Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship

by Reach Out NGO
Play Video
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Change a Girl's Life Through Microentrepreneurship
Prenet
Prenet

“This has helped me to solve my needs without any difficulty. The first thing I bought with the profits was a gas bottle for the house. By the end of the year I want to have something big, buy in large quantity and have more costumers. Prenet, who has moved from local markets to be a trader in Douala.

 

Dear Donors,

 Our biggest disbursement ever, our most successful batch of girls ever.

Thanks for supporting us so much, we are closing the year and the 20 girls supported in June 2017 were evaluated and 16 of them selected for more support. (3 traveled out of the community and one got a job in the capital). We also gave grants to 3 older beneficiaries who are aiming now at completely removal from poverty. You might see some men in the picture, we took the disbursement ceremony as an opportunity to give 3 prizes for another project in the community, Innovation Challenge.

 

“I want to thank those who supported me, I pray for them every day and they should pray for me too, because they have planted a seed in me. I will not disappoint them.” Esther, receiving her third grant.

 

We will give you more details in the next report. For now we want to share with you the Summary of the year, extracted from our Annual Report that we are just drafting.

Also, today is Giving Tuesday, so spread the word, it´s a great day to give! Moreover, anybody signing for a recurring donation (those are the donations you make every month) will be matched by 100%!!.

 Achievements:

 

  • 20 Girls were supported with grants of 30.000 FCFA and joined the program. (Level 1 beneficiaries).
  • 28 Girls were supported with grants of 50.000, FCFA respectively after successfully managing a business. (Level 2 beneficiaries).
  • 03 Girls were supported with grants of 100,000 (2) and 200,000 (1) (Level 3 beneficiaries)

 

  • Bookkeeping implementation remains high, at 90%
  • 83% of girls supported since 2012 are currently self-employed or employed.
  • Average Monthly Profits of beneficiaries this 2017 are 2.22 times bigger than in 2014-2015, and 1.3 times bigger than in 2016

 

 

Challenges:

 

  • High mobility of beneficiaries complicates execution and follow-up.
  • Shortage of office cameras limits capitalization
  • The experience with the Mutual Health Organization was not satisfactory. When attempting to use the insurance, beneficiaries were blocked. This is consistent with several other members complaints, the Mutual Health Organization is facing a crisis and can´t be considered a functional, stable partner. An official complaint will be presented to the Ministry of Health and REO will stop purchasing insurance from the Organization.
  • We have made great strides at poverty alleviation but we are still facing a ceiling when it comes to complete break out of poverty and economic empowerment. The department needs to explore solutions to provide higher amounts of capital to be used at the right time and pace.

 

So this is what we did with your money so far, much more is coming, 2018 is going to be big. And those are our challenges. As you see, no Health Insurance again, it was sad, but we will keep attempting to tackle that problem in the future. Next year we are looking at scaling-up full removal from poverty, hope you stay with us!

 

P.D: Remember, anybody signing for a recurring donation has a 100% bonus with him! This promotion is valid until the end of the year!!

 

P.D2: last month we promised data on daily savings. Well, we got the data from the Credit Union but the sample was smaller than we thought. We did use the savings general data to quantify the impact of the current political crisis. In case you are interested: from September 2016 (before the crisis started) and September 2017. The number of users of daily saving practices has reduced by 27%, total summed up savings has reduced by 37% and average savings of a user by 14%. We are in the middle of an economic depression, but the growing profits of our girls are going against this tendency.

Esther
Esther
Our staff give a word before disbursement
Our staff give a word before disbursement
Group picture
Group picture
Mabel
Mabel
Elizabeth sells in a local school
Elizabeth sells in a local school

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Urslar
Urslar

Dear donors,

This last June you helped 20 new girls to start a business. Thank you again. These are the results:

First, the bad, we have one defaulter, Melanie, who is not anymore in the program. (She traveled out of the region) This is within a normal margin, defaulting is more rare every year, but it still happens.

The 19 other girls are all doing business, with and an average monthly profit of 34,000 frs, to put it in other words, they took your grant of about 56 dollars, put it to work and every month they generate about 64 dollars for their feeding and other family needs. It has been difficult to start as this was the first business they ever tried, especially now in rainy season, where the economic environment gets a bit more difficult. Profits in August (the heart of the rainy season) reduced by 24%.

