneficiaries while coaching them on business skills and strategies to get them ready for the challenges of moving gradually from a small business to a much bigger business initiative.Thus, after follow up visits to the beneficiaries’ business sites, a coaching exercise was organized on Basic Book Keeping and Effective Groups. The participation and interest expressed by beneficiaries during the coaching exercise was a motivation to provide outstanding girls with additional capital to expand their business initiatives.The beneficiary’s appraisal has often been a motivation for Reach Out staff to do more. Their stories are often very touching and testimonies to a positive twist on their lives, their immediate family and the community at large.Testimonies from BeneficiariesStephanie : “I have expanded my pepper business to include tomatoes and other vegetables. I can now go to neighboring towns to sell my goods”
Expina: “Buying medications for my son when need be is no longer a challenge for me. I can afford that and more for him, thanks to my fish business”
Vastina: “Thanks to the money I raised from my call box business, I was able to assist my family in giving my father a befitting burial”
Extending a hand to the needyElizabeth, Secretary of the Unity Sisters (Group): “With profit made from our funeral decor and chair rental business, we bought some items such as soap and firewood which we offered to a visually impaired lady and her two sons who are also visually impaired”Expect our next report in three months as we assure you that your donations are creating an impact in the lives of our beneficiaries.
We focused during this phase of our ongoing effort of making an impact on girls’ education in Cameroon to follow up and ensure proper implementatio as well as evaluate the impact of your donations on the lives of our target beneficiaries. So far, Reach Out Cameroon through your support has brought light to the lives of 36 girls in Tole and Bakweri town who are today “counting their blessings and naming them one by one”.
Based on assessment and the need, the capacity enhancement centre was extended to the heart of our beneficiary community- Tole to accommodate an after school progam for the underprivileged kids in the community as well as reduce the cost of transportation to the lone centre operated initially. Based on the trainings that were offered to the girls on HIV and AIDS, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), Family Planning, Nutritional counselling and Gender Based violence, the recent evaluation and follow up sessions proves the putting of knowledge into practice by the beneficiaries. They can now regulate their births, sponsor their children to school, take care of their personal needs as well as care for their aging parents.
In the current partners meet up by the Global Giving representative to Cameroon (Britt Lake), beneficiaries expressed their joy:
Vastina Nguti , “I never knew how to go about opening my own saloon but thanks to the grant given to me be my Reach Out Cameroon, I could sell the items, manage my business and invest more to start up my own beauty saloon” she confessed.
Mbah Esther, “Reach Out has taught me to be financially independent, not to only rely on my husband for all my needs. I pray other girls learn from me”
Clodine Manyi Tole “ I no longer have time to run after men for money. All I do is spend time on my business and think of improving it. Thanks a million to Reach Out Cameroon for empowering me economically”
Expect our next report in three months as we assure you your donations are creating an impact in the lives of our beneficiaries.
Hello Dear Donors,
We are pleased to update you on the progress of the Keep a Girl Alive project and the impact your contributions are creating in the lives of our beneficiaries and their communities as a whole. In this phase of the Keep a Girl Alive (KGA) project, 18 women and girls were identified from the vulnerable community of Tole and small Soppo of the Buea neighborhood and trained on the cultivation of mushroom for income generation and to improve their nutritional content by using mushroom as a substitute for meat, fish and other protein sources which are not affordable for the poor and underprivileged.
Mushroom is good for supporting HIV-AIDS infected people because mushrooms consist of many healthy nutrients which help to strengthen the human body and the immune system. It is not very strenuous that neither much energy nor a large piece of land is required but it can be cultivated in a room. Furthermore the costs for the production are very low.
Appreciating Reach Out Cameroon for the innovative means of making money and having beef for protein, one of the participants, Esther from Tole said she was going to harness the knowledge to create employment for herself while teaching other girls in her community on how to go about its production. The girls also had the opportunity to accompany some staff of the wealth creation department to training in snails cultivation organized by the snails for life CIG, with similar objectives as the training for mushroom cultivation explained above.
It was also time to monitor the beneficiaries of petit business to ensure that they are breaking even and to guide them on how to go about calculating their profits and the need to save and expand the business. The experience was encouraging as from the items donated to the beneficiaries previously, they had expanded their businesses by added other commodities that where in high demand in their communities.
Expect our next report in three months and be assured your contributions are making impact on the lives of those we service.
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South West Region,
South West Region