Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

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Environment Training for Kids

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Aaron Kaah Y

Some 70 kids in Bamenda have learned new ways of keeping the environment clean by recycling news paper waste in to shopping bags. The idea at the behest of the Centre for Appropriate Technology was facilitated by some three German Volunteers from the German Society for the Advancement of Culture (DGFK)- represented by Renate Perner and the Senior Expert Service SES-Germany represented by Prof. Norbert Pintsch and Marlis Bartkiewitz Schmid.


Opening the one week training workshop at the CAT head office in Bamendaon Feb. 13 -2014 the volunteers team leader Prof. Norbert Pintsch said the project was aimed at enabling children and kids to understand that they had a responsibility of keeping the environment clean at a tender age. The professor attributed the task of serving the environment to a global fight which needed all hands on deck. He said kids by their nature learned through practical observations reason why they thought it wise to bring this income training to Cameroon children. Apart from helping to keep the environment clean he said the project was going to enable kids source income for some of their needs and make them self reliant. In response to the new ideas the CAT Country director Njini Victor thanked the three volunteers for keeping Cameroon at heart and for helping to build the capacities of their kids clubs on important capital issues like climate change and environmental protection. Mr Victor said such trainings and project were helping to put CAT and children in the global map as main actors in the fight against polluted environment.


The kids drawn from within some ten CAT school clubs in the city of Bamenda enjoyed themselves during the training sessions as they overwhelmingly saw how news paper waste could be transformed in to shopping bags for an income. The children through practical demonstrations were taught why polythene papers were a nuisance to society and its disadvantages. Lecturing on the children the prof. -emphasised that because of it non degradable nature, polythene bags were a great danger to nature. He cited its impacts to pollution and some health hazards. The kids were told to inculcate the habits of proper waste disposal and to make good use of their waste news papers. In response to the training and mentoring the kids produced over 100 shopping bags which according to the Director of CAT were affordable and low cost. During the end of the workshop the kids excitedly took home their bags as souvenirs from the trainings. The bags cost in between 10-25 FCFA and can be use to carry books to shops and for local shopping. At the end of the workshop the kids were awarded certificates of merit and training as a sign of encouragement and motivation to the task of keeping the environment clean.


This year’s program for the CAT volunteers also witnessed an open door tombola and high animation with the kids. Reacting to the trappings of the Kids Mme Mbunwe Clarisse a parents for one of the kids who was fortunate to be at the Bazaar thanked the CAT and the Volunteers for being at the forefront of keeping children busy with new ideas in an era which called for self reliance development at all levels. Mme Clarisse appealed to the volunteers to make it back to Cameroon if they could next year for another remarkable and fruitful training.


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posted @ 2:28 PM, ,

Cat Volunteers Teach Children How to Recycle Waste Papers into Shopping Bags

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Centre for Appropriate Technology

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posted @ 3:08 PM, ,

TWO HANDS MADE WORK LIGHTER

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Wangbé is a Heifer International Cameroon farmer who wanted her family to become closer. Wangbe was schooled by Heifer International Cameroon through GIC Boyare of Goudjouing. She has been married to Watey Joseph for 15yrs and they have three children.

Wangbe and her family live in an area where farming is in a precipitous decline due to drought. Her spending income was seriously compromised. “It is true we did not have enough money to meet our needs, I was managing by selling gravel that I gather around the village; with the money I bought salt and soap for the family,” she said. Limited resources and poor communication between Wangbe and her husband led to a series of hostilities. “It started with my husband’s excessive consumption of alcohol that brought division in the family,” she said crying. The woman, too, retaliated by drinking but her financial situation only deteriorated, leaving her and the children malnourished. “I could not stay for more than three months without abandoning matrimonial home in search of solace anywhere,” said Wangbe.The Heifer International Cameroon training on integrated agriculture, gender equity, HIV and AIDS, composting, pen construction broadened her mind. The donation of pigs and donkeys to her as a Heifer International Cameron helped her put the ideas she learned in the trainings into practice.
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posted @ 2:42 PM, ,