It is necessary also to mention the volatile climate we are living in. The political problem in the Anglophone Cameroon remains unsolved, and violence is escalating. Our organization keeps calling for peace and dialogue between both parties. For the purpose of this report it’s important to understand that both strikes and government executive orders put business in halt, sometimes for as much as 4 days a week.

For a while we have been working with Tole Tea Credit Union, the major microfinance of the area. They have now agreed to share savings and Akwao data with us. Akwao is a daily savings practice common here, every business day you contribute a small sum and you will receive it all together at the end of the month. Even though majority of our girls don’t have an account in the Credit Union (only about 4 of the 77 girls’ active within Tole area), more than 60% take part in Akwao, with different sums. With this data, that we are still compiling, we can track exactly how much they have been saving (for some, even before we were working with them) this will allow us to have a better account of our impact -and also of the progress of the girls. We will share the results next month!

Last month we talked with Elizabeth, and we were pleading for support for her. We are so happy to say that, last minute, a donation of 250$ came through and she is going to be supported in the coming weeks with a business grant to scale-up her businesses. If you had anything to do with that, THANK YOU. With somebody like her, with a good track-record and proven experience, we are not looking at making sure she feeds every day, we are now targeting leaving poverty forever. This month we come to talk about Hellen, a mother of 5 from Nigerian origin that leaves in abject poverty in a small community in Limbe. We came to know her when she gave birth to triplets last August, and did not have any money to cover the medical expenses. Reach Out helped her with that and we also got to know more about her: she confessed not knowing anything about contraceptive methods and she had been doing business with a capital of about 20$, until she had to use the money and stopped. It’s a difficult case but we don’t’ shy away from those, and we know you don’t either. If you want to make she gets access to contraceptives, two business grants and school fees for her little children, follow this link.

One last thing before we go, last week we got the biggest donation ever for this program, 2000$!! We want to thank the ACCESS IMPACT foundation and also all the donors of this program, no matter the size, you all made it possible for us to be here.

Thank you for everything.

Irene
Irene
Sabella
Sabella
Christina is now selling pastries
Christina is now selling pastries
Gladys banana keeps increasing
Gladys banana keeps increasing
Hilda
Hilda

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Dear donors,

This last month was the first month in business for 20 new girls, you will get to know all the details of their progress in the next report.

We are always trying to find new ways of showing you what your help means and the lives you are touching, because we care about this project a lot and we hope you do to. So we thought of doing a long interview with Elizabeth, and we got to know more about her and her oldest daughter, Berline. We hope you like it! Elizabeth has a microproject going on right now, with only 10 days left to receive support. So if you think she deserves it, consider a donation.

’I’m from the West. My parents died when I was small and I went on to live with my Auntie. By the age of 12 I left school. My aunt was not poor but they did not put me in school, she focused on her own children. I was just helping in the house and with businesses. I married when I was 18 and came to Tole with my husband. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had gone to school. I think I would have liked to become a nurse, but I would have still had my own business, maybe a small pharmacy. I just like doing business, I can sell anything. 

We were from a poor family, my father was a farmer of coffee. He will farm for a whole year to make two bags of coffee, at 40,000 each, and we had to manage 80,000 francs for a year.’’ [about 150 dollars.]

Do you see the improvement, from your father’s family to your own?

Yes, my children go to school and have something to eat every day. But they also need to have a better future for themselves.

Business

‘’I sell bread with sardine, groundnut and spaghetti [typical sandwiches here] every day except Sundays.

I sell fertilizers and fungicides every market day and in my house, now that is farming season. ‘’

So how does her day look like, on a market day?

I wake up around 4,00-4,30 I begin cooking, heating the sardine sauce, cooking spaghetti, making the groundnut paste. If I don’t wake up early I can’t cook.

By 5.30 I’ve gone to town to buy bread, when I come back I set the fertilizer shop in the market, leave Berline to sell and I arrange everything and start selling bread. By 10 o’clock we are done selling. [The farming season is the same than the holiday period, so Berline can help her mother without losing school time]

And what about the children? In the morning, Berline helps the small ones to bathe and be arranged, so I just focus on the business.

At 10 I arrange the house a bit and I either start cooking or go to the farm. Our farm is mostly for feeding, it helps us survive.

By 3.00 P.M I’m back and I rest a bit, then begin cooking for the next day.

How did you come up with the ideas for your businesses?

