These pictures of old and new school buildings show just some of what we achieved in 2019, thanks to the generous donations of our supporters.
New classroom blocks, complete with furniture, a teacher’s office and a new latrine were constructed at six different schools in three different regions of Cameroon. During our annual visit to the country, two of our trustees travelled around to the openings of all these schools. It is such a privilege to witness the enormous impact that our modest buildings have on these communities, and each of these school projects cost about the same as we might pay for a new small family car!!
For the first time, in many cases, children are able to attend school in dry, clean and hygienic buildings that will last for decades. Their academic achievement will improve along with their aspirations, and each community will become richer for having a good school.
We also went back to the nursery school in Akok Ndui to see the impact of the new tables and chairs for the children there. These had been purchased with a donation from our supporters at Sunesis, following their visit to this impoverished little school in 2018 – and we were delighted to find that enrolment at the school had increased from 27 to 57 because of the new facilities. Although still housed in a small tumbledown building, the school was a hive of industry and the pupils and teachers were thriving.
Clean drinking water supplies
Two large community water projects were also constructed, thanks to our supporters at Gompels Healthcare. These provide reliable clean drinking water for the first time ever, for many hundreds of people. The impact on the communities has been enormous.
There is a new borehole is in Sodiko, a small town in the Littoral Region which now hosts many hundreds of the Internally Displaced families which have fled from the violence of the war in the NW and SW regions. It replaces one of the unprotected and dangerous wells in the town which, although 20m deep, still reached only impure water. The new borehole with electric pump reaches pure water at a depth of 60m which is then filtered and stored in an 1800 litre tank feeding two taps. This borehole now provides clean drinking water to over half the community including pupils at two schools.
The second water project was at Upper Futur in Bamenda, NW Region. A new catchment was constructed with a new large tank and filtration chamber and six new stand-taps, spread throughout the Upper Futur community. This was a particularly difficult project to undertake because the community is in the middle of an area where the fighting has been very intense. SHUMAS needed to negotiate with many leaders from the warring factions before the project could be initiated, but it is now finished and working well.
Two wonderful new maternity centres were also constructed this year with funds from our long-standing supporters at Market Makers and Lead Forensics. The new centre at Bani Baloum in the West Region replaces an old borrowed mud hut that had been used for years as a maternity facility. There is now a consultation room for ante-natal clinics, a labour room and a delivery room, a maternity ward for new mothers, plus toilets/showers and a pharmacy. Many women from marginalised groups such as the Mbororo have been encouraged to have their children at the centre, rather than in their nomadic dwellings.
There had been no maternity facilities at all in Ntaache until we funded this new centre. The population of this district of Bamenda has recently increased exponentially due to the influx of Internally Displaced families fleeing the war – many of the women being victims of rape and sexual abuse. The centre offers ante-natal classes and safe birthing facilities as well as post trauma counselling.
Finally, the Health Centre at Akumlam received all new equipment to allow it to function properly, thanks to our supporters at Gompels Healthcare. This Health Centre had been built by the Government in 2009 but it had never been given any equipment and had to borrow any old redundant equipment it could find from other centres in the region. It is now fully equipped and meeting the health needs of the community.