Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

Cameroon Blog


Bookmark and Share

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.

In 2005, Christine met a representative from Heifer International Cameroon, while at a meeting hosted by the Rev. Father Pére Marie Bekona of the Ombessa parish. A group from a neighboring community spoke about how they were working with Heifer International Cameroon’s assistance. Christine listened to their testimony and decided that she would tell the rest of the group about Heifer International Cameroon’s program. “We were very skeptical, but all the same decided to apply for the assistance,” she said. The group applied though for a leadership training program and started receiving assistance from Heifer International Cameroon in 2008. “That marked the beginning of my change,” said Christine.

Christine lives and supports nine children and an orphan. Her husband, Nkoti Simon Pierre, 64, is a cocoa farmer. She also supports four grandchildren since two of her unmarried daughters had children but still live with the family. The woman her husband were more of mates and this left them fending daily below the minimum.

Heifer International Cameroon’s assistance to Christine and her group members helped them with their group dynamic and leadership skills. They also focused on gender equity, goat husbandry, crop production, compost making and HIV-AIDS education. Christine knew that charity begins at home and used the leadership and gender skills to improve her family. “Everybody was involved in decision making, participation in farm work and caring for our animals,” she said proudly. This joint initiative between husband, wife and children in farming with new techniques yielded 450,000 FCFA ($ 900) from the sale of sweet potatoes, peppers and cassava crops compared to a meager 70,000 FCFA ($ 140) . Her unmarried daughters with children started to focus on their education and helped out more around the house with new income generating activities. “The children accompanied me even to church, the spirituality in my family had increased and there is unity,” she said.

After the Heifer training, the internal rules and regulations of the group were restructured. Christine was re-elected President. The training helped her run the group more effectively. “I was able to lead my group well and to represent them in any meeting out of the village,” the president said. Because of good leadership skills Christine was also elected president of the Boyaba Village Development Committee and counselor to the Christians in her community.

Christine also led her group to a national agro-pastoral show with food crops that took place in Yaunde Cameroon as from the 21st - 23rd Dec. 2009 and won a wheel barrow, watering can, a file, a hoe and a pair of rain boats. Christine has pledge to hand over power when her turn of office ends. She says that she appreciates Heifer International Cameroon for the help. “I wish to thank Heifer International Cameroon for the work they are doing in order to change the lives of poor people like us,” she said.

Labels: , ,

posted @ 2:34 PM,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Calling Cameroon

We need Cameroonian bloggers and or writers or foreigners living and working in Cameroon who have a flare for writing and want to share their Cameroon experiences. Those who are interested, please email here.

Web This Blog

Subscribe CAT by Email

Cameroon Links