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Jun 7, 2019

progress report (March-April 2019)

The keep a girl alive program so far in this past months has not been as effective as we would have liked, due to the on-going armed conflict. There were several curfew days issued by the Non-State Armed Groups, and there was constant confrontation between the two sides of the conflict in Tole, making the community very insecure..  We are still in touch with the program participants.  43% of girls are still in the area, and doing business. A small percentage are in the area, not doing business, and the majority have left and are doing business elsewhere. All participants are still doing bookkeeping.  Monthly profits dropped in March by about 33%, and are now beginning to improve. With an average working capitalof 28,517 FRS (roughly 50$), some of the businesses are barely surviving.They try to adapt to the current situation, as some of them change their line of businesses just to make sure they survive this period.  

For the past two months we have noticed an increase in the request for loans. These loans are use to boost their working capital.Also some of the girls return to the community with no capital and had to request for loans to start all over again.  Thanks to your donations, they have a support to rely on. As the environment getscalm by the day more girls keep coming back to the area. So far from the last follow up in the month of May it shows that a good number of them are back in the community but some are yet to start doing business again.

Despite the difficult times some of the girls still keep up to their commitments to saving. At least 35% of the girls save every month this shows that they are very much active even in the current situation. We look forward to having in the coming months an increase in the profit as well as their capital.

Comment from our volunteers.

Lewin: The frequent lock downs and attacks from the non state armed groups, have left the community in a state of fear, putting activities and business on a standstill. Also some of the girls have been disturbed with some medical issues such as children being hospitalized, and there are others who have been sick for quite a while now and had to move to other areas in search for medical help. Many other girls have been showing interest in the program by trying to register.

Adeline: The poor network has weakened the follow up system as it was always difficult to reach the beneficiaries and on time, the Insecurity also contributes, as there were lockdowns and sometimes signals that violence might erupt. All these had a direct effect on the turnout of beneficiaries during follow up (May).

Mar 11, 2019

Melvis

Melvis during market day
Melvis during market day

It was another challenging season for our participants as some of them were at the verge of losing everything due to the Anglophone crisis. Some businesses could not survive the conflict, while some have persevered all throughout this period. Most of the participants had to change their businesses. Overall, the period was not a favorable one as their average profits dropped by roughly 20%. But despite this situation, our participants are still defying all odds and making a living by themselves.

Melvis has been with us since March 2018. She sells fresh vegetables like pepper, onion, okra and tomatoes. She did not move during this year, while the conflict was escalating, but rather stayed back and continued with her business. Despite receiving threats from the military she didn’t want to move. She was accused of being the one feeding the guerilla.

As the conflict grew more and more violent and most people abandoned Tole, (August 2018) her store became one of the few ones in the village. She gained more customers and had to increase her supplies. At the point where the heat began cooling down a bit, Melvis had gained a larger market. During that period she made a profit of 194,700frs (roughly 400$) with a loan of 60,000 francs we gave her during that period. Nobody else would have given her credit in such an area and period, but that’s why your support is so important.

Melvis determination encouraged the rest. Besides the store, she has also created a small bar where she sells the local drink (palm wine). She dedicated a lot of time on both her businesses and while others were scared of investing their money, she took the risk and grew her business to where it is today. She was able to pay back the loan in a period of one month and took another for 120.000frs. She was admired by many. She is focused, push-pull and she is always available for follow-ups and does bookkeeping every day. She desires to see her children being educated and to live a comfortable life some day.

Links:

Feb 11, 2019

Balance of 2018

The Children of Father's House back home
The Children of Father's House back home

 

Dear donors, thank you for being with us. these are the highlights of the year 2018.

Main actions

 

  • Supported Fathers House Orphanage in Muyuka to create and expand a palm oil farm and to build a borehole.
  • Supported Mah Di’s orphanage in Kumba to expand their poultry,  purchase of a sewing machine and construct a new classroom and toilet.

Achievements

  • Mah Di’s orphanage has extended the poultry and piggery buildings. They acquired 5 cows. The piggery increased from 4 to 28 with piglets, and they are able to rare 500 chicks, 4 quills, 4 turkey, 1 goat, 3 sheep, and 4 rabbits.
  • Mah Di’s orphanage now has a sewing machine and they are able to teach children to mend their dresses. All children of appropriate age have been taught this useful life skill. They now mend their dresses, which also saves some resources for the orphanage.
  • In Mah Dis’, the impact of income generating activities has greatly increased. While in 2016 they represented less than 5% of the total income of the orphanage, now the orphanage self-generates more than 25% of their resources. The only challenge the businesses have are the current Anglophone Crisis which has depressed the economy.
  • Mah Di’s: Recently, the children were trained by a local NGO on how to administer first Aid treatment and how to repair torn shoes. They are fixing their own shoes now.
  • Mah Di’s: There was an increment in the harvest of the orphanage. Crops like Cassava, egusi, vegetables, yams yielded more than enough food.
  • After months forcefully displaced, the children of Father’s house orphanage could come back home as security improved in their area.
  • All the children who wrote any competitive exams this year have succeeded

Challenges

  • Children of Father’s House Orphanage have been constantly running to the forest for refuge due to the current unrest that has hit Muyuka.
  • Due to the conflict in Muyuka:  there’s no market for palm oil business which is the main source of income to the orphanage, the daily workers resigned, and the water project could not be finished.
  • The dormitory for Mah Di’s orphanage is now too small and it cannot contain all the children
  • Mah Di’s orphanage lacks enough chairs, tables, and desks for the children

Recommendations/projects of 2019

  • Construct a fence at Ma Di’s Orphanage to prevent thieves from attacking the orphanage
  • Purchase more bunk beds, matrasses, chairs, tables and desks at Mah Di’s orphanage.
  • Support the orphanages with playgrounds.
  • Temporarily support food security in Father’s House Orphanage while they get back on their feet.
  • If funds are available, both orphanages should get buses to transport the children, since the security context has deteriorated so much.

Conclusion

It is not a nice picture, but it’s the real one. These two houses are safe havens for vulnerable children in the middle of a civil war. They have lost most of their usual donations and funding, and they only have your support and that of a few more individuals. It is because of your support that both houses are still standing strong and are able to take care of their children in this horrible context. Thank you for that.

Children of Mah Di's
Children of Mah Di's
some of the cows of Mah Di's
some of the cows of Mah Di's

Links:

 
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