Perlazie is a 37 year old internally displaced woman who was forced to abandon their home in Kwakwa in Meme Division in the South West Region of Cameroon due to the ongoing Socio Political Crisis. Before the crisis, Perlazie was into petit business as a source of livelihood while living in their compound in Kwakwa.
When the crisis began in 2016, Perlazie lost everything as her shop was burnt down and their house became unsecured due to the presence of military and none state Armed Group (NSAG) characterized by massive arrest, killing, adoption and the burning of homes and businesses. Perlazie had to run for her life to seek refuge in Buea. While in Buea, life was unbearable as she had to strive to survive. She was offered shelter for free by a pastor in his church. She later on raised capital from menial jobs which she was carrying out and engaged into shoe business where she sell ladies sleepers/sandals and male sleepers. At times she will run out of capital and will have to take goods on credit and sell before paying back.
In July 2022, Reach Out NGO through its social workers identified Perlazie during a door-to-door identification process. After conducting her social inquiry and going through the vulnerability criteria, Perlazie presented a realistic expansion business plan for her shoe business. After going through a 3-day intensive training program on business management, bookkeeping, savings, and reproductive health and rights, Perlazie was given an expansion grant of $114 (57,200 CFA). With this, her capital increased from 35.000 FRS to 96200.
From her business, Pelazie has been able to rent and equip her own house; she currently has a capital of 120.000 FRS and has added readymade shoes aside her old business which was second hand shoes. Perlazie can afford a 3 square meal in a day and also assist others financially.
On the other hand, Perlazie has been able to save money for future use and emergency. The knowledge she had on savings after the training completely wiped off the notion she had that you must have a large amount of money in other to own an account in a financial institution. She became so overwhelmed when she receives updates on her phone after every transaction in her account.
Perlezie is just 1 among the 107 internally displaced women and girls whom your numerous donations have been able to put small on her face once more after she lost her source of livelihood as a result of the crisis ravaging the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. Thank you so much the donations.
Esther is a 47-year-old internally displaced widow, forced to abandon her home in Bafut, North West Region of Cameroon. Before the crisis started in 2016, Esther lived with her husband and five children in her hometown in Bafut, where she practiced subsistence agriculture as her source of livelihood.
When the crisis began in 2016, Esther lost access to her farm and was unable to meet her basic needs and those of her family. In a quest for survival, she moved to Buea in 2018 with her husband and children, and settled in Muea where they rented a plank room that cost them 12$(6000 FRS) monthly. Esther and her family began to survive by taking up daily odd jobs to be able to feed.
Life became harder for Esther in 2020, when she lost her husband and was left to fend for her five children alone in the midst of an escalating armed conflict. After her husband died, Esther and her five children did daily jobs and later rented a farm on which they depended for their survival. Esther was unable to send her children to school and she and her children could barely afford a meal a day.
In 2021, one of Esther’s children got critically sick. The money she made from petty jobs and her small farm was unable to cater for the medical bills. She was forced to take loans to settle the medical bills. After battling the sickness for a while, Esther lost her child.
In July 2022, Esther was identified by our social worker during a door-to-door identification process. After conducting her social inquiry and going through the vulnerability criteria, Esther presented a realistic business plan for her vegetable business. After going through a 3-day intensive training program on business management, bookkeeping, savings, and reproductive health and rights, Esther was given a business grant of $100 (50,000 CFA). “The money I received has really helped me and my children. Life was really hard before now but with my vegetable business we live more comfortably.”
From her business, she has been able to pay the debt she incurred from her sick child. She can now send her children to school. Esther now supplies vegetable to restaurants in town and has an average monthly income of about 170$ (85.000 FRS) with an average monthly profit of 50$ (30.000FRS). When she has bulk buyers, she employs other market women and pays them to work.
Esther is just 1of the 107 women and girls in conflict-affected areas whose lives have been changed through micro business with your support. Thank you so much.
Christina is an internally displaced grassroots woman who was forced to abandon her job as a field worker in the Cameroon Development Cooperation (C.D.C.) Delmonte banana plantation in Mondoni in Tiko sub-division to Fako sub-division precisely in Buea. Christina is a 32-year-old single mother of two who was the sole provider for her kids through the daily wages she got as a field worker in C.D.C. Delmonte Banana before the crisis started in 2016.
