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Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans

by Reach Out NGO
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Building Livelihoods for Cameroonian orphans
Children happy with gifts donated by REO
Children happy with gifts donated by REO

Four staff from Reach Out NGO visited the Mah Di’s orphanage on Friday October 11, 2019. The aim of this visit was to donate basic household items and pay the school fees of some children. The following items were donated:

  • 30 cartons of soap each contain 48 tablets of Savon
  • 30 mosquito nets
  • 10 baby’s Poo pot
  • 10 drinking rubber cups
  • 25 20 L buckets.

When we arrived at the orphanage, most of the children were in class studying. The Founder and some of the smaller children and the class on break welcomed us by singing songs and some recited short poems for us. We were given the opportunity to visit the children in class and get to talk to them briefly on our mission to the orphanage and the usage of the items brought. ‘’We feel delighted to receive you today and we are very grateful for these items you have brought’’ said Joy, a 10-year old pupil. The project of the school is expanding with 65 children from the neighborhood enrolling to study there. “Thanks to the enrollment of other children from outside, the orphanage is able to meet its objective to carter for the less priviledged’’ said Mah Diana, the Founder. We then preceded to hand the items to the Founder and some of the younger children who were on a short break.

We were made to understand that the orphanage is now referred to as “Mah Di’s Center for Children in Distress”. Despite the successful running of the school, the orphanage is in need of support to adequately pay the staff monthly and funds to increase the number of staff from one teacher to two teachers per class. They also still need a lot of support to cater for the children in the community as the orphanage now assists a blind lady by name Bih and some vulnerable persons.

We were taken to the project sites and the number of pigs have reduced from 35 to 25 due to an epidemic but the founder said they are hopeful to sell the remaining pigs in December to make up for the lost encountered.

500 birds were bought in the poultry farm and within a short period, they were sold and more birds and feeds were bought. So far, the poultry farm is expanding and Charles, the oldest orphan, has taken complete charge over the farm ensuring that all goes well. The orphanage is one of the biggest suppliers of chicks in the neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, the orphanage had seven cows but some died before it could be sold, just about 4 were sold. According to the founder, they experienced some losses.

The bigger children are in charge of cultivating the vegetable farm which they sell when the market price is high and consume internally when the price is low.

These income generating activities still remain one of their biggest sources of livelihood. Particularly because given that with the on-going civil war visitors who use to donate gifts have reduced their visits. The founder was so happy and extended her gratitude to REO and its partners, and prays God to continue to bless the entire team for the endless support to see that the children are happy. She said thanks to the items donated, she will divert the money she could have used to buy the items to buy other necessities for the children

REO Staff With Orphanage Founder
REO Staff With Orphanage Founder
Handing of gifts to Orphanage Founder
Handing of gifts to Orphanage Founder
Poultry farming, an income generation activity
Poultry farming, an income generation activity
Livestock farming, key income generationg activity
Livestock farming, key income generationg activity
Children of Mah Dis
Children of Mah Dis

REPORT ON MAH DI’S ORPHANAGE AND FATHER’S HOUSE ORPHANAGE.

Pictures belong to Mah Di´s Orphanage.

Context: For three years now, there has been a shutdown on schools in the South-West and North-West Regions of Cameroon. However, some schools continue, and both orphanages are struggling to home-school their children in a safe environment. That is why you can read this is one of the main concerns in both homes.

1. Mah Di’s Orphanage

Mah Di’s Orphanage has been very effective and functional within the last months. In July, they spent averagely about 600,000frs (about 1,000 $) for food, medication, staff cost, bills etc. The children were able to eat at least three times a day. During this holiday period, the children have been attending workshops on trades such as tailoring, welding, hairdressing and cooking, especially the bigger children. This practice keeps them busy and prepares them to manage their households in the future. Two female children who succeeded the Advanced Level General Certificate Examination (GCE A/Level) wrote competitive entrance examinations to enable them enter the public service.

