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Dec 16, 2019

Loretta

Loretta in her newly rented shop with her baby
Loretta in her newly rented shop with her baby

After the identification of 75 Internally Displaced women and girls in Limbe, Ekona and Buea through a door to door process using a Social Enquiry form,  63 women were finally targeted for our Keep a Girl Alive Program through Entrepreneurship based on their level of vulnerability and willingness to be engaged into business. 40 women were assisted in Buea, 12 in Ekona and 11 from Limbe. A detailed business plan was drawn by each of these women together with the Reach Out Team. Trainings took place in Buea, Limbe and Ekona on the 8th, 20th and the 27th of November 2019 respectively.

Two days after each training, the Reach Out team carried out business site visits. out of the 40 women in Buea, 35 were evidently seen doing business while 10 were seen but had not started due to some minor logistical challenges, like they are setting-up the supply of their goods from the farm to the towns. 5 women were not seen but were communicated with on phone.

Loretta who is an Internally Displaced Person from Mamfe started her own expansion the same day she received the grant. She lives with a family uncle of hers in Buea. “I came to Buea in February and stayed in the house without doing anything for three months. Life was not easy. We were 3 of us who ran from Mamfe living with my uncle with our babies. He struggled all alone to cater for us. The burden was too much on him until in July, he gave me 15.000 francs ($30) to start doing something so I could support myself and my baby. I could barely start anything apart from sewing. I bought all the necessary equipment like thread, needles, scissors just to name a few so I could sew some dresses. I bought materials to sew just for 10,000 frs and had to buy other things like the Zips, linings and others to sew.

I went to a tailoring shop already well-established and rented a machine there for two days which cost me 3,000 CFA ($6) for two days. I was able to sew seven good simple Cabas (traditional dress and hawk around to sell. I sold one for 3500 FRS ($7). Though the capital and the profit prevented me from doing more, I was just happy for the fact that I could leave the house and put my skills to use.

The day I received the grant from Reach Out, I saw myself in another dimension.  I took that money that same 8th of November went to a place I had seen available for rents. Immediately I paid the landlord 13,000 frs ($26) rent for a month. I bought materials and my sewing equipment in bulk. I saw a second hand machine on sale so I took it and promised to pay in instalments. I have entered a daily Njangi (Savings group) in which I save 3,500 frs ($7) on a weekly basis. My son and I can now have three square meals a day. I have many customers now and the demand for my products have greatly improved  am so happy to own and manage my own shop. I can now take full responsibility of my child and bring food in the house without my uncle giving me money.

By March 2020 I intend to rent my own room, bring my younger brother who is in Mamfe with my parents so that he can go to school here in Buea. I intend to be one of the biggest fashion designers in Buea and to also employ other young girls.”

Thank you so much for helping girls like Loretta  realize their dreams in dignity through your donations.

Carine selling food stuff in the market
Carine selling food stuff in the market
Chamba preparing her vegetables for the market
Chamba preparing her vegetables for the market
Nov 12, 2019

Esua and Joy

Joy at her business place
Joy at her business place

Doing business in the middle of a civil war is really challenging. This is the case in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon in particular. The economy seems dangling, with the numerous “Ghost towns”, curfews and lockdowns. However, monthly site visitats and strict follow-up of book keeping show that over 70% of program participants this month are showing improvement. They are gradually standing on their feet whereever they find themselves. Some have been displaced from Tole to urban centers like Buea and Limbe. They moved out again due to the weak economy of the village and the increasing insecurity.

“I am so grateful to be a beneficiary of this program” says Esua, one of the beneficiaries. “Despite the challenges I faced in Tole such as constant harassment from the Military and non-state armed groups, slow business turnover and lack of education for my children, and the ones I am facing here in Buea as a “refugee” [she is actually an internally displaced person, but they refer to themselves as refugees], I still have something to hold on to. My business for which you gave me the capital. Life is not easy here in Buea. I have left my own house which I had furnished and equipped well thanks to this business. I was able to join hands with my husband and we built our own small house in Tole.  Due to the crisis, we were forced to move to Buea and rent again. Here in Buea, while my husband struggles every day as a taxi man, I move from market to market to do my business. Though it’s so stressful and tiring, I don’t regret it. My children go to school here, unlike in Tole where they had stayed out of school for 2 years because of this crisis.

