This project, funded by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, aims to empower women economically and socially in the commune of Mokolo, specifically in the Ouro Tada camp for internally displaced persons.
Cameroon is facing a multitude of conflicts on several fronts. This has a negative impact on the security and well-being of the general population. This situation is further aggravated by the occurrence and persistence of Covid-19, as small businesses and trade have been severely affected and are now forced to slow down their activities, if they have not disappeared completely.
In this multi-faceted crisis, women and girls are more affected than men. This seems all the more logical as they remain the most exposed to cultural, social, financial, institutional, market access and cash flow challenges.
The repeated exactions of the Islamist group Boko Haram have favoured the emergence of the phenomenon of internally displaced persons. Fleeing the massacres, attacks and kidnappings perpetrated by this terrorist organisation, the populations of the villages attacked have migrated to less risky localities in the same region.
These displaced people engage in a wide range of social and economic activities, including agriculture, animal husbandry, small-scale trading, fishing for males, human investment, and grinding mills for women and girls. In the town of MOKOLO, income-generating activities for women and girls are confined to community management of a grinding mill and the practice of hygiene and sanitation. However, these women and girls require more than ