Teen Mother Empowerment in Cameroon

 
$7,207
$27,793
Raised
Remaining
Muea ladies working hard
Muea ladies working hard

Teen Empowerment Project Monthly Report: April 2013

Introduction:

April started with a bang: 30 teens from Muea were identified and the workshops are now underway. The Mutual Health enrolment and other paperwork is a bit of a slow process but we got a new kick of motivation after having over 90 teens from Bolifamba show up for the identification.

Monthly Goals:

  • Finish identification in Muea and begin workshops series
  • Begin identification in Bolifamba and Dibanda
  • Continue fundraising efforts

Major Activities in Chronological Order:

  • Muea identification was held on April 3rd at the Customary Court Hall. Only four girls, none of whom were eligible for the program, showed up. We were not discouraged because there was a lot of community support so we agreed on another identification the following week.
  • Mr. Joseph from the Regional Health Center in Muea, Mr. Julius from Mutual Health and Mr. Solomon of Muea have acted as social mobilizes in Muea going door to door with TME pamphlets, educating them about the program and encouraging their participation.
  • Dropped program instruction letters off for the Chiefs of Bolifamba and Dibanda.
  • Second identification in Muea was on April 10th with a turn out of thirty teens! We chose the official weekly meeting time and date to be Friday 4-6pm.
  • Through the help of Mutual Health Management, met with health care providers in Bolifamba to discuss our program and solicit their help in entering their community.
  • Set identification of Bolifamba to be on April 30th at 4pm.
  • Met with social mobilizers of Bolifamba, sensitized them on the project and sent them to the 11 quarters of Bolifamba to sensitize the community on our project.
  • Brought Introduction/Announcement letters to 10+ churches in Bolifamba.
  • Had first and second official Muea workshops with an average number of 16 teens. We worked on getting their paperwork completed so that they and their children can be enrolled in Mutual Health and start to reap the first benefit of the TME project. Also voted on topics of workshops for the next few months.
  • Had our identification in Bolifamba with an astonishing 96 girls show up! We had to go make photocopies twice of the identification papers because more continued showing up. Our social mobilizers really did an amazing job in Bolifamba.
  • Bolifamba girls were so motivated that they chose their workshops to be held every Tuesday from 4-6pm AND one Saturday a month from 9am-4pm.

 

Challenges:

  • All mobilizers and those working with us want and expect some sort of compensation for their work. We have a small budget and can’t always afford their work.

Solutions and Changes:

  • Moving into the community slowly and staying for a while. Instead of going to several villages and attempting gaining the trust of each community, we’ve decided to establish the program in 2-3 villages, gain their trust, and conduct several series of workshops in the same villages.

Unattained Goals and Reasoning:

  • Identification of Dibanda postponed until we are fully entered into the other 2 communities. It doesn’t make sense to rush into things.
Muea Teens!
Muea Teens!
First Official Workshop in Maumu Village
First Official Workshop in Maumu Village

Teen Mother Empowerment Monthly Project Report: March 2013

Introduction:

Arriving on the 10th of March, the new Program Coordinator, Antonia Morzenti from United States was briefed on the previous activities of the TME program which has been underway in Buea since 2009. Antonia was given the assignment of working with Cameroonian social worker, Mr. Nzue Maxentius. Together the two of them, on behalf of SDI, have a target of 5 villages and 100 teens to empower through a series of workshops. At the debut, nineteen teens were already identified in the village of Maumu and we moved from on from there.

 

Monthly Goals:

  • Begin workshops in Maumu
  • Complete identification in Upper and Lower Muea
  • Begin Identification in Bolifamba and Dibanda
  • Continue fundraising efforts

 

Major Activities Carried Out in Chronological Order:

  • To reintroduce the program into the community, Suliman (SDI founder), Max and Antonia went around Buea to relevant ministries and delegations. Those personally contacted include: The Region Delegation of Family Affairs and Women’s Empowerment, The Ministry of Social Work, and Buea Mutual Health.
  • The Region Delegation of Family Affairs and Women’s Empowerment will send a delegate to open up new workshops series when possible.
  • Buea Mutual Health has agreed to introduce Mutual Health care coverage at the first workshop in a new series for all villages in the future.
  • Set a date for Antonia’s introduction into Maumu Village.
  • On that date, we stayed four hours in Maumu. The first two hours were spent walking around the village, learning the area and attempting to ‘round up’ the identified teens and others who are interested. The other two hours were spent: waiting for participants. introducing the program, and choosing an official schedule for the workshops series. The girls chose: Thursdays from 4-6pm every week. The total number of participants reached six.
  • The first official Maumu workshop was held on March 21st. A Delegate from Women’s Empowerment opened with a prayer and words of encouragement. Mr. Bate of Mutual Health followed with an enthusiastic speech about health in general and the benefits of this coverage. We then chose themes for the workshops series and wrapped things up but taking photos for the health care cards. Total number of participants reached nine but only five were eligible for the program.
  • Set date for Upper and Lower Muea Identification workshop and began to advertise at the ~25 churches in Muea and on two local radio stations.
  • Met with Maumu chief to discuss low turn out and disinterest at the two previous workshops in hopes of mobilizing him to find people sensitize his community for a better turn out the following week.
  • The manager of Buea Mutual Health aided in finding local community members from Muea to sensitize the community on the program and inform eligible teens girls about the benefits.
  • Second official workshop March 28th. We waited for 45min and no one showed up. Max and Antonia made an official decision to withdraw our efforts from Maumu because of the lack of interest.

