Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

Cameroon Blog

Centre for Appropriate Technology

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:08 PM, ,


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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 by S A J Shirazi @ 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 by S A J Shirazi @ 2:40 PM, ,


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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 by S A J Shirazi @ 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 by S A J Shirazi @ 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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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:22 PM, ,

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