For the bread… I had done it before, as a child, for my auntie in Bafoussam. So being a mother I know my children need to eat every day for breakfast, and the meals from the day before are too heavy for the morning.  [as she does the business they will eat a bit, she pays herself for this]. I thought of this or Gateau [sweet bread] but there were many people doing it already, so I went for the bread and sardine. It’s something permanent that can give me at least 1000 [about 2 dollars] a day, whatever happens.

The fertilizers… I was in Douala visiting my cousin. He has a shop. I don’t know how to read but I know money. I saw the prizes there, and I know the prizes I pay when I want to buy for myself. We were paying 4000 for Gamazone, but I knew I could sell at 3500 and still make a profit.  I begged him to give me one box with some chemicals. That’s how it started. Now I buy 7 boxes. [Each box is 30,000 francs, about 55 dollars].

More about Berline

‘’Berline helps me write, if I leave her alone every day she will show me how much she sold and exactly what product. If I need to keep my book and is too complicated I also call her.’’

‘’She is good at business, but she does not have the passion for selling I have. What she likes is school. She likes it so much if she is missing one book we will have drama in the house until I buy it. And she is good at it, she has good grades. You people gave her a prize last year during your holiday classes, to the best question. She still has that bag. She asked madam Omam [our Executive Director]: Why did you start Reach Out?’’

A petition.

‘’My husband’s brother just died this weekend, he was in the hospital. Every day the family had to pay 265,000 or they won’t treat him. So he stayed for 4 days, we (the whole family) spent a million (close to 2000 $), but he still died. Now we need to bury him. It’s going to cost money. I thank God I spent all the fertilizer money on the business and now I just have the boxes, or I would have been forced to spend it.

I wanted to take a loan of 200,000 francs at the credit union, but now I’m afraid we will have to use it for the funeral, so I won’t. I will wait for the burial to pass. My main worry is school fees, this September it’s going to be a problem. If somebody could help me pay for school fees… At least for Berline, she loves school so much.’’

Advice for other girls.

‘’If you know what it means when somebody helps you…..I don’t want to start saying thank you, I could fill this book. They changed my life.’’

‘’It is good when you keep records, even if you are not educated.’’….’’ If it’s too complicated I call Berline. But you showed me it’s not about being educated it’s about knowing how much I make at the end of the day, with my own system. At first I was afraid of writing, but when you taught me there are so many ways of doing it and you can find your own personal one without all that writing, I could start.

If you don’t’ do bookkeeping you are just doing stupid business. You see 2500 in your hand and you think you made money. Don’t know you just made 500 profit. ‘’

Thanks for reading and remember you can still help her directly through this link!

Note: The interview was conducted in pidgin English so words are not literal but we tried to stick as much as possible to her wording.

Berline
Berline
Elizabeth selling
Elizabeth selling
Follow-up of new girls continues! This is Gilian
Follow-up of new girls continues! This is Gilian
Anna
Anna
Prisca
Prisca

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Thank You!
Thank You!

Dear Donor, thanks for being behind us. Last month we started with 20 new girls. They received short trainings on entrepreneurship and sexual reproductive health, developed business plans, and are already working on their businesses as you read this lines. 

The 1st day of training was all about the basics in bookkeeping and marketing strategies. The girls learned how to keep records for their businesses and discussed about their perceptions on business, with our facilitation. “Your income will depend on the time you choose for selling” “Most goods are more expensive on the Main Market but almost everything is cheap on Muea Market”

On the 2nd day we were in to develop business plans, and we also had a lesson on Sexual Reproductive Health and handed out condoms.

I hope you are as excited as we are to get to know the girls! These are some of them:

Ambang has already started selling bananas at Tole Market, she uses 25,000 francs and sells at 39,000. She does it two days a week, with a projection of monthly profit of …120,000fr. We need to be cautious because banana prices fluctuate a lot, but that is a possible figure as we have seen in the past. That is about 240$, 4 times the money you gave her. Thank you.

Namondo is only 18 and she has started her first business. She sells smoked fish, buys fresh in Limbe for 25,000, smokes and sells daily 35,000, every market day making 10,000. Will make 80,000 (160$) by the end of the month.

Joy sells cow skin, vegetable and crayfish. She buys for 40,000 francs and sells 12,000 francs daily. She has started saving 1500 per day.  From her business plan: “My business place will be kept neat. I will be steady and available. I will reserve change whenever I go to the market. I already have stable customers.” “My dream is to buy a plot and build a house and send my children to better schools. I also want to help others that are in need. This can only be possible if I work hard in my business. God be my helper.”

