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Aug 30, 2019

Shirlie

Shirlie with some of the fish she smokes and sells
Shirlie with some of the fish she smokes and sells

Due to the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, many women and girls have become much more vulnerable than before. Hundreds of thousands of women have been internally displaced thereby exposing them to all form of exploitation. It was on this note that Reach Out NGO decided in July 2019 to train 10 vulnerable women who have shown interest in business on how to maintain a successful business, bookkeeping and the advantages of savings. And most importantly, gave them grants to start their businesses.

Among these new beneficiaries is Shirlie who recounts her life in the bush in Munyenge, one of the most affected villages in the South West Region.

"I used to sell cooked food in Munyenge. But things turned sour on the 1st of October 2018. The military stormed our village in search of Non-State Armed Groups. Everything of ours was scattered including the food in the flasks i was selling, and we all ran to the bush without carrying anything.

Life in the bush was frustrating and challenging. We lived in a cocoa oven for this period of time. [Picture of a sample cocoa oven in the gallery]. We were 35 of us living in a cocoa oven. It was like a whole society comprising of babies, adults and the old. There in the bush there was no boundary as to who owns what. Anything that was eatable we took and ate, not minding who owns it. Plantains, plumps, tubers of people we don’t know became ours. We mostly roasted all these because we did not carry pots. Young women like me were mostly the ones looking for food because our young boys were at risk. The military targeted them and killed them claiming they are “Ambas” [members of the insurgency groups]. As for water, you don’t drink because the water is clean but because you are thirsty. Any liquid was drinkable in the bush. We drank it not minding the smell or colour. As for medication, herbs and tree trunks helped us so much. Without any proper diagnosis, our parents and grandparents living with us gathered herbs and tree trunks and boiled for the sick to take. Most at times they just assume is malaria or typhoid that one is sick of.

My family and I stayed in the forest for over 7 months In March 2019. A friend of mine who had ran from Munyenge asked me to come to Buea and start anew. Unfortunately, things did not turn out as planned. Living with my friend’s brother was not really easy. I was not doing anything to contribute to the welfare of the house. One day he told me that he wants me to be his girlfriend which I refused, this resulted to problems in the house. I could not do anything freely and was always uncomfortable. It came to my mind that I should look for another place to stay. So I complained to my aunty who is married to a pastor and have been displaced too from Muyuka to Buea. Though their house too is saturated she begged a neighbor of hers here to lend me this place where I am presently. I have been living here with my son. Unfortunately, the people I stay with say he disturbs a lot and eats a lot. To avoid problems, I sent him to my mother, who has successfully left the bush and is also in Buea. I have longed to have something stable doing since I came to town. Since March 2018, I have been doing manual jobs like tilling the soil, weeding people’s farms for money. Thanks to one of such jobs that I was able to have 5000 francs [8.5 dollars] to bring my son to Buea.

Being one of the beneficiaries of this program gives me hope and joy because with this my new business, I can rent a room of my own, be able to cater for my children and my parents. I also intend re-starting my food business when I have enough capital. "

 Thank you for being there for her.

  

training on entrepreneurship at Reach Outs office
training on entrepreneurship at Reach Outs office
Follow-up meeting with project participants
Follow-up meeting with project participants
group picture after follow-up meeting
group picture after follow-up meeting
Awat during training with her baby
Awat during training with her baby
An example picture of a cocoa oven
An example picture of a cocoa oven
Aug 29, 2019

Progress Report June, July and August

Children of Mah Dis
Children of Mah Dis

REPORT ON MAH DI’S ORPHANAGE AND FATHER’S HOUSE ORPHANAGE.

Pictures belong to Mah Di´s Orphanage.

Context: For three years now, there has been a shutdown on schools in the South-West and North-West Regions of Cameroon. However, some schools continue, and both orphanages are struggling to home-school their children in a safe environment. That is why you can read this is one of the main concerns in both homes.

1. Mah Di’s Orphanage

Mah Di’s Orphanage has been very effective and functional within the last months. In July, they spent averagely about 600,000frs (about 1,000 $) for food, medication, staff cost, bills etc. The children were able to eat at least three times a day. During this holiday period, the children have been attending workshops on trades such as tailoring, welding, hairdressing and cooking, especially the bigger children. This practice keeps them busy and prepares them to manage their households in the future. Two female children who succeeded the Advanced Level General Certificate Examination (GCE A/Level) wrote competitive entrance examinations to enable them enter the public service.

As far as this up coming school-year is concerned, the founder has already put in place certain measures to enable all the children go to school for free. An extension of class five has been added at the school in the orphanage to accommodate all age groups, and six teachers hired for ten months to teach Primary school. The founder was able to apply to the Ministry of Social Affairs to take care of the school fees of the children in secondary school. They now need more benches in the class room to accommodate the growing population.

The orphanage is clearly still under pressure these days. The building is tight and cannot accommodate all the children. This is partly because of the absorption of some displaced children as a result of the war. There is thus, a need for expansion. Due to this tight space the hygienic condition of the orphanage is deteriorating from its standards. The current toilet cannot accommodate the growing population. Also, the children don’t have the space they need to feel free around the house.

Fishery, piggery, poultry, farming and animal husbandry remain their main sources of income. Within the month of July and August, they had a profit of 250,000 FRS only from the poultry. That same period, 25 pigs and piglets died as a result of an epidemic bringing some loses to the orphanage, just ten pigs survived, which is more than usual for an outbreak of the African Schwine Flu, and shows good livestock management.

