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Oct 1, 2018

Thanks for supporting displaced families

Anthony
Anthony

Dear donors,

Shortly after we wrote this Project, we could support Susan with the first grant of 50,000 francs. This is roughly 100$.

Susan was being hosted in Tole, a community nearby Buea, the capital of the South-West Region. Although when we met Susan and wrote this project this was a safe community, the tension was escalating.

By August 2018 Tole was the scenario of numerous confrontations between the military and the non-state armed groups. This tension has only climbed further and presently only about 20% of the original population of Tole is still there. Everybody has left. Susan, like many other internally displaced persons, has limited communication means. We have been trying to reach to her on the two phone numbers she gave us, but neither of them is working. Because of this, we could not assess what was the impact of the grant on her and her family. If we follow observations from other beneficiary families, we can say she must have likely set aside some portion to do business, kept some to pay rents wherever she is and definitely improved on her feeding and that of her family.  

We are sorry to not be able to track her, but I hope you can understand that we are working in a very volatile environment. Because we can’t keep working with her, we chose to close this project (by reducing the funding goal to the minimum) and will use the remaining funds to support other displaced families in similar situations. I want to share with you 3 of their stories, so you can get to know the kind of people your donation will go on to help, and what they have gone through.
 

“My home was attacked by unknown men. That, coupled with the numerous gunshots in my area… we had to flee into the forest. We stayed in the forest for 2 months and life was very difficult, there was no farm to work, rain fell on us. We had no food to eat and no shelter, we had just a mat to cover us. We slept on the ground. We lived on fruits. Mangoes, banana, and guava, and the days we don’t see fruits we sleep on an empty stomach. Some of our friends and relatives died in the forest due to malaria bites and lack of medication. Presently there are still some in the forest because they have no family relatives to run to. I am presently being hosted by my mother-in-law. I have six children and some of them are not with me because we got separated in the course of running to seek for refuge. I used to work with a farming company, but for five months now I have not received payment.  Life has become unbearable. I am not able to neither feed my children nor take care of their needs. The crisis has paralyzed me and I don’t know what the future has in store for me.

 (Anthony)

I had to run into the forest because of gunshots in my area. I was surprised, so I carried no extra dress. My elder brother was murdered in Mamfe. We have lived in the forest for one month, but we were able to reach Ekona. Since then we have been on the run. [Ekona was also attacked shortly after and became a conflict zone]. We have no food to eat, no family to run to. I now live with my partner and our two children with other relatives in one room in Muea. Presently I sell water-fufu in the market in order to make a living and at the end of the month, I make a profit of 5000 [10$]. My husband is working pushing a wheelbarrow in the market. We barely have food to eat. Thanks so much for this assistance, it will help a lot. 

(Mary)

I ran because of gunshots. I and my family slept in the forest for two months. I am a father with four children. While in the forest, we had no drinking water, no food and my children became sick due to the poor conditions. My wife was pregnant with our fourth child. We struggled and left the forest, and my wife went into labor. We were lucky to give birth in a clinic, she had complications and had to be operated. I am not able to pay the bills in the hospital. I’ve paid 150,000 [300$]. To this day, my wife has been forced to stay in the hospital, because I am not able to pay the bills. My children are not with me because we have been scattered all over. Some of them are in Douala and others in Limbe doing odd jobs in order to survive. We are practically homeless depending on others to survive. I built a house with 6 rooms in Mbonge for my family, I had farms. I’m now being hosted in a friend’s house, begging for food. I keep thinking if I am able to have capital, I could start a poultry business to generate income and take care of my children.

(Mr. K)

Mary
Mary
Mr. K
Mr. K

Links:

Sep 17, 2018

You put a smile on her face.

Dear donors,

with your generous donation, Bandi managed to set up a stable micro business.

Some years back, Bandi’s husband died. She was sent away from her matrimonial home and accused of having HIV by his family, since the husband death was attributed to the illness. With frustration and sadness, she fell to the hands of a man who took advantage of her situation after staying with this lover for some time, life became miserable for Bandi and her children as they were being abused and beaten by Bandi’s lover.

She decided to start all over by herself. That’s when we met her, she was surviving on debt and mendicancy. She had already set everything necessary to fix her life, was managing to feed her children and was independent, but she was moving on a very thin thread. Every week she would have to get supplies on debt, and sell them in the market, keep part of the profit and pay back the debt.

But thanks to our intervention and your support, Bandi has become fully independent and established solid foundations for her business and family.

In July,  she extended her provision business after receiving a second grant from you. Bandi buys corn, beans, plantain, and cocoyam from farmers and sells in large scale to her ready customers.  She makes a profit of $30 every week, which is more than 4 times what she was making before your intervention.

She recently moved into a new house with her children and she is able to feed them and herself much better thanks to your help. She no longer depends on anyone for her needs.

In addition to her business, Bandi rears fowls which she expects will generate more income for her and her children and will help her to keep growing out of poverty forever. Indeed you have put a smile on their faces thanks to your help.

Links:

Sep 17, 2018

The conflict escalates but we continue working

Anna
Anna

 

Dear Donors,

 

As you might know, Cameroon is on the verge of a civil war. As the conflict escalates, our project undergoes major changes.

 

  • More than half of our girls have moved out of Tole, which is a high-risk area right now.

 

  • Some of them have moved out of the South-West Region altogether.

 

  • Of course, all their businesses are affected by the crisis, and they need to come up with new strategies to survive. Some are not succeeding and their profits are quite low.

 

  • It has become dangerous for us to come to Tole to meet regularly with the girls. We apply tight security protocols and stay there for only briefs periods of time.

 

  • Casualties are directly affecting us, and them. Community stakeholders we used to relate with, such as members of the village council, have been assassinated. At least one of our girls lost her life-partner to the indiscriminate shooting.

 

  • We have halted any distribution of grants for now.

 

However,

 

  • Even in this horrible war and climate of continuous displacement, the vast majority of girls are still doing business (85.7%)

 

  • Because the project execution followed the schedule, we had already engaged the 80 new girls we planned to help this year before it became too hot. We just have pending one last round of grants for 40 girls who are doing well after receiving their first grant. This will happen in November, after the high-intensity period of October has passed. (October 1st will commemorate the unification of the two Cameroons. October 7th will see elections in Cameroon. Elections are being boycotted by the separatist forces fighting the government. Major displacement has taken place in the past few days in preparation for the conflict coming to Buea).

 

  • We are able to keep going to the field. The new non-state armed groups are not hostile to us, because the community knows us and respects us. We have been helping their young women for long. We are still in danger of being caught in the crossfire, but we have been able to keep operating.

 

  • We helped 13 internally displaced women who ran away from war and had their houses burnt in July who joint this project. Now in September, we can say we are supporting more than 60 displaced women. More than half of our active girls are currently displaced, but we manage to see them in their current locations or to follow-up through phone calls.

 

So you are also contributing to mitigate this horrible conflict. Thank you, we need all the help we can get. The international community has not yet stepped up and we are trying to slow down something that is way bigger than us.

We are not giving up, and they are not giving up either. Thank you for being there.

Elizabeth sells farming inputs during rainy season
Elizabeth sells farming inputs during rainy season
Julie just relocated, but we keep in touch.
Julie just relocated, but we keep in touch.
Mabel has decided to stay and just be careful
Mabel has decided to stay and just be careful
"Even if it gets hot, I will sell from my house."
"Even if it gets hot, I will sell from my house."
Charity changed business. "My clients have left."
Charity changed business. "My clients have left."

Links:

 
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