WOMEN FOR SMALL BUSINESS

by Education Fights AIDS Cameroon
WOMEN FOR SMALL BUSINESS
WOMEN FOR SMALL BUSINESS
WOMEN FOR SMALL BUSINESS
WOMEN FOR SMALL BUSINESS
WOMEN FOR SMALL BUSINESS
WOMEN FOR SMALL BUSINESS
A beneficiary's daily routine
A beneficiary's daily routine

SUMMARY

EFA Cameroon through a pilot project “Women for Small Business” (WOSB) is engaged to empower vulnerable women and young girls in a bit to reduce gender inequalities among men and women. The main objective is to assist at least 1000 vulnerable women and girls out of financial dependency through small business schemes in communities of Diamare Division, Far North region of Cameroon. And specifically, to: i- reduce the women and young girls’ dependency vis-a-vis their spouses ; ii- increase beneficiaries’ revenue through income generating activities ;iii- reinforce women rights to lucrative activities of their choices; and iv- stimulate feminine creative potentials in the wealth creation processes.

Activities Realize

1-      Discussion with the group of women in Kodek to check their progress and impact of the activity.

2-      Site visits for first hand results on progress of businesses and individual challenges encountered.

 

Takeaways

-          Routine meetings were regular and each group member respected loaning and refund terms.

-          Women of Kodek and Missinggleo were reminded of coordinating with the women of Palar and Gakley to acquire a uniform at their convenience.

Human Interest Story

A beneficiary testified that her capital has grown and she now has savings thanks to the loan system that allows her to make enough profit to cater for the needs of her 04 children. She also testified to haven supported her mother in lifting her business that had been redundant for a couple of years. Haoua was pparticularly grateful to EFA Cameroon and GlobalGiving for the financial assistance and called on them to do more given the progressive rise in prices of comodity comodity good and the presence of more vulnerable women and girls in her locality.

Project Impact

Group members showed a change in mentality and demonstrated a high degree of empowerment and because of this, the community including men were becoming more relaxed about the empowerment of women. This was a great milestone towards gender equality in the Far North Region Cameroon where the gender gap had been significantly wide for the past decades.  

Future Activity

The activity in view is the visit of the Mbalgare to evaluate progress and challenges and propose solutions.

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Monthly meetings under EFA Cameroon supervision
Monthly meetings under EFA Cameroon supervision

Context

EFA Cameroon through a pilot project “Women for Small Business” (WOSB) is engaged to empower vulnerable women and young girls in a bit to reduce gender inequalities among men and women. The main objective is to assist at least 1000 vulnerable women and girls out of financial dependency through small business schemes in communities of Diamare Division, Far North region of Cameroon. And specifically, to: i- reduce the women and young girls’ dependency vis-a-vis their spouses ; ii- increase beneficiaries’ revenue through income generating activities ;iii- reinforce women rights to lucrative activities of their choices; and iv- stimulate feminine creative potentials in the wealth creation processes.

Activity Realized During Reporting Period

Meeting with 50 women of 05 groups setup in 05 localities of Diamare during the pilot phase of the project.

The aims of these meetings were:

-          To evaluate their 2021 activities and financial situation;

-          Supervise the partitioning of dividends from ended year’s loaning rates;

-          Get feedback from them in order to plan 2022.

Success Story

Feedback from all 05 group members was unanimous as their testimonies were captured in a beneficiary’s testimony; “we were honored to be partakers of this wonderful initiative. The truth is, we have all gained a degree of financial independence and also empowered. Our voices can now be heard among people. We are grateful to you EFA Cameroon, GlobalGiving and the Maroua City Council, and we plead that you should continue to do more because there are still more women and girls suffering like we use to and who would like to join the groups. Your continuous support would really alleviate the suffering of women especially in this part of the country where women are still considered as second class citizens…”

Takeaways / 2022 Perspectives

-          Firsthand results showed that more women in various localities expressed interest in becoming groups’ members to benefit from the loan scheme and start income generating activities.