When the crisis started in 2016, Christina and her fellow field workers did not immediately stop working in the field. "On ghost town days, we won’t dare go out to the field." In 2018, the dynamics of the crisis changed, and non-state armed groups focused their attention on attacking government-owned properties. This did not leave out the Cameroon Development Cooperation (C.D.C. palm, banana, and rubber plantations). As a result, some field workers were killed in the field, while others lost some parts of their bodies (their fingers). This caused lots of frights and instability in the C.D.C. camps, and as a result, many plantation workers had to flee for their lives, including Christina and her two kids.
With the little savings she had as a laborer on the plantation, she moved to Mile 16, a rural setting in the Fako Division, in 2018. There she rented a plank room for 3 months, which cost her $16 (8,000 FCFA monthly). She resorted to doing menial jobs to survive the seemingly increased cost of living in her new area. She could not meet the school needs of her two kids as mile 16 is some miles away from the central town where all the schools are functional.
After doing menial jobs (working on people's farms and others), Christina was able to start up a small onion and gallic hawking business in the markets worth $70 (35,000 CFA). With a monthly average capital of $15 (15,000 CFA), Christina managed her household expenditures while still blinding business with menial jobs just so as to keep up with the cost of living. Not being able to secure a space in the market, Christina was always disturbed by the municipal council's demand that she pay market cleanup and security levies. "This was so disturbing as there were days I could spend the whole day in the market and realize just $4 (2000 CFS). Since I did not have enough capital to buy a bag of onions or garlic, I could only receive the grade and quantity equivalent to my money (the last grades after the big buyers have done the selection)." It affected Cristina negatively as the goods sometimes got bad in hand, causing great losses to her business.
Such losses caused her inconsistency in business, as she would frequently resort to doing menial jobs to raise capital from time to time. In July 2022, during a door-to-door identification process, Christina was identified by our social worker. After conducting her social inquiry and going through the vulnerability criteria, Christina presented a realistic business plan for her onion and garlic business. After going through a 3-day intensive training program on business management, bookkeeping, savings, and reproductive health and rights, Christina was given a business grant of $100 (50,000 CFA). "The money gave me the power to buy a 50kg bag of onions, freh tomatoes and a 25kg bag of garlic and also rent a space in the 02 markets". At first, she could sell only in one location or market within her town. Now, with coaching from the Reach Out team on innovation in business and online banking, she does not only sell in three locations but she also has a mobile bank (online banking) where she can monitor her financial account and do transactions from the comfort of her business place. With an average monthly income of $90 (45,000 CFA), Christina’s living conditions have improved. She now rents a room for $20 (10,000 CFA) and can now afford to provide an education for her children.
Christina is just 1 out of the 107 women and girls for whom your support has gone a long way to changing their stories in a conflict-affected area through microbusiness. Thank you so much for your support.
Useina is a 37 years old mother of 3 who was displaced from Matu Butu one of the most affected villages in the Konye Sub-division in the Meme division of the South West Region of Cameroon. Before the crisis, “I owned and managed a small restaurant in Matuh Butu” said Useina. When the crisis started in 2016, the business was still running but not as before the crisis. The frequent displacement (into the bushes to seek refuge) caused the business to have a slow turnover due to her frequent absence from the business site.
After spending over 8 months in the bush like many other villagers, her husband decided that it will be better for him to take the family out of the bush to Kumba where the children could access education and health care. In 2019, “my husband contacted a friend and pleaded with him if he could provide us with shelter and he accepted” said Useina. While in Kumba, life was harder than imagined because everything was costly. Useina left Matuh Butu with 6 children 3 of whom belong to her and 3 others from her friend who pleaded with her to take them along to Kumba for education purposes. In a 1 bedroom, Useina, the 6 children and her husband could barely feed. Though the room was a donation from the husband’s friend, bills were to be paid by them, including food clothing and medication. "I sat one day in my room and cried and told my husband the bush was preferable". With no source of income, Useina resorted to doing menial jobs in town. “The children and I worked on people farms, did laundry for people and even housekeeping just so we don't go to bed hungry," said Useina. Education became a thing of the past to the children because Useina and her husband could not afford it for the children.
