By Oliver Smith
In the early 1960s, after gaining independence from France and the UK, Cameroon was considered a place of hope in the central part of Africa, building essential infrastructure such as roads and railways as well as profitable agricultural and petroleum industries. Fast forward 60 years, this African country of 26 million people is engaged in several conflicts, ranging from fighting between the Francophone central government and Anglophone separatists to interethnic combat resulting in widespread human rights abuses, mass killings, kidnapping, and displacement of people fleeing violence. Many of the schools in the Anglophone areas have been shut down for five years, forcing students to turn to violence and other forms of crime in order to survive.
Building Schools for Africa (BSFA), partnered with the non-profit Strategic Humanitarian Services (SHUMAS) based in Cameroon, is focusing on supporting internally displaced people (IDP) through education, training and practical and psycho-social support. SHUMAS is a well-established non-profit organisation (supported by UNICEF and the United Nations) and a major focus for it currently is empowering women, specifically widows and single mothers who have left areas of war. As these women are forced to flee their homes without food, clothes and money, they need help to get back on their feet as they start a new life.
Your donations have helped women re-establish themselves in new towns and allowed them to start small businesses. These small businesses, ranging from selling homemade donuts to selling meals and snacks, provide a livelihood for themselves and a future for their children. Elizabeth, Nicoline and Florence (pictured below) are three (of the 300) women with young children who had to flee their homes and who, through our support, were able to start small businesses that allow them to provide for their families. Through your support, we hope to continue to help IDPs overcome their traumatic experiences and give them hope and independence.
Comments are closed.