“This crisis is like a bad joke” said Joy, another beneficiary based in Tole. She has been displaced and came back on several occasions in the past year and a half.  Despite the slowness of economic activities, she stood her grounds in Tole. “People must eat” she said.  For more than a year she has been doing buying and selling of food stuffs with your support. (You can check her out in the project video, which was recorded about a year ago.) She is today one of the major suppliers of Eru in Tole. Though there is no school going on in Tole, Joy is able to send her children to other places like Douala to continue their education. No matter how many times she runs to other areas for safety, she is comfortable coming back to Tole, where she has mastered the market and has a great network of clients and a sure source of income.

Like her, hundreds of thousands of men women in this conflict area have managed to navigate life or death environments with multiple armed actors. They carry out normal business activities that help keep the living standards in their communities.

Thank you for supporting them. This month we will be expanding the program by supporting 40 new displaced women living in Buea and Limbe, and 20 from Ekona, another conflict-affected area where Reach Out carries out humanitarian activities (Food Distribution, Water Hygiene and Sanitation, and provision of services for victims of Gender-Based Violence), the 20 girls have been identified from these different programs. We will keep you posted.

Claudine in her Restaurant
Claudine in her Restaurant
Violet standing in  front of her shop
Violet standing in front of her shop
Nov 11, 2019

Report on NFIs Donation to MAH D's Orphanage

Children happy with gifts donated by REO
Children happy with gifts donated by REO

Four staff from Reach Out NGO visited the Mah Di’s orphanage on Friday October 11, 2019. The aim of this visit was to donate basic household items and pay the school fees of some children. The following items were donated:

  • 30 cartons of soap each contain 48 tablets of Savon
  • 30 mosquito nets
  • 10 baby’s Poo pot
  • 10 drinking rubber cups
  • 25 20 L buckets.

When we arrived at the orphanage, most of the children were in class studying. The Founder and some of the smaller children and the class on break welcomed us by singing songs and some recited short poems for us. We were given the opportunity to visit the children in class and get to talk to them briefly on our mission to the orphanage and the usage of the items brought. ‘’We feel delighted to receive you today and we are very grateful for these items you have brought’’ said Joy, a 10-year old pupil. The project of the school is expanding with 65 children from the neighborhood enrolling to study there. “Thanks to the enrollment of other children from outside, the orphanage is able to meet its objective to carter for the less priviledged’’ said Mah Diana, the Founder. We then preceded to hand the items to the Founder and some of the younger children who were on a short break.

We were made to understand that the orphanage is now referred to as “Mah Di’s Center for Children in Distress”. Despite the successful running of the school, the orphanage is in need of support to adequately pay the staff monthly and funds to increase the number of staff from one teacher to two teachers per class. They also still need a lot of support to cater for the children in the community as the orphanage now assists a blind lady by name Bih and some vulnerable persons.

We were taken to the project sites and the number of pigs have reduced from 35 to 25 due to an epidemic but the founder said they are hopeful to sell the remaining pigs in December to make up for the lost encountered.

500 birds were bought in the poultry farm and within a short period, they were sold and more birds and feeds were bought. So far, the poultry farm is expanding and Charles, the oldest orphan, has taken complete charge over the farm ensuring that all goes well. The orphanage is one of the biggest suppliers of chicks in the neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, the orphanage had seven cows but some died before it could be sold, just about 4 were sold. According to the founder, they experienced some losses.

The bigger children are in charge of cultivating the vegetable farm which they sell when the market price is high and consume internally when the price is low.

These income generating activities still remain one of their biggest sources of livelihood. Particularly because given that with the on-going civil war visitors who use to donate gifts have reduced their visits. The founder was so happy and extended her gratitude to REO and its partners, and prays God to continue to bless the entire team for the endless support to see that the children are happy. She said thanks to the items donated, she will divert the money she could have used to buy the items to buy other necessities for the children

REO Staff With Orphanage Founder
REO Staff With Orphanage Founder
Handing of gifts to Orphanage Founder
Handing of gifts to Orphanage Founder
Poultry farming, an income generation activity
Poultry farming, an income generation activity
Livestock farming, key income generationg activity
Livestock farming, key income generationg activity
 
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