In July 2021, during a door-to-door identification, she was identified by Reach Out social worker. After introducing the NGO and its activities to her and the purpose of the Identification, Useina was registered. 2 days later she was revisited and the social worker conducted a social inquiry after which she presented a business plan. After undergoing entrepreneurship, business management, bookkeeping and savings training, a startup capital of $60 (30,000 FRS) was given to her. After 10 months of monitoring and evaluation, she progressively operated her business on an average monthly capital of $68 (54000 frs) with an average monthly profit of $60 (30,000frs). In March 2022, she was given a second expansion grant of $100 (50,000 FRS). The second grant allowed her to diversify in business. she invested in a provision store due to the constant blackout in Kumba her former business did have the desired turnover. She currently runs a business with an average monthly capital of $300 (150000) with an average monthly profit of $130 (65,000frs). Monthly, Useina saves $20 (10,000 FRS) after meeting up with her household expenses.
"One thing I am proud of myself for is that I could make it again after I had lost all hope, Reach Out came to my rescue". Today Useina and her family live in a 2 bedroom apartment, the proceeds from the business she fills in the financial gap in her children’s education. The family is sure of 3 square meals a day and basic health care.
Thank you so much for the support you give to crisis-affected women in Cameroon. Useina is just 1 among the 30 women whom your support has been able to support economically through micro businesses in Kumba Meme Division of the South West region of Cameroon.
“The fact that I left Ekona safe and sound with my family was a miracle to me,” said Mamisala a 30 years old mother of 4. Before the crisis, she owned small tailoring accessories shop back in Ekona (one of the most hard-hit areas of the ongoing Anglophone crisis) in the Fako Division of the South West region. “We had normalized constant running into the bushes (black bush, Back Mountain) to seek refuge when the Military visit our community in search of the Amba boys (Non-state arm group)”.
In November 2018, due to ill health as a result of exposure to mosquito bites, typhoid as a result of no good drinking water and server hunger in the bushes, Mamisala decided to move to Kumba with her family (a very sick husband, malnourished and Malaria affected children). With no source of livelihood, “our stay in Kumba was dependent on the goodwill of people around us”. As a result of his inability to provide for his household and play his role as the head of the house, Mamisala’s diabetic husband fell prey to depression. Because of too much thinking, his blood pressure was always rising, and in October 2019 he passed into glory. “I did not know what to do when my husband died. Is it to mourn our devastating economic situation or to mourn my dead husband. His death made me strong for our four kids,” she said. With help from her family, Mamisala started a Yoghurt business with a capital of $20 (10,000 FRS) in 2020. The small business had so many eyes looking upon it for survival. This caused the business to be stagnant and could hardly grow.
In 2021, she was identified by Reach Out social worker in the street while hawking yoghurt. After conducting her social enquiry Mamisali presented a realistic business plan. After undergoing entrepreneurship, business management, bookkeeping and savings training, an expansion capital of $60 (30,000 FRS) was given to her. “With my little savings of $70 (35,000frs) and a loan of $50 (25,000 frs) I got a fairly used fridge for my business” with the sum of $200 (100,000 FRS), Mamisala combined the business expansion grant, her savings and the loan and got a fridge for her yoghurt business.
After 10 months of monitoring and evaluation, she progressively operated her business on an average monthly capital of $68 (54000 frs) with an average monthly profit of $60 (30,000frs). In March 2022, Mamisala was given a second expansion grant of $100 (50,000 FRS). The second grant allowed her to diversify in business; she invested in a tailoring accessories business which has a quick turnover as a result of the presence of tailors in her quarter. In October 2022, Mamaisala invested in poultry farming which yielded good profits in December 2022 as a result of the scarcity of fowl in the market for the festive periods. “Today I am proud of my business. “The business has consoled me. Though I still think of my life back in Ekona I don’t feel that bad because I have a business here”. As a result of the business, she was made the president in their quarter meeting. She has also gained some grounds and recognition. “This business is everything to me and my family. My children’s fees, feeding, clothing and health bills are all dependent on this business”. Averagely, Mamisala operates a business of $300 (150,000 FRS) with an average monthly profit of $134 (67,000 FRS).
Mamisala is just 1 among the 100 women whom your support has been able to support economically through micro businesses in the South West region of Cameroon. Thank you so much for the support you give to crisis-affected women in Cameroon
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser