group picture with office of the Chief present
Last Sunday Florence’s family started a new journey towards self-sufficiency, and it is all thanks to you.
We could deliver on some immediate needs of the family (school fees, feeding, and treatment for baby Franklin, who was sick with malaria) but most important, we brought the ingredients for them to start two ventures. Firstly, they will be selling gateau (local pastry) in her house, this was agreed because they were already doing it last year, but stopped because capital was slowly reduced by their life expenses. Secondly, Melanie (15) has stepped-in. She has taken responsibility and will be cooking and selling chin-chin and ground nut sweets (again, typical local products) while in school, and she will also be part of the Gateau business. The senior lady on the pictures is the grandmother of Florence, she puts the expertise on the team, since she did Gateau for a long time herself. Great-grandmother, mother and daughter will work to push the family further.
Even the younger members of the family, like Gabriel, have a strong sense of responsibility and willingness to help, every few days he tries to teach English to his great grandmother. In all fairness their progress is small, but it shows the great attitude that every member of this home has. It might be the positive side of their life of scarcity, the three young brother and sisters have developed a maturity, humbleness and love for each other that are inspiring for any other family in the world. You can see it on the way they help their mother around the house at any moment, on the serious look on Visneida’s face when we were discussing with the older ones about the management of the business or on how the two children play with each other without need of toys. Florence might be blind but she has four extra pairs of loving eyes working for her. No doubt Franklin will soon join the team, let’s just hope it does not have to be too soon. With their well-being improved thanks to you; he should have some time to be a kid.
Our main concern now is that between all of them, with Melanie being the key part of the team, they can keep appropriate records of their business and maintain a clear separation between family expenses and business expenses. We will be monitoring on their situation and their records biweekly, it is of almost no cost for us since we have so many reasons to go to Tole village. The expenses do not cover all money donated; we will keep some to use it for a financial push in a few months time, once the business is set in movement, or in case an emergency arises.
Sunday was a great day for those working at Reach Out and we left Florence’s home with the feeling that besides all their problems they are going to make it work, we hope that you feel the same way.
P.D: You can get more information on Reach Out through facebook (www.facebook.com/reachoutcameroon) and very soon also twitter (@reachoutdev1), you can also check our other three projects in globalgiving: Aba, another story of a brave woman making it against all odds (http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/build-a-tailoring-business-with-aba/) the parent project Keep a Girl Alive, which contributes to identify cases like this one and generally provides training and finance to vulnerable women to start micro businesses (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/make-an-impact-girls-education-cameroon/ ) and our project to sponsor Rahim, and orphan from one of our partner orphanages who made it all the way to University. (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-an-orphan-go-to-university/ ).
Discussion about the business and what lies ahead