As far as this up coming school-year is concerned, the founder has already put in place certain measures to enable all the children go to school for free. An extension of class five has been added at the school in the orphanage to accommodate all age groups, and six teachers hired for ten months to teach Primary school. The founder was able to apply to the Ministry of Social Affairs to take care of the school fees of the children in secondary school. They now need more benches in the class room to accommodate the growing population.

The orphanage is clearly still under pressure these days. The building is tight and cannot accommodate all the children. This is partly because of the absorption of some displaced children as a result of the war. There is thus, a need for expansion. Due to this tight space the hygienic condition of the orphanage is deteriorating from its standards. The current toilet cannot accommodate the growing population. Also, the children don’t have the space they need to feel free around the house.

Fishery, piggery, poultry, farming and animal husbandry remain their main sources of income. Within the month of July and August, they had a profit of 250,000 FRS only from the poultry. That same period, 25 pigs and piglets died as a result of an epidemic bringing some loses to the orphanage, just ten pigs survived, which is more than usual for an outbreak of the African Schwine Flu, and shows good livestock management.

The children have also engaged themselves in farming of vegetables, corn and other food crops. They use proceeds from these farming activities for their up-keep and part for home consumption.

The orphanage has a high need for mosquito nets at the moment. They equally need bed sheets, assistance to extend the orphanage building and general assistance to pay workers and running costs. Most of the children in the orphanage need pullovers especially as it rains much and it´s chilly this season.

The founder of the orphanage thanks the partners immensely for their continuous support and assistance to the orphanage and she prays the almighty God continues to bless you.

2. Father’s House Orphanage

Thanks to your support, this orphanage has been very functional in the past months. The children are able to eat three times a day, unlike before when they couldn’t afford three square meals. The orphanage is now involved in selling fresh fish to make ends meet. They buy fish for 42,000frs and sell for 58,000frs within a period of two weeks. The palm farm project which used to be one of their main sources of income has been discontinued since the rents expired and it was not renewed. The ongoing conflict makes it dangerous to go to the farm and the prices have dropped too. They are now engaged in the rearing of pigs which is a lucrative business in that community. The founder is positive with this piggery business and she believes that in the nearest future it will generate much income for the orphanage.

During this holiday period, the children have been involved in workshops and other training classes to keep themselves busy and occupied. As far as this new academic year is concern, the founder is very worried concerning the fate of the children due to the Anglophone crisis. She is worried on how the children will cope with the current threats against school resumption. But despite this fear, she promised to hire teachers that can teach the children at the orphanage. For those in secondary education, she promised to send them to areas where schools are going on. As compared to the previous months, the orphanage living standard has really increased. The hygienic conditions have improved as they are now able to afford toilet tissues, pads and other basic necessities. “I am very happy and comfortable now as compared to the other months, we are able to eat three times and sometimes even four times. My major problem now is the fear of not going to school but in case there is no school at all, I intend to do business in order to better my future. Thanks to you the donors we have a future to look up to’’ said Zebulan, one of the children.

However, the orphanage still faces challenges of lack of matrasses and other basic household items, they are hoping that well-wishers and donors like you will continue to reach out to them. Mrs. Commy, the Founder of the Orphanage is thankful to God for keeping them alive and her gratitude equally goes to REO which remains the lone local partner of the Orphanage, and to you, the donors for not giving up on them as others have.

children in tailoring workshop
children in tailoring workshop
Children at Welding workshop
Children at Welding workshop
children at hairdressing saloon
children at hairdressing saloon
Baby Abigail
Baby Abigail

