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Jul 19, 2018

Microfinance Report

 

In January 2018, we started giving out loans to participants of the Keep a Girl Alive project. It has been going well, beyond our expectations. 24 girls have requested for loans to improve on their businesses and so far up to 95% of the girls pay back on time. The loan project has really been effective and the number is increasing from 15 girls in the month of April to 24 presently. Those who took the loans are seeing the effects already.

Lizette made an increase of 24% in her profits as a result of her increase in capital. She is now running a small permanent shop. She was before selling in the local market and this is an important step up. Irene too is making a great profit from her business as a result of an increase in her capital. Her profit has increased by about 20%.  It was all possible thanks to you. There are some setbacks with a few of the ladies due to some personal reasons. For instance, Christina, lost her small nephew and she wasn’t able to pay back for that month, she was the only one taking care of him. But she recovered and she has already paid back the loan. Also, the general market conditions have also posed some challenges due to the current conflict between state and non-state armed forces. Some market days are lost, the safety of movement is not guaranteed and some commodity prices have increased. Also, major roads have been blocked which makes the purchase of some products difficult.

But in all, your donation has greatly helped the girls to increase their purchasing power and as a result increase in their profits as compared to the previous months. Most of them aspire to be operating bigger businesses in the nearest future and also to make life easy for their children when they grow up. As per their current data, I think these goals can be achieved. All thanks to you, donors.


Jul 19, 2018

Report Title - Dramatic changes in Anglophone Cameroon

Dear donors,

We are sorry to say we could not execute the planned activities. Let us explain why.

In the South West and North West regions of Cameroon, what started as a lawyer’s trade union strike in 2016 soon after became a crisis dubbed the “Anglophone crisis”. This crisis has only escalated, giving rise to an armed conflict in both regions.

Today, the conflict between state-armed and non-state-armed groups keeps getting worse. This has led to the destruction of more than 90 villages, loss of lives, internal displacement of populations (+300,000) and the migration of people to neighboring Nigeria (30,000) in search of safety.

Non-state groups have declared the 2018 elections illegal, and threaten the bodily integrity of anybody involved with electoral participation activities. Moreover, an important proportion of the population is also against these elections, which they don’t see as a solution to their problems.

Given the prevailing situation in the South West Region, and the effect in the town of Buea coupled with increasing threats towards organizations implementing projects related to political participation, this project will not be carried out as planned. If we were to openly promote political participation, our organization and our staff and volunteers in the field would be under very real threat of attack.

You might ask yourself why we wrote this project then, in the first place. But you need to understand how rapidly the situation has deteriorated. In February 2018, when we first developed this project, the conflict was not at the same stage, and we had hoped we could continue with our electoral participation activities.

So how will your funds be used? This project is a “microproject” under the main project, the Keep a Girl Alive, which empowers young women to take control of their lives and become self-reliant through entrepreneurship. GlobalGiving gives us the authorization to use funds of microprojects back for the main project, in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Your donations will go on to help young women at risk to start a business, we will provide coaching, training and financial support. You will be getting reports from the Keep a Girl Alive and will be getting more acquainted with the program in the coming months. Although the political climate also affects this project (monthly profits have reduced), the program is strong and well-functioning, if anything, the number of potential participants keeps increasing with the current situation, that has forced more than 250,000 people to displacement.

If you want to get to know more about the humanitarian impact of the crisis, you can check out this short article in our website.

Your donations will be used to help girls like Urslar. When she first started in the program she had business experience but had lost all her money due to family problems. We taught her financial management and provided her with a grant to start again, and she was up and selling in all the markets around her. She would trade vegetables and proved to be a natural businesswoman. “Even in this crisis, one can make profits, things are more expensive, but I also raise my prices”. She qualified for a second grant 3 months after, and a third one this 2018. Early 2018, she gave birth to a baby boy. Under normal circumstances, this is a risky situation, because she stops working and she has to be consuming her business capital. But she could manage to keep aside some money, and she was also able to request a low-interest loan from us (we give grants periodically, and we give loans whenever requested, starting with small amounts). This allowed her to get back to her normal levels of investment and monthly profits very quickly. Last week she took a new loan, two times the size of the first, roughly 250$. Her first grant had been only 50$, and she has made 1 year and 1 month with us.

