It is a small miracle that our car, a taxi borrowed from a friend of a friend, survived the journey. The rattling piece of metal took us over rolling green hills, down narrow, bumpy red dirt tracks and finally, to the remote village of Mbosha.
We traveled all this way to meet the women who, determined to meet the needs they saw within their community, decided to form a women's group. With the help of Self-Reliance Promoters' NGO (SEREP), they set out to get things done. As you can tell from the video above, their passion and energy are infectious.
The village has no electricity or running water. But yet two women from the group run a health center that in addition to providing basic health services, has already helped give birth to over 70 babies since its creation in 2005.
The women who run the clinic are volunteers. Despite having families to take care of and crops to tend to, they have taken the time to get the proper training to provide basic primary healthcare for the people of Mbosha.
Above: One of the women, with her year-old daughter (born at the health center), with Mbosha village in the background.
Above: The women in front of the new center that is currently under construction.
As they try to build their capacity, they realized that they needed a bigger space! And so they have started building a new clinic. As you can see, construction is well under way. The new health center features more room for patients, a latrine out in the back, and a separate building for a kitchen! Word has spread about the health center to the surrounding communities, and so those who must travel from afar to get here do not have local family or friends to shelter or feed them. The new building, kitchen and extra space will help solve this problem.
Above: The kitchen-in-progress
SEREP is also trying to get a palm oil project off the ground, which would consist of purchasing palm oil for both these women's families' consumption and for re-sale to generate some income. I can assure you that palm oil is an absolutely vital part of the Cameroonian diet. It is found in virtually every single traditional dish, and as one friend put it, "if it is not made with palm oil, then a Cameroonian will not eat it." Currently, because of the lack of funding, the project is not currently taking place.
And last but not least: three of the many, many children who were born in the health center that they wanted me to take pictures of!