1. Mah Di’s Orphanage The Mah Di’s Orphanage was very effective and functional in the month of May. Within this month, they spent averagely 500,000frs (about 1,000 $) for food, medication, staff cost, bills etc. The children were able to eat four times a day. The school section was also operational from class one to four with plans to extend the school to class five by the next academic year. The orphanage also hired five teachers. Thanks to this initiative, most of the children in the orphanage are schooling except those who are below one year. They therefore, need more benches in the class room to accommodate the growing population. It should be noted that school is not going on in most of the South-West and North-West Regions due to the ongoing civil war. The orphanage is clearly under pressure these days. The building is tight and cannot accommodate all the children. This is partly because of the absorption of some displaced children between three months and 23 years old as a result of the war. There is thus, a need for expansion. Fishery, piggery, poultry, farming and animal husbandry remain their main sources of income. Within the month of May, they had a profit of 100,000 only from the piggery. The children have also engaged themselves in farming of cassava, corn and other food crops. They use proceeds from these farming activities for their up-keep. The orphanage has a high need for mosquito nets at the moment. They equally need kitchen utensils like pots, plates etc. Most of the children in the orphanage need pullovers especially as it rains much this season. This holiday period, the children are learning cooking, especially the bigger children. This practice keeps them busy and prepares them to manage their households in the future.

2. Father’s House Orphanage This orphanage was more functional in the month of May than the previous months. The kids ate three times a day, though sometimes food was not enough and they ended up eating twice during such days. The orphanage is now involved in selling yogurt to make ends needs. They spend 5000frs to produce the yogurt, which they sell at 10,000 making a 100% profit on the initial capital. They equally sell fish and palm oil, which helps in sustaining them. Due to the Anglophone crisis, the palm oil business has not been as lucrative as before. Sometimes sales are very low but this has not stopped the founder from working. “This palm oil business which Reach Out got for us is one of our main sources of income. Thanks to these palm oil, we are able to have some money for our up keep,” the Founder of the Orphanage testified. Due to the Anglophone crisis, children of Father’s House Orphanage have not been going to school. The situation persisted and the founder had to look for three teachers to come teach them at the orphanage, but the house is not currently able to pay them consistently. “I use to pay the teachers 20,000frs every month but they have stopped because this month I am not able to pay them again”. There are also shortages of basic commodities. Reach Out will keep working with your valuable donations to improve the situation of the orphanage. Mrs. Commy, the Founder of the Orphanage is thankful to God for keeping them alive and her gratitude equally goes to REO which remains the lone partner of the Orphanage, and to the donors for not giving up on them as others have.

Children and staff of Father
Children and staff of Father's House
Founder Welcomes Newest and Youngest Orphan
Founder Welcomes Newest and Youngest Orphan
Children pose with Founder during an event
Children pose with Founder during an event
Moki Victor
Moki Victor
The Children of Father
The Children of Father's House back home

 

Dear donors, thank you for being with us. these are the highlights of the year 2018.

Main actions

 

  • Supported Fathers House Orphanage in Muyuka to create and expand a palm oil farm and to build a borehole.
  • Supported Mah Di’s orphanage in Kumba to expand their poultry,  purchase of a sewing machine and construct a new classroom and toilet.

Achievements

  • Mah Di’s orphanage has extended the poultry and piggery buildings. They acquired 5 cows. The piggery increased from 4 to 28 with piglets, and they are able to rare 500 chicks, 4 quills, 4 turkey, 1 goat, 3 sheep, and 4 rabbits.
  • Mah Di’s orphanage now has a sewing machine and they are able to teach children to mend their dresses. All children of appropriate age have been taught this useful life skill. They now mend their dresses, which also saves some resources for the orphanage.
  • In Mah Dis’, the impact of income generating activities has greatly increased. While in 2016 they represented less than 5% of the total income of the orphanage, now the orphanage self-generates more than 25% of their resources. The only challenge the businesses have are the current Anglophone Crisis which has depressed the economy.
  • Mah Di’s: Recently, the children were trained by a local NGO on how to administer first Aid treatment and how to repair torn shoes. They are fixing their own shoes now.
  • Mah Di’s: There was an increment in the harvest of the orphanage. Crops like Cassava, egusi, vegetables, yams yielded more than enough food.
  • After months forcefully displaced, the children of Father’s house orphanage could come back home as security improved in their area.
  • All the children who wrote any competitive exams this year have succeeded