We know you wanted to help us bring democracy to Cameroon, but you will agree with us that democracy is more likely to come when women like Urslar are safe, well fed, and able to grow their projects. She is one of the more than 100 girls supported by this project, and with your donations, we will be able to support a few more. All of them have the potential to help build Cameroon to be the country it deserves to be. Even if there’s war today, we know it’s them who will rebuild this country.

Thank you very much for believing in Cameroonian women.


Jun 28, 2018

Work in progress

Thank you!
Thank you!

Dear donor,

With your support, we are building an electric bore-hole in Father’s House orphanage, Muyuka.

The work started on March 21, after different rounds of interviews with prospective contractors. We are saddened to say that the work has not been yet finished, because of numerous problems. The last one of them the Anglophone crisis that has brought violence to the area of Muyuka. After two months of gunshots and population movements, the orphanage finally decided to move out of the area two weeks ago, after flying bullets entered the children’s dorm.

Don’t be afraid, the children are safe, and we are going to finish the Borehole in the coming months when the situation becomes stable again. We are accountable to you and will keep reporting on this situation through our Orphans and Vulnerable Children program

We cannot blame it only on the political crisis, we have had numerous difficulties in this project and we want to be transparent with you.

Project Challenges

The project budget was found insufficient. This was because the first contractors gave a very low estimate. They did not finally carry out the job because our selection committee deemed them unprofessional, and we hired another technical partner.

To overcome this financial constraint:

  • We financed this with 2 microprojects, one funded in November and one funded in January
  • The orphanage also committed to increasing their contribution to the project. The orphanage is paying for 1,100,000 Million or roughly 2000$ by itself. This is done in a delayed payment.
  • The consultant agreed to split the payment throughout a few months.
  • We discussed over the budget and agreed over the minimum functional work: Appropriate drilling to access clean water and a pump that is functional and gives clean water.
  • We will make another project for the finishing: The tank and the system that carries water to the tank, so they can store water. This is very important because the pumping system is electrical and electricity cuts are still frequent in Muyuka.

Later on, when the consultant began work, we had other challenges:

  • The first drilling was not successful. The soil of Mile40, Muyuka has a different composition than those in the nearby communities, and it caught the technician unaware. It required an extra drilling in a new position.
  • By the time the drilling was finished the political situation had gone worse. Muyuka is located between the two major population centres of the South-West Region, and the separatist group has focused efforts here, trying to get to the capital, Buea. Workers were refusing to go to Muyuka. They were afraid of being attacked or extorted by the military or the rebels. So the work could not be completed.
  • Lastly, as said, the orphanage itself decided to relocate to the founder’s house for a while, and we are halting this operation in the orphanage while the situation calms down.

We have learned a lot from our mistakes and want to apologize for failing you and the rest of the donors. Be assured, Father’s House Orphanage will have water. Our organization keeps (and now even increases) our operations in this and other conflict zones and we will find a way to finish the work.

We keep in regular touch with the orphanage and we could recently support them with a business grant for another project.

We want you to hear from the people you are helping, that even with the project difficulties, are already so grateful to you.

“We have been carrying water on our heads, one of us even fell some weeks back” (One of the blind children)

“What we have suffered this dry season cannot be explained, you don’t know how much good you are doing for us” Mom Commy, Orphanage mother.

“The whole community praises you, we all need this water, you have helped many of us, we have gone through a lot.” One of the neighbours

Thank you for helping them and for believing in us, we will continue reporting on this project here, in our main program page, please add it to "project favourites" if you want to receive e-mails with updates. 

If you want to know more about the political crisis in the area and what we are doing to mitigate it, you can also check this other project.

Thank you very much, and our deepest apologies for this failure.

drilling
drilling
Community member who came to thank us
Community member who came to thank us
children of the house
children of the house
thank you!
thank you!

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