The children have also engaged themselves in farming of vegetables, corn and other food crops. They use proceeds from these farming activities for their up-keep and part for home consumption.

The orphanage has a high need for mosquito nets at the moment. They equally need bed sheets, assistance to extend the orphanage building and general assistance to pay workers and running costs. Most of the children in the orphanage need pullovers especially as it rains much and it´s chilly this season.

The founder of the orphanage thanks the partners immensely for their continuous support and assistance to the orphanage and she prays the almighty God continues to bless you.

2. Father’s House Orphanage

Thanks to your support, this orphanage has been very functional in the past months. The children are able to eat three times a day, unlike before when they couldn’t afford three square meals. The orphanage is now involved in selling fresh fish to make ends meet. They buy fish for 42,000frs and sell for 58,000frs within a period of two weeks. The palm farm project which used to be one of their main sources of income has been discontinued since the rents expired and it was not renewed. The ongoing conflict makes it dangerous to go to the farm and the prices have dropped too. They are now engaged in the rearing of pigs which is a lucrative business in that community. The founder is positive with this piggery business and she believes that in the nearest future it will generate much income for the orphanage.

During this holiday period, the children have been involved in workshops and other training classes to keep themselves busy and occupied. As far as this new academic year is concern, the founder is very worried concerning the fate of the children due to the Anglophone crisis. She is worried on how the children will cope with the current threats against school resumption. But despite this fear, she promised to hire teachers that can teach the children at the orphanage. For those in secondary education, she promised to send them to areas where schools are going on. As compared to the previous months, the orphanage living standard has really increased. The hygienic conditions have improved as they are now able to afford toilet tissues, pads and other basic necessities. “I am very happy and comfortable now as compared to the other months, we are able to eat three times and sometimes even four times. My major problem now is the fear of not going to school but in case there is no school at all, I intend to do business in order to better my future. Thanks to you the donors we have a future to look up to’’ said Zebulan, one of the children.

However, the orphanage still faces challenges of lack of matrasses and other basic household items, they are hoping that well-wishers and donors like you will continue to reach out to them. Mrs. Commy, the Founder of the Orphanage is thankful to God for keeping them alive and her gratitude equally goes to REO which remains the lone local partner of the Orphanage, and to you, the donors for not giving up on them as others have.

children in tailoring workshop
children in tailoring workshop
Children at Welding workshop
Children at Welding workshop
children at hairdressing saloon
children at hairdressing saloon
Jun 10, 2019

REPORT ON MAH DI'S AND FATHER'S HOUSE ORPHANAGE

Baby Abigail
Baby Abigail

1. Mah Di’s Orphanage The Mah Di’s Orphanage was very effective and functional in the month of May. Within this month, they spent averagely 500,000frs (about 1,000 $) for food, medication, staff cost, bills etc. The children were able to eat four times a day. The school section was also operational from class one to four with plans to extend the school to class five by the next academic year. The orphanage also hired five teachers. Thanks to this initiative, most of the children in the orphanage are schooling except those who are below one year. They therefore, need more benches in the class room to accommodate the growing population. It should be noted that school is not going on in most of the South-West and North-West Regions due to the ongoing civil war. The orphanage is clearly under pressure these days. The building is tight and cannot accommodate all the children. This is partly because of the absorption of some displaced children between three months and 23 years old as a result of the war. There is thus, a need for expansion. Fishery, piggery, poultry, farming and animal husbandry remain their main sources of income. Within the month of May, they had a profit of 100,000 only from the piggery. The children have also engaged themselves in farming of cassava, corn and other food crops. They use proceeds from these farming activities for their up-keep. The orphanage has a high need for mosquito nets at the moment. They equally need kitchen utensils like pots, plates etc. Most of the children in the orphanage need pullovers especially as it rains much this season. This holiday period, the children are learning cooking, especially the bigger children. This practice keeps them busy and prepares them to manage their households in the future.

2. Father’s House Orphanage This orphanage was more functional in the month of May than the previous months. The kids ate three times a day, though sometimes food was not enough and they ended up eating twice during such days. The orphanage is now involved in selling yogurt to make ends needs. They spend 5000frs to produce the yogurt, which they sell at 10,000 making a 100% profit on the initial capital. They equally sell fish and palm oil, which helps in sustaining them. Due to the Anglophone crisis, the palm oil business has not been as lucrative as before. Sometimes sales are very low but this has not stopped the founder from working. “This palm oil business which Reach Out got for us is one of our main sources of income. Thanks to these palm oil, we are able to have some money for our up keep,” the Founder of the Orphanage testified. Due to the Anglophone crisis, children of Father’s House Orphanage have not been going to school. The situation persisted and the founder had to look for three teachers to come teach them at the orphanage, but the house is not currently able to pay them consistently. “I use to pay the teachers 20,000frs every month but they have stopped because this month I am not able to pay them again”. There are also shortages of basic commodities. Reach Out will keep working with your valuable donations to improve the situation of the orphanage. Mrs. Commy, the Founder of the Orphanage is thankful to God for keeping them alive and her gratitude equally goes to REO which remains the lone partner of the Orphanage, and to the donors for not giving up on them as others have.

Children and staff of Father's House
Children and staff of Father's House
Founder Welcomes Newest and Youngest Orphan
Founder Welcomes Newest and Youngest Orphan
Children pose with Founder during an event
Children pose with Founder during an event
Moki Victor
Moki Victor
 
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