“Many children live on the streets, they do not have access to primary education and are exposed to the risk of human trafficking and bonded labor”.
WHY WE ARE HERE: In Cameroon, as in many developing countries, are the women and children who do the hard work. The society is polygamous and while the man manages their property, wives have to make a living for themselves and for their children. in 1995, 559 rural women close to SERDIF, our local partner, joined in cooperatives to avoid suffering the price buyers, who purchase when villagers are facing economic difficulties to speculate later on the resale. This group has also founded a school for their children and for all the children of the near villages to make sure they were not on the street, with all associated risks, while waiting for mothers to return from the fields. The main problem in the villages of this region is the lack of basic sanitary facilities and the poor hygienic conditions inside the schools. According to a survey conducted by our local partner, in 2013 only 8 schools out of 137 had toilets. Giving these children a safe and clean environment is of paramount importance because it prevents them from contracting potentially dangerous deseases. Poor hygiene, children defecating in open areas outside schools and schools having no hygienic material cause in fact the spread of diseases related to hygiene, such as diarrhea, intestinal parasites and indirectly also nutritional problem.
OUR PARTNER IN CAMEROON: In Cameroon WOMEN FOR FREEDOM has as operating partner the SERDIF (SErvice de Récherche et Developpement des Initiatives des Femmes), an organization founded in 1995 by a group of 559 women who wanted to join forces to improve the economic standard and social status of women, and to defend the rights of women and children especially in rural areas of Cameroon. The SERDIF is based in Mbouda, a town in the West of the Country, not far from the border with neighboring Nigeria.
WHAT WE DO HERE: At the beginning of 2014 the SERDIF contacted WOMEN FOR FREEDOM asking for support for a project that aimed to provide the school of Metio with desks and other material. It was the beginning of a strong collaboration. Thanks to its supporters, WOMEN FOR FREEDOM and SERDIF launched the LESER project (Latrine et Education Sanitaire dans les Ecoles Rurales – Toilets and hygiene educations in the rural schools), which is currently expanding to a growing number of schools in the area. We build toilets and drinking water facilities while our local partner encourages behavior change techniques, including activities to increase awareness on good hygiene practices.
Scroll down to read about the projects we have already successfully completed and those that still require your help.
Project LESER @ Ecole de Metio (2014) COMPLETED PROJECT: The elementary school of Metio was built in 2009 by SERDIF to give local children a safe place to get an education and become active members of their communities. In 2014, the situation at the school was difficult: there was not enough room to welcome the 176 children enrolled that year. Blackboards, desks, small chairs, beds for the children were missing. WOMEN FOR FREEDOM answered to the call for help made by SERDIF. We sent funds to buy the needed furnitures, and we also built some toilets. Now the students of the Ecole de Metio are educated with the enthusiasm of professional teachers inside a structure that best suits their demand and their educational needs.
Project LESER @ Ecole de Bazingza (2015) COMPLETED PROJECT: The Bazingza elementary school was built in 2003. More than 350 children are supervised by only six teachers. Until 2015, the school did not have basic sanitary facilities. Boys and girls used to defecate outside the building, this causing the frequent spread of diseases among the students. There was no drinking water. WOMEN FOR FREEDOM helped the school and brought LESER in Bazingza as well. Thanks to the funds that we collected in Italy through the sale of our 2015 calendar, we built a series of separate latrines for boys and girls. We bought cleaning and maintenance materials, and supported the launch of hygiene training sessions for both children and teachers.
Project LESER @ Ecole de Nylon (2016) COMPLETED PROJECT: In 2016, the project LESER reached the elementary school of Nylon. This school, founded in 1982, hosts today 1147 children between 4 and 13. As per many schools of the area, here the sanitary facilities were drammatically inadequate compared to the needs of the students who defecated inside holes in the proximity of the building. In this school in particular, the situation was worsened by the high number of attending children. The difficulties and risks deriving from inadequate sanitary awareness, here, were doubled. WOMEN FOR FREEDOM successfully achieved the goal to give these children the opportunity to study inside a safe and clean environment.
Project LESER @ Ecoles de Babete et Bassessa (2017) ACTIVE PROJECT: In 2017, we plan to extend the LESER project to not just one but two new schools, those of Babete (689 children) and Bassessa (467 children). The trustworthy work Women For Freedom has been doing in Camerun is now well-known among the local communities. Every year, new families ask our partener SERDIF to bring the hygiene program to their children’s schools. We strongly believe that protecting the youths and taking care of their well-being is an unavoidable step to allow them to build a better tomorrow. Join us and donate to support the hygiene program at Babete and Bassessa school!
With € 50 you contribute to the purchase of basic hygienic material for a school
With € 100 you contribute to the launch of awareness and training programs on hygiene and health for a school
With € 350 you contribute to the installation of sinks connected with running drinking water supply
With € 1,000 you contribute to the construction of a block of two latrines (males and females) in each school
We have already achieved so much thanks to your generosity.
Now we want to extend the project to as many schools as possible.
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