resource person giving lessons on puff-puff making
The ongoing Anglophone crisis has been raging for more than three years. Many persons especially women and children have been forced to leave their places of origin principally because of insecurity and for the sake of education. Bonabome is a community in the Douala IV municipality of the Littoral Region that has witnessed the influx of Internally Displaced Persons from both the South and North West Regions.
With funds from GlobalGiving, Reach Out is implementing a project in the area titled “Poverty Graduation for young Displaced Girls at Risk in Douala”.
The Goal of the project is to help 30 internally displaced young women at-risk to overcome extreme poverty permanently in Bonabome, Douala, Littoral Region.
With specific objectives to:
- Build capacities of 30 young girls in income-generating activities and entrepreneurship
- Disburse grants valued in 40,000 francs to 30 young girls at risk
Activities and methodology
Two Social Workers of Reach Out organized an introductory meeting in Bonabome on the 11 of March 2021. A 5 women’s targeting committee was created and the project, funders and activities were well explained to them. based on our pre-selection vulnerability criteria. The targeting committee members assisted the Reach Out team on the identification of the following category of women:
- The person must be an IDP woman or girl from 18 to 35years
- Must have incomes below the extreme poverty line to qualify (437 francs a day)
- Should also be interested to do an income generating activity
- Should be ready to learn a skill or a trade.
A door to door targeting and registration was done with the aid of the targeting committee member.
Selection of beneficiaries
Registration of beneficiaries was done using the mobile app KoboCollect. with the assistance of targeting committee members, a total of 51 women and girls were registered on the 11 of March 2021 in Bonabome. The information was saved and sent to the data base in the KoboCollect server. The information was later extracted from the data base to an excel sheet where it was analyzed. A scoring grade was awarded for each question, and the 30 persons with the highest aggregated scores were selected.
A two days training was organized in Excellent Bilingual School Bonabome. Based on beneficiaries’ demands, the training was on pastries, yoghurt and Ice cream. A resource person was hired for the training.
Day two was focused on Entrepreneurship, Savings, Book keeping. This was facilitated by Reach Out Social workers from the Wealth Creation Department. Using the Reach Out’s Training Manual for Grassroots Women and Girls, it was based on how to start a business, sustain it, characteristics of an entrepreneur, SWOT Analysis. Method of savings, importance of savings, how to save, definition of book keeping, examples of book keeping, and developing business plans.
After validation of the business plans, on the second day of training, beneficiaries filled a payment sheet with full names, contact, Mobile money number and associated mobile money name. This sheet was typed and sent to the accountant who did a mobile money transaction to each beneficiary. Each beneficiary received 40,000.
A week after the training, two social workers carried out the first on-site visit. A total of 26 beneficiaries were seen in their houses and business sites. In this visit, the participants received corrections and encouragement, and their businesses were verified.
The training commenced with Puff-puff making because it needed time to rise and its end product needs no electricity. The consultant, Madam Linda commenced with the ingredients and tools which are necessary for the process. The resource person emphasized on the necessity of a good hygienic condition for the product. The procedure was copied on a black board. Participants each copied the procedures in their exercise books. The flour was mixed and covered in a clean tight cover 10 litters of bucket for it to rise. The sawdust, pot, oil, strainer and frying spoon were all arranged pending frying of the puff-puff.
While waiting for the puff-puff to rise, the procedure for Yoghurt was given to participants. Before this, the resource person conducted a quick survey to find out how many people had knowledge about the making of the product. Unlike puff-puff, which was familiar to participants although they did not know how to do it professionally, 29 of the 30 participants had no idea on the production process of yoghurt. In madam Linda’s voice “yoghurt is not cooked, if you don’t maintain a good hygienic condition, you might poison consumers. You know how milk can be when wrongly or badly handled”. This she told the girls for them to know the importance of hygiene in the process. The yoghurt was mixed and kept in a tightly covered bucket for 7 hours for it to ferment and she strongly advised that nobody should shake or touch the bucket. Obediently everybody in the hall avoided that corner. Beneficiaries were bent on having the best results.
