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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:14 AM, ,

Heifer International Cameroon Assisted Farmers

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Aaron Kaah

Some 16 employees of a US based organization Elanco, which over the years has supported Heifer international projects around the world have appreciated Heifer International Cameroon assisted farmers for improving their lives and communities in the Bafut, Bamendakwe and Santa villages in the North West Region of Cameroon. The team which was in Cameroon from May 22-31, 011 to learn more about Heifer assisted projects and their impact on the lives of the people and to share their expertise took their study tour trip to the private homes of the assisted farm families and to their common initiative groups.

In the homes of the assisted farm families the team came face to face with the realities of managing, feeding and marketing livestock by these assisted families. The beneficiary farm families used the golden opportunity to show their guests property bought with income from the marketing of animals and surplus food crops. The farm families also indicated and proved how compost from the animals was improving the soil quality of their farm field. In moving testimonies these famers almost brought to tears by joy, related how their love story with Heifer international Cameroon started and how the benefits of their respective projects had helped them to educate their children, renovate their homes, paid for hospital bills and to get new house hold equipment. In the Mbei Santa community a widow named Olivia Befuh a member of the Mbei Struggling Widows Common Initiative group with some 45 members explained in high spirits how most of them did not feel the dead of their husbands as the Heifer international Cameroon donated livestock and trainings gave them the most necessary support to educate and feed their families. At the Bamendakwe, community a farm family overwhelmingly prided in respecting the Heifer international traditional action of honor of Pass on the Gift of new animal off spring to another needy family in the group to help expand the gift of love and care. Most of these farm families also grappled with words with which to thank Heifer international donors in the US.

Working sessions with the common initiative groups provided space for the study tour team to listen to the challenges of the farmers and their plans for the future. While providing solutions to some of the worries poised by the groups, the team was elated with the fulfillment in the groups brought alive by songs and dance and the innovative styles of the leaders to improve on the dynamic management of their groups as well as their responsibilities in other community social groups.

Speaking to the Heifer international Cameroon assisted groups, the leader of the Elanco study tour team Grady Bishop appreciated the farmers and their common initiative groups for using their livestock to meet their needs. “We are separated by distance but the benefits and feeling for animals is the same” Bishop said. The farmers were called upon to stay focused and to continuously give hope to one another. “We have been given a great gift--- that’s what HPI has done in your lives and we will tell your powerful stories back in the US” Bishop concluded. The international study tour team also took time off to visit some touristic sites and to savor the rich North West traditional music.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:40 AM, ,

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