-          Some groups appealed for increase in capital base in order to increase loan for expansion of activities.

Future Activity

With the financial assistance of GlobalGlobal, supervision shall continue to be carried out to follow up activities within groups and together with groups, establish lists of women interested in joining the scheme for the multiplication of groups in various localities for a wider impact.

Existing Groups shall also be accompanied to gain legal statuses and create accounts in a reliable micro-finance institution.

Discussing challenges and the way forward
Discussing challenges and the way forward
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Damaris daily activity
Damaris daily activity

SUMMARY

EFA Cameroon through a pilot project “Women for Small Business” (WOSB) is engaged to empower vulnerable women and young girls in a bit to reduce gender inequalities among men and women. The main objective is to assist at least 1000 vulnerable women and girls out of financial dependency through small business schemes in communities of Diamare Division, Far North region of Cameroon. And specifically, to: i- reduce the women and young girls’ dependency vis-a-vis their spouses ; ii- increase beneficiaries’ revenue through income generating activities ;iii- reinforce women rights to lucrative activities of their choices; and iv- stimulate feminine creative potentials in the wealth creation processes.

Activities Realize

1-      Discussion with women to check their progress and impact of the activity.

2-      Site visits for first hand results on progress of businesses and individual challenges encountered.

 

Results

-          Routine meetings were regular and each group member respected loaning and refund terms.

-          A group member was replaced with after unanimous agreement of all members.

-          Agreed on coordinating with the women of Palar and Gakley to acquire a uniform at their convenience.

Human Interest Story

Damaris is beneficiary whose business has grown with time thanks to the loan she receives as capital base. She testified “before the being selected, I use to buy very small quantity of food items to sell without any reasonable profit. But since we began with the WOSB project, I now buy in large quantities (cereals in bags of 125kg at a go…) I have added all three species of sorghum, fresh milk, bread, kolanuts, seasonings…. My greatest achievement is the construction of my house where I live with my 09 kids whom I single handedly cater for after being abandoned by my husband. I call on other women to get out of suffering and empower themselves financially so that their children especially the girls will not suffer. I am grateful to EFA Cameroon and GlobalGiving for reducing my suffering and I hop they can do more to help more women in our community. 04 of my children are in school and I can take care of my old mum thanks to this WOSB activity. God bless you all."

Project Impact

Group members showed a change in mentality and demonstrated a high degree of empowerment and because of this, the community including men were becoming more relaxed about the empowerment of women. This was a great milestone towards gender equality in the Far North Region Cameroon where the gender gap had been significantly wide for the past decades.  

Lessons Learnt

More sensitizations and orientation on activities need to be done on business ideas and items or income generating activities in order to guide women who sell seasonal items. This is to avoid sales of items that could be detrimental to human and environmental health.

Continuity

Monthly supervision of activities across 05 communities to follow-up and evaluate the progress of women as groups and individuals while counting on the continual support of GlobalGiving to reach out to 1000 vulnerable women whose suffering has been exasperated by security crisis and COVID-19 pandemic.

Damaris happily showed us her completed house
Damaris happily showed us her completed house
A beneficiary  at the Kodek village market
A beneficiary at the Kodek village market
02 more beneficiaries selling food in a school
02 more beneficiaries selling food in a school
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Happy beneficiary showing us her fabrics
Happy beneficiary showing us her fabrics

SUMMARY: EFA Cameroon through a pilot project “Women for Small Business” (WOSB) is engaged to empower vulnerable women and young girls in a bit to reduce gender inequalities among men and women. The main objective is to assist at least 1000 vulnerable women and girls out of financial dependency through small business schemes in communities of Diamare Division, Far North region of Cameroon. And specifically, to: i- reduce the women and young girls’ dependency vis-a-vis their spouses ; ii- increase beneficiaries’ revenue through income generating activities ;iii- reinforce women rights to lucrative activities of their choices; and iv- stimulate feminine creative potentials in the wealth creation processes.

