My name is Meg Dallett, and I’m an In the Field intern with GlobalGiving in Cameroon this summer. I’m traveling around the country visiting all the GlobalGiving-partnered NGOs, and I’m writing this postcard to pass on some of what I’ve seen to the donors who have given to this organization.
When a community asks Self Reliance Promoters’ NGO (SEREP) to help them with a project, the first thing SEREP asks is “What can you do yourselves?” So SEREP Managing Director Wirkom Fred Mbiydzenyuy has been working with the village of Takija to build a nursery school using builders from the village, bricks from the clay all around, and support from the entire community.
Takija is one of the only villages around here that does not already have a nursery school, so its smallest children fall behind their peers when they enter primary school. Salle Wiylanynys has two nursery school-aged children (five year old twins), and wants his kids to have the same opportunities most other children have. “It is the hope of all Cameroon that children will have nursery school, and that is why we want to send our children here,” he tells us. He’s been selected as Takija’s community representative on the project, making sure that it meets the village’s needs and that any problems are spotted and addressed right away.
When we came back into the village center, children ran up to us shouting “Cheese! Cheese!” and burst out laughing when we showed them the pictures we’d taken. The village head and elders brought us into a tiny room where they welcomed us through a translator, thanking us for coming to see their work and telling us how pleased they are about the progress they’ve made with GlobalGiving donations. A very elderly woman who called herself the village mother declared “I am so happy to finally see this nursery school coming to pass in my village. I only hope I will live to see it completed!”
The residents of Takija are using as many free materials as they can put together, but they can’t get tin or plaster without funding. Fred is planning to redouble his fundraising efforts so that Salle’s youngest children will be running around a bright new nursery school soon!
For pictures of the project, check out http://inthefield.globalgiving.org.
If you’re interested in SEREP’s other projects, take a look:
Feed a Cameroonian Family. SEREP’s Palm Oil Project
Build a School for 100 Orphans in Cameroon
Help Mbosha Women Build a Primary Health Centre
Help Takija Build a Nursery School to Educate 60 Children
Give the Gift of Education—Sponsor an Orphan or Vulnerable Child