Attention was turned to the flour and the puff-puff frying began. Participants were keen on the frying technique of the product. During this process a beneficiary said: “the flour always sticks on my palm and lacks good shape when I remove it from the pot”. Her concern was addressed by the resource person and told them to always have water beside them when frying so as to wet their hands in it to avoid the sticking issue. The amount of heat needed to fry was also discussed during the frying. “The first day I tried frying puff-puff, it got burnt and the inside was not ready. My siblings laughed at me and I was ashamed” said a participant. Madam Linda explained the cause of it to her and all participants. That puff-puff does not need too much heat, reason why the amount of fire needs to be constantly regulated during frying.
While frying the resource person advised participants to be vigilant to know the number of puff puff that enters the put so as to enable them know the quantity of puff-puff that a Kg of flour can give. This will help a lot especially those who intend to do It for business.
Following the right measurement during the mixing process saves you the stress of having fluffy puff-puff and lack of quality said the facilitator. Other participants became anxious to give the frying process a chance and to know if they could easily estimate and have the right sizes and shape. The first round of frying was tasted by all. “This puff-puff is too rich. This is not the type of one people sell” said a beneficiary. Madam Linda was happy and told them that at times one might have all the ingredients but because the person did not follow the right procedure and correct measurements, the final product could not be obtained. It could also be too much economics, like adding up yeast to make the product raise, or putting too much water, hampering the good quality of the final product.
Ice cream was the final thing to be done. After the beneficiaries had copied the procedure in their books, a discussion session followed. One requirement for this is electricity and many beneficiaries pondered on how they could get the final product with the constant cut of electricity. That notwithstanding they were happy to learn it. After following the process, it was taken to the fridge for it to ice.
Out of the Selected 30 beneficiaries, 15 Households are headed by women, 8 of the households headed by men (husbands) and 7 by relatives (aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters). With an average monthly income of 23,500 FRS, household heads were either into petite businesses, menial jobs or doing nothing, and on average they take care of 5 children and other dependents each. Water Sanitation and Hygiene was a general problem noticed during registration as more than 90% of the selected beneficiaries confirmed of carrying water from the well and the condition of the water is either manageable and or dirty. With an average number of 13 persons using each toilet, and almost all of them using poorly constructed toilets: toilets that might have no door and or no zinc. About 5% of the beneficiaries practiced open defecation.
It is therefore expected that this transfer of income makes a great difference in their living conditions.
All beneficiaries have already started business with the grant received, and are more occupied than before. Some husbands acknowledged the assistance received and are supporting their wives. Three of them called the project team to appreciate them and reiterate their support.
Beneficiaries were so happy after the training. “I had tried to make puff-puff on my own (with research from Google). It was a mess. It did not rise; the shape did not appear like what I saw on the internet. But today am so happy because I was opportune to witness and participated in the process and I had the chance to fry” said a participant. “I had begged a lady to show me how to make puff-puff she only told me the ingredients but did not explain to me what might or might not go wrong” said another participant.
“I used to live with my aunt who is in this yoghurt business. But each time she is mixing it she locks the door to her room. We only helped her in the packaging process”. Said another beneficiary. “I am glad I now know how to make yoghurt. I went to a lady once asking how to teach me how to make it. She asked me to pay a fee of 50,000frs.
“I have done many types of businesses. But I have never known what is called a business plan talk less of developing one for my business. As for book keeping it’s a new word to me. All I know is that I do buy and sell. Not minding to know how much am making. Once a see money I know the business is moving.”
30 women previously living in extreme poverty are active and doing business, and have learned many new trades to incorporate as income-generating activities. The needs are overwhelming, and Reach Out will continue programming activities in Bonabome, and rely on donnors to invest more in this community in high need. your donation has change so many lives in this community. thanks so much.
identification of beneficiaries
end product of first activity (puff-puff)
training on business management
one on one coaching on business plan realization