 

Challenges:

  • Jumping into the middle of a project where identification has already taken place.
  • Working in a village as an “outsider”. A new face is not easily trusted.
  • General lack of interest and motivation from teens and the community as a whole.
  • Keeping time, not African time.

 

Changes in Program:

  • SDI and the Teen Mother Empowerment program will only be working in villages were there is serious interest and motivation. If the girls do not want to be there [at the workshop] we do not want them to be there. Serious and motivated participants only.
  • Antonia and Max will be working closely with local village members who have genuine interest in the successfulness of the program leading to the betterment of the girls and the community as a whole.

 

Unattained Goals and Reasoning:

  • Identification in Muea was extended so we would be working with a high number of participants.
  • Bolifamba and Dibanda were put on hold so that the TME team can realize the most optimal and beneficial way to enter communities with this program. We must seek support at the local level before entering so that we are not viewed as complete “outsiders”.

Dear Donors, Supporters and Friends,

We would like to sincerely thank you for all the painstaking efforts in making our project fruitful with your hard earned cash and technical support.

THE GIRL EFFECT FUND has made it possible, first in the history of our teenage mothers' project, to start envisaging achieving our yearly target of reaching out to 100 teenage mothers' direct beneficiaries.

So far we have received 45% funding of our yearly budget from THE GIRL EFFECT FUND just in the first quarter of 2013. this is promising. Bravo!!! The GIRL EFFECT FUND.

With THE GIRL EFFECT FUND we are sure to start our Teenage Mothers Institute come September, 2013. Our most cherished goal to be achieved in Cameroon.  

Antonia Morzenti , a volunteer from Wisconsin, USA with grant support from OMPRAKASH will handle the capacity building of teenage mothers in the next 6 months. She will arrive in Cameroon, Buea 10 March, 2013. OMPRAKASH we are grateful!!!

January 2013, we evaluated the Tole village project.

February 2013 we started with Mamul Village, sensitization and identification with 20 teenage mothers to receive complete capacity building training over a period of four months, 40 Mutual health coverage for a year (Mother and child), and school sponsorship for 3 to continue their education and, the rest entrepreneurs in the making.

March 2013, we began with Lower Muea and upper Muea villages, we held fruitful discussions with the two chiefs; sensitization and identification of teenage mothers in their communities has begun. By March 15, 2013 we will be through with the two Muea villages sensitization, and identification process.

The last two weeks of March, 2013 we will focus our attention to cover Bolifamba and Dibanda villages. This gives us 5 villages targeted yearly with 100 teenage mothers' direct beneficiaries.

THE GIRL EFFECT FUND know that we are in this together; our achievement is your achievement, we could not have envisage achieving so much this year without your support Cameroon Teenage Mothers hold you in high Esteem.

We look forward to your continued support and; please join us in modeling our future mothers and leaders.

Hello Supporters and Friends !!

We are glad to report to you that 2012 ended with an advocacy and personal development workshop for 15 teenage mothers in Bonduma village.

In October , We got the Tole teenage mothers shop a spacious environment and shop functioning. Though we were not able to meet our target in 2012.

In 2013 we are targeting 100 teenage mothers in 5 localities within Fako division, Soutt West Region for capacity building, Revolving Micro Credit, Health Care coverage.

Yeah!!!    We are grateful  for all your support throughout 2012. We could not have achieved what we have done so far without  your generous donations. We are grateful for your support.

Thank you once again !!

We look forward to 2013..

Merry X-Mass and A Prosperous 2013 !!!

Links:

Shallod in SDI office for August count down
Shallod in SDI office for August count down

Donors and supporters,

It is a wonderful pleasure working with you all these years. Your hard earned cash puts our strategic intentions into reality.

We are pleased to inform you that two teen mothers have received microcredit loan of US$100 each.

The Tole teen mothers shop is picking up; in the next four months we will include a call shop section in a bid to make the shop auto-financing and increase the opportunities of teen mothers to handle more functions in the shop.

Shallot (picture attached ) has taken the task of looking for a more spacious accommodtion to host more activities.

We look forward to your continued support in salvaging the vulnerability of our future mothers/care-givers and leaders in our communities

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Organization

Project Leader

Anwi Helen Mbandi

Woodbridge, Virginia United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Teen Mother Empowerment in Cameroon