Apply to Join
Feb 13, 2020

Blessing on the move

Joan an IDP program beneficiary in the market
Joan an IDP program beneficiary in the market

Blessing is a 20-year-old girl who dropped out from school due to financial constraints.   She obtained her First School Leaving Certificate in 2013 and later enrolled into Government Secondary School Bakweri Town.  In the year 2013/2014, she attended form one because she was duly registered and her fees was paid. After that year, her parents could not pay her fees. “Though I continued school, i was never given a report card” said Blessing. Since the whole class was always promoted, I just moved to the next class without knowing my grade nor my position in class. I continued like that till 2018 when the whole of form 4 was promoted to form 5. In form 5, she could not continue school without fees because she had to register for the General Certificate of Education. There was no money for that and she finally left school.

Coming from a family of 6 in a community in the Fako Division of the South West Region where 90% of its inhabitants rely on extensive agriculture (Tea harvesting and planting), life has not really been easy for a mother of 6 who rarely gets any financial support from her husband.  Tole is a rural community that depends largely on the harvesting and planting of  Tea on the estate. Depending on the workers strength, the monthly salary ranges between 15,000 ($30) to 20,000 ($40) frs. “My mother is old in  age and can hardly go beyond 15,000 FRS a month.  With my father doing nothing for a living, mum could barely feed all of us. Talkless of affording school fees for me”. 

Before becoming a beneficiary for the KGA program, Blessing finally dropped out from school in 2018, and started doing “water fufu” business in 2017. Water Fufu is a stapple food of the South-West, made out of Cassava.  “When I finally realized that I could not steal and attend classes in form 5 because I had to register for the GCE, I focused on my fufu business.  I started buying cassava for 7,000frs ($14) and gotsmall containers to ferment the cassava inside.

In July 2018, with our donors´ support, Blessing was identified and her skills on entrepreneurship were developed. She was also trained on Book keeping and savings after which she was given her first level grant of 30,000frs.($60) With the addition of her capital, she was able to afford bigger drums of 200 litters to ferment the cassava inside. She also increased her purchasing power of cassava from 7,000 to 10,000frs and her profits increased from 3,500 to 6,000 a week. So did her savings. “Every Saturday after I sell, I make sure I save 5,000frs in our Njangi(communal savings practice).  

Growing up as a child, Blessing wished to become a banker , but due to financial constraints, she is no longer seeing her self-achieving that dream. But this has not completely shattered  her hopes of becoming a game-changer in her family. In 2019, Blessing switched to learning welding in a technical workshop in Buea. Being the only female apprentice in a work place of 5 male colleagues, blessing has the vision of graduating after three years and going back to the Cameroon Opportunity Industrialization Centre (C.O.I.C) to obtain a certificate. “I believe with that certificate I can have a job anywhere in Cameroon since I don’t think I will be able to afford my own workshop” said Blessing. When asked of when and how she had the passion for welding she replied;

“It’s not like anybody in our family is a welder neither do I have somebody I admire doing the job.  Since there is no school in Tole, a neighbor of ours sent his son to learn the trade. When he comes back from work and start talking about the welding stuff, the way he presented it was interesting. He told us in the quarter how soon he will be the one making doors and windows and everything that concerns Iron, I was surprised and interested. So I inquired from him if a girl can do this he said yes that’s how I decided to register”.

With her monthly savings of 20000frs Blessing started learning her trade in March 2019, and she pays  an annual fee of 50,000 frs ($100). She has to learn this trade for 3 years.  Blessing is still actively involved in her business like never before. She buys her cassava every week and her mother assists her in the processing while she goes to work. On market days she goes to the market and sells her fufu. From her monthly savings Blessing pays for her trade and supports her younger one who is in primary 6 in Government school Bokwango.

This is how far your donations have gone to make a young girl like Blessing, and many others like her, see a light at the end of the tunnel and to brave the odds of doing what many in her community see it as a man’s job. Thanks for your donation.

Blessing in the welding workshop
Blessing in the welding workshop
Jennet selling her vegetable in the market
Jennet selling her vegetable in the market
Blandine in front of her business space
Blandine in front of her business space
clara doing her business in the quarter
clara doing her business in the quarter
Feb 7, 2020

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

Souvenir, Father's House Orphanage
Souvenir, Father's House Orphanage
  1. Father’s House Orphanage

This orphanage continued to function during the last three months despite encountering a lot of challenges caused by the Anglophone crisis, as most of their partners have deserted them.  Life has not been very easy or stable for the kids but amidst the difficulties, they have been able to pull through by setting up income generating activities and receiving monthly donations from you. The kids have not been able to eat three times a day like before; they are able to eat twice due to limited resources.

The orphanage is involved in selling fresh fish to make ends meet. In December 2019, four cartoons of fish was bought at $30 and a profit of $110 was made. According to the Founder, the profit generated was used to buy food and clothes for the children during the festive period, and part for medication. The orphanage now rears pigs. So far, there are six pigs in the fence, and their plan is to sell after a certain period of time. There is also a small farm, which they cultivate and use the yield for home consumption. In December 2019, yams were harvested from the farm.

Thanks to your donation, four children have been sent to go to secondary school in the Littoral Region, where schools are functional. Those still in the orphanage have not had the opportunity to go to school since schools are not functioning in Muyuka.

Another major problem the orphanage encountered during the past months was the fact that 5 children were critically sick, and one operated upon. This made the Founder to spend more money than planned, but they are all healthy now.

Despite the challenges, Mrs Commy, the Founder of the Orphanage is thankful to God for keeping them alive, and her gratitude equally goes to you, the donors, for not forsaking them at a time like this.

Reach Out also directed a humanitarian partner, the Danish Refugee Council, to work with the Orphanage, and they made donations of some basic relief items.

 

2. A letter from Mah Di’s Orphanage

Dear donors we thank you so much for your donations that sustained us throughout 2019, and early 2020. We carried out the following activities during this period:

Education: the children successfully made it through the first term of the 2019/2020 academic year thanks to your financial, material and moral support.

Foodstuff: the Orphanage had enough for the children to eat, and we were also able to support other underprivileged people in our community.

Socialization & Outdoor Activities: the children celebrated the festive season in a grand style; they were engaged in preparing traditional dishes and visiting other children within the neighborhood. The children also visited the Kumba Amusement Park, as well as joint other orphanages under the canopy of the Meme Association of Orphanages to celebrate the end-of-year feast.

Visit to the Orphange: visitors came from within and out of Kumba with foodstuff like rice, beans, fish plantains and groundnut which they donated to the orphanage

Farming: the center successfully planted and harvested some food crops like cassava, plantain, yams and vegetables for consumption

Conclusion: we are so very thankful to the donors, who in one way or the other contributed to the upkeep of this orphanage.  God bless you abundantly

By Mah Diana, Founder of the Orphanage.

Ma Diana with the Children
Ma Diana with the Children
Children of Mah Di's Orphanage
Children of Mah Di's Orphanage
Children receiving gifts
Children receiving gifts
End-of-year party at Mah Di's Orphanage
End-of-year party at Mah Di's Orphanage
Children of Father's House Orphanage
Children of Father's House Orphanage
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
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.