Challenges

  • Children of Father’s House Orphanage have been constantly running to the forest for refuge due to the current unrest that has hit Muyuka.
  • Due to the conflict in Muyuka:  there’s no market for palm oil business which is the main source of income to the orphanage, the daily workers resigned, and the water project could not be finished.
  • The dormitory for Mah Di’s orphanage is now too small and it cannot contain all the children
  • Mah Di’s orphanage lacks enough chairs, tables, and desks for the children

Recommendations/projects of 2019

  • Construct a fence at Ma Di’s Orphanage to prevent thieves from attacking the orphanage
  • Purchase more bunk beds, matrasses, chairs, tables and desks at Mah Di’s orphanage.
  • Support the orphanages with playgrounds.
  • Temporarily support food security in Father’s House Orphanage while they get back on their feet.
  • If funds are available, both orphanages should get buses to transport the children, since the security context has deteriorated so much.

Conclusion

It is not a nice picture, but it’s the real one. These two houses are safe havens for vulnerable children in the middle of a civil war. They have lost most of their usual donations and funding, and they only have your support and that of a few more individuals. It is because of your support that both houses are still standing strong and are able to take care of their children in this horrible context. Thank you for that.

Children of Mah Di
Children of Mah Di's
some of the cows of Mah Di
some of the cows of Mah Di's

Links:

Children of Father
Children of Father's House back home

Dear donors,

Sorry for our lateness.

During this period, from August to November, the political atmosphere and the economy have not been the best. In the midst of the humanitarian crisis, the orphanages went through a lot of difficulties.

Mah Di’s orphanage is witnessing a drastic drop in the number of regular visitors. Likewise, Father’s house orphanage too with just three well-wishers donating anything for the past 4 months.

Father’s house was displaced from their home for five months and they had to seek for refuge in the nearby town. They just came back home last week. The roof of the orphanage has been destroyed by bullets. While at their new place, they were not free from the crisis. From time to time they had to run down to the bush to hide when shooting was going on. Some of the children from the orphanage fell sick of malaria and typhoid due to exposure at the bush and the bad drinking water.

The orphanage had a shortage in their food supply. They barely lived on what was left in their storehouse. They had to ration their meals to see that they had something left for the next day. 

Mah Di’s orphanage hosted some displaced person this past three months in Kumba, as they found the orphanage more safe than their own houses. At Father’s house, they lived on their farm produce. They had planted corn, yam, and groundnuts. That is what has been sustaining them.

Activities

At Mah Di’s the children home-schooled since there was no school going on in the South West Region. They also had training on the agricultural sector where the children were being taught how to rear pigs, they added some pigs and now they have 3 female mature pigs, 1 mature male and 4 piglets. They have ordered for more chicks to put at the poultry. The poultry of Charles, one of the orphans, has about 500 chickens already. Father’s house also has 2 pigs, but finds it very hard to get fed for the pigs due to the crisis.

Way forward

For a while, Father’s House has been storing the Palm Oil they produce, and some more they bought. Prices are still very low, and they intend to start selling in December for a bigger profit. Also, they are planning to start a small shop in the area, given that there are still a lot of neighbors around, and they are afraid to travel long distances to the markets. However, they are still trying to find finances for this project.

 

As you can see your support is more necessary than ever.

Thank you for being there

Children of Father
Children of Father's House during their stay away
Construction of new poultry at Mah Di
Construction of new poultry at Mah Di's.
Construction of new school block continues
Construction of new school block continues
Children of Mah Di
Children of Mah Di's helping out.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Reach Out NGO

Location: Buea, South West Region - Cameroon
Website:
Project Leader:
Njomo Omam Esther
Executive Director
Buea, South West Region Cameroon
$9,809 raised of $15,500 goal
 
169 donations
$5,691 to go
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