+ Women's Empowerment: Palm Oil Project: This is a great project that I spent a lot of time on during the summer. This is micro business project that could really help to both empower women and support families in rural areas. Palm Oil is a natural cooking oil that people NEED to be able to cook food. However it is often only sold in towns at big markets and can often be expensive to. The price of the oil fluctuates throughout the year so the idea is for the women to buy Palm Oil in bulk (so it works out cheaper) during the time of the year that the price is low. They then distribute it to other members of the group who sell it within the village. Any profits that are made are both reinvested into the project or put towards good causes such as supporting members who are ill, AID orphans etc. I spent much time working with the 5 pilot groups making sure they know how to manage the project. So the groups and now ready to start buying and selling Palm Oil. Some of the groups are trying to gather funds, however this is very difficult for them as most of them have very little spare money to invest. One group are all HIV positive and often feel very weak so are unable to do any extra hard labour. However we have instructed them that they need to at least try and raise some money for themselves. Any money that is given to them to set up the project will need to be paid back once they have sold the first batch so it can then be invested in another women's groups.
+ STOP THE STIGMA: HIV/AIDS Education and awareness Project: I set up this project while I was out there. HIV/AIDS is a massive problem in Cameroon, mainly because the government provides no education to people. As a results, crude rumors have spread about HIV/AIDS such as; you can catch it by touching an infected person. Because of this there is now a huge amount of stigma surrounding the virus. I set up a project whereby she educated all the women's groups about HIV/AIDS so they could then educate their friends, families by visiting schools and offering drop in sessions. However there is still a lot to be done any many more people to reach out to. Funding is needed to print posters, education booklets,buy condoms etc
+ Youth Training Center Construction Project: SEREP needs a permanent site for its Youth Training Center as presently it is renting a local building; this is not sustainable solution. The rent money saved by having a permanent site will allow us to accommodate more OVC (orphaned and vulnerable children) students. The site can only be worked on when funds are available to purchase materials and pay laborors. The quicker the project is finished the better!