Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

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Cane Rats

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Aaron Kaah

The joy that characterized the honey moon of Nkemacha John 45, and wife Nkemacha Marie 34, did not last beyond the delivery of their first daughter. Time weathered out their compassion -at best leaving John only with the law to hand to the wife and five children. (One boy and four girls) Ndobegang Solange 19, Ndobegang Elise 16, Ndobegang Jeannette 13, Ndobegang Sergio 10, and Ndobegang Abelta (11months).When Send A Cow/ Heifer International Cameroon assisted Marie through Groupe d’Initiative Commune les Debrouillards de Ndobo under a cane rat project, the family uncovered it, s destiny– at the outskirt of the Douala metropolis in the Littoral Region of Cameroon. The first fruit of the assistance was love and sharing among the couple.

Before the Send A Cow and Heifer International Cameroon assistance, Marie her husband John were leaving a cat and mouse life. “We were in disorder in fact nothing was going” the woman said at the time. John was an absentee husband and cared little about any one. In 2006 Marie and John joined Groupe d’Initiative Commune les Débrouillard de Ndobo. That same year the 16 group members applied to Heifer International Cameroon for assistance in cane rat production. In 2008, Send A Cow/ Heifer International Cameroon retained the group for assistance. Training sessions on group dynamics, integrated agriculture, leadership, HIV and AIDS, sensitization on gender equity as well as record keeping took place in preparation for the placement of cane rats. At the end of the training each farm family was given 4cane rats, improved seeds and farm tools.

For the Nkamacha’s the best option was to concentrate on the Gender Equity knowledge. “The immediate impact of this project was the remarkable improvement in working relation with my husband; our children were aware of our difficulties and greatly cooperate with us. With our determination and the full participation of our children, we witnessed a boost in food crop and vegetable production; from 200 to 400kg of maize, from 60 to 150 kilograms of okra and 632kg of huckleberry on the same piece of land’ Marie said..

This gender campaign helped the couple to give their children maximum attention and Marie regretted having shunned her children’s education in the hands of the husband. “The situation is no longer the same” she said. By meticulously following the gender equity lessons John and Marie managed their little savings with love and trust and was able to afford their children schools needs on time. This reflected in their performance in school. “Ndobegang Sergio who repeated class five in the promotion examinations took the third position for promotion into class six” Marie admitted with smiles.

Her daughter Nbobegang Solange particularly happy with Send A Cow/ Heifer Cameroon contribution to their lives said, “My mother completed my registration fees in college last year with project proceeds. When she sold okra worth 15,000FCFA ($33.5) after consultations with my father she completed the fees. This was not the case before this project. This cane rat project brought more serenity in our home”. The girl was also proud that the mother could dialogue with the father freely unlike in the past. Marie and her Husband led by example and were not hesitant to carry out domestic chores together when necessary. This motivated the children to put in their best in the family farm fields and home chores. This sense of cooperation according to Solange brought to the family joy, peace and order. Marie’s health complications once brought in by social stress was abated. The love maximized the income of the family.

The family ate a balance diet on regular bases. The Nkenmacha’s have taken pride to pass on the gift of knowledge to their other farm families in the community who envy their status. “I counseled my friend Ashu Catherine who succeeded in resolving her marital problems with her husband. Now they live happily” Marie explained elatedly. Today with love for one another, the Nkemacha’s success record in their community is unparalleled and their wish to Send A Cow and Heifer International Cameroon had been simple but solid “God bless the hands that changed our lives and family” they prayed.

posted @ 7:02 PM,

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