Gift of Education is a Gift of Hope

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When her husband died eight years ago, Agnes Behoumié, 41, was left all alone in a mud house, with a thatched roof with her five children. Agnes grappled with the daily challenges to feed and send her children to school. She had a farm, though, left to her by her late husband. This was her primary source of income. But the farm wasn’t doing so well. Over time, the land became less fertile. The widow depended upon cassava byproducts like gari and kukum for an income. She also sold fruit and groundnuts to complement her family income. Her monthly income stood at 30,000 FCFA ($60).
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posted @ 2:40 PM, ,

SERVED TO SAVE

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Aman Nkoti Christine, 56, is one of Heifer International Cameroon’s successful community leaders. Christine is the president of Groupe d’Initiative Commune des Producteurs de Concombre et Couscous Manioc of Boyaba I, some 150 km from Yaoundé. This group was formed in 1996 at the peak of the economic crisis by some 32 farm families, to counter the effects. Their objectives to succeed in their ambitions ended up a mere wish due to lack of inspiration. None respected financial promises from external elite rendered the group members incapable. The membership dropped to five. Aman Nkoti Christine was one of the members who stayed on.

Though shy and timid in her everyday life, as president Christine was a force to be reckoned with. She believed that one day things would change for the better. “I stayed with those who persevere and strongly believe that one day the light will shine on us,” she said. Her perseverance raised their membership to 13.
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posted @ 2:34 PM, ,

Cane Rat Rearing

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“My wife and friends abandoned me because I was walloping in poverty. I had no place in the community. Simolium damnosium bites locally called “Mutmut” deformed my skin and life for me was senseless,” said Paul Bidyme. But Heifer International Cameroon’s support to him under a cane rat scheme through his Groupe d’initiative Commune de Sante de Batombe converted his sorrows into joy. Paul, 36, lived with his mother Ngomune Christine, a widow and his six year old daughter Ngomme Christine Biyha at Batombe some 5km from Edea, in the littoral region of Cameroon.

His father’s death in 1987 led to the beginning of his frustrations. He dropped out of school. He ventured to automobile mechanic, carpentry and welding. He did not graduate from any. No relative was willing to give him any financial assistance. Paul’s dreams of providing medical aid to his ailing mother failed. In 2002, Paul was earning 4000FCFA (£5.4) a week from doing odd jobs. “That was not enough as we drudged day in-week out for a complete meal.
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posted @ 2:30 PM, ,

GIC Confiance Bafole Heifer International Cameroon Model Farmers

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The group started with the help of some graduates in 1998. It was a self-help initiative but legalized its status in 2002 as a common initiative group. According to one of the pioneers, the group president Adamou Ali, 36, they cultivated sweet potatoes, maize, tomatoes and huckleberry on 1.5 hectares of land. Their farm size increased as the membership of the group increased. Group members worked together on their farms to ease the burden of one another. “For each month, we provided each other with labor worth 7,000 FCFA ($15.6). This was to enhance our food security,” Ali remembered.

Although the group members struggled together, they only just managed to feed their families and to send their children to school. By necessity the group members began providing cheap labor to other community members in search of extra income and resources. According to the group president Ali, the annual income per farm family stood at 15,000 ($71.1) and 40, 000F CFA ($88.9 in those difficult days. “We could barely eat two poor meals a day, we mostly ate without oil,” Ngarigang Irene, mother of six (3 boys, 3girls) recalled. This lack of food translated to many health-related complications. “In 2004, I stayed in hospital for three months and could not pay my bill; it’s a cousin that helped me out,” Ibrahim a group member cried. Wanting to forge a comprehensive plan for themselves, the group members applied for Heifer International Cameroon’s assistance in 2008. Ultimately the 14 farm families were retained for immediate help.
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