Hilda sells clothes, she buys very early in the morning in a retailer market in Mutengene (nearby town) that’s the cheaper way. Buys for 40,000 made 13,000 in two weeks, will make 26,000 in the month, roughly the same amount you gave her as a grant.

“I can proudly say I am better than others. I have watched a friend selling, she was lacking in so many ways.” “Doing business does not mean you should follow others. I believe doing business entails the courage and zeal to succeed. Having all that I can proudly say I will be better than many.”

” The kind of business I want to do is common and everyone does it. I have been to markets and buy dresses but none of them especially in Tole are of youthful taste. The dresses don’t have class. I believe everyone wants to wear classy things even if it’s cheap. So differently I will buy things of class and of good fashion with quality. People like things that nobody has.” 

Today, July 12th, starting at 9.00 EDT, GlobalGiving is having its Bonus Day. You have a great chance to increase your impact, any donation you do will be matched by 50%!! whatever you do, thank you for taking us this far. We are proud to be part of this and we hope you are too.

Volunteer holding baby while training
Volunteer holding baby while training
Amabang
Amabang
Namondo
Namondo
Joy
Joy
Hilda
Hilda

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Remy
Remy

Project Drawdown is an environmental nonprofit trying to fight global warming. This past April they published Drawdown, a comprehensive plan to reverse global warming. They gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change and devised a plan to roll back global warming within thirty years.

In this link you can find how they rank their solutions

We were surprised to find out that this project would rank as one of the most environmentally impactful you could support! We directly work on solution #7(Family Planning, directly with lessons and distribution of contraceptives at will, and indirectly by improving their economic situation and empowering them to take decisions on their bodies) and have impact also on solution #6 (Educating Women and Girls, as some girls go back to school and higher education after working with us, and all participants send their small girls to school) and #69 (supporting female smallholders, a majority of our girls are also farmers) Do you want to do something about global warming? It turns out you have been doing something already! You can get the details following each link.

So thank you again for supporting the environment, we all need to take part on this fight.

You must be eager to know what happened to the last 13 girls supported with a second level grant. They have been using your donations to grow their businesses and diversify. Check out some examples:

Remy, who you might remember sells clothes, has also started trading banana, and has bought materials also to continue her sewing work in her house. “In the months to come I will be having a shop of clothes”

Gladys has grown the banana business significantly and added plantain. “I have been doing the banana business since 2015. My dream is to go back to school and complete my education right until university"

Lizette keeps growing, focused on clothes. “I will buy in Douala full batches of clothes, which will give me much more profit than buying from those who go to Douala themselves”

Ernestine has decided to continue with her snacks business (kandah, it´s cow skin. It might sound weird but it´s a big thing in Cameroon and Nigeria!) and has also joined the banana trade. “Before December I will open my account in Credit Union and start saving there”

Antoinette, who is doing yogurt, has now also started cooking and selling pepper soup and buying and selling banana. "My goal is to have my own meter [electricity, as opposed to paying to other consumers to get electricity like now] and to have a bigger fridge for my business."

You must have noticed a lot of talk about Banana. Tole is a farming community and Douala, not far from Buea, is the biggest city of Cameroon. Traders keep coming to buy banana from Tole market and the supply seems to never be enough, so many of our girls are diverting to that business since 2015. They mediate between the farmers from the rural communities around and the traders that come to the market. Some are hoping to eventually become higher traders themselves. (It has been hard to get pictures of them in their business places as trading takes place as early as 4.00 o'clock in the morning. That's why for those involved in that trade you will only see interview pictures).

You might also have noticed that many girls are selling clothes, Buea is the fastest growing city in Cameroon and there´s always market for that. Sometimes I see four of them (Remy, Lizette, Esther and Bibian) lined up one after the other in the market. (I could not take a pic because Bibiana was having and inflated tooth and refused!).

And some more are coming! Next Tuesday we are giving out grants to another 20 new girls, who were trained this week, but let's not rush, you will get to know all about that next month.

Thanks again for everything you have done, allways remember all the good things that are happening in Cameroon thanks to you.

Lizette at the market
Lizette at the market
Lizette selling at home
Lizette selling at home
Gladys
Gladys
Antoinette
Antoinette

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Reach Out NGO

Location: Buea, South West Region - Cameroon
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @reachoutdev1
Project Leader:
Njomo Omam Esther
Executive Director
Buea, South West Region Cameroon
$106,292 raised of $127,985 goal
 
1,208 donations
$21,693 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Reach Out NGO has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

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.