Activities Realized :Supervision of 05 groups comprising of 10 vulnerable women per group in 05 localities: Efforts for the period were concentrated to work with the women of Palar II, and there has been significant progress. Monthly meetings have evolved to a rotative system to encourage solidarity and the credit is quite innovative and functional.

Human Interest Story:  Women carried out various small-scale businesses, some were seasonal like fruits and vegetable businesses. Mairamou opted to step up her game from mangoes, patched peanuts… sales to fabrics and had this to say: “The loan system has been helpful especially to me because it is with the loan that we work. Personally, I use to do business before but the creation of this group has been a turning point for me. I was able to begin with fabrics, I began with say 04 pieces and now I am able to acquire and sell up to 30 and more pieces per month. Turnover has been awesome: I take care of household and academic needs from my 04 kid with more ease now and most especially medical care for my husband who has been seriously sick for 10 months now. All of these would not be possible without the assistance of EFA Cameroon and her partners – GlobalGiving so I am really grateful and hope more could be done because there are more women who have been inspired by our group and wish to have financial freedom as well.

Continuity: Given the impact of the pilot phase of the program and the fact that EFA Cameroon is limited financially and would want to do more, we are calling on GlobalGiving to accompany us reach out to more women who have expressed interest and are in situations of vulnerability given that the Far North is still in the recovery and reconstruction stage and that more women need to be financially independent.

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Suzanne testified to encourage other women
Suzanne testified to encourage other women

International Women’s Week Campaign Preparation Report

Brief Summary

Education Fights Aids (EFA) Cameroon is one of the community-based non-profits in Cameroon whose vision is to reach out to the vulnerable communities in the Far North Region and Cameroon. EFA Cameroon works toward empowering women especially through the creation of income generation activities to promote women and girls and reduce the gender gap that is quite evident in the northern part of Cameroon. It is following this that it would be participating in the International Women’s Week Campaign in partnership with GlobalGiving to foster women and girls leadership and advocate gender equality even in the face of the global health challenge the world is faced with.

Objectives

With regards to the International Women’s Week Campaign, EFA Cameroon has as to globally promote gender equality among 10.000 vulnerable women and girls through experience sharing and discussions in leadership and business management in the Far North Region of Cameroon.

Preparatory Activities

The following activities have been realized so far with Women’s Week Campaign in view.

-          Experience sharing involving 50 vulnerable women from 5 communities : Women of the Palar neighborhood were transported in cars provided by EFA to Gakle and those from Mbalgare joined those in Missingleo where they talked about their petti-businesses and learned from each other.

-          Radio Talk at Djamaare FM: One vulnerable woman from Gakle who is engaged in an income generation activity thanks to WOSB.

Success Story

At the radio, Suzane the beneficiary from Gakle testified of how her she has gained financial independence from her carrot and millet business thanks to the loan provided by the WOSB project and called on other women to get out of their from their homes and feign for their homes instead of playing weak all the time. She is quite grateful and equally called on EFA Cameroon to do more by getting more vulnerable women involved.

Lesson Learnt

The experience sharing gave women the means to express themselves better which something that is rare. They could propose even business ideas to each other especially those dealing in seasonal foods such as fruits and vegetables.

We gathered from discussions that the International Women’s day used to offer them space to learn and develop their potential  but they have been limited by religious barriers. So the effort of EFA Cameroon to bring them together was appreciated.

 

Impact of the Activity

By making women to leave their place in the backyard, they were able to participate in and be part of changing the narrative as far as women and girls’ leadership and gender equality is concerned.

 

Planned Activities for the Campaign

-          Community  Sensitizations of the importance of women and girls’ empowerment.

-          Social media posting to propagate women’s leadership and gender equality.

Sharing to learn and grow
Sharing to learn and grow
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Organization Information

Education Fights AIDS Cameroon

Location: Maroua - Cameroon
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Alim Ousmanou
Maroua, Cameroon
$45 raised of $50,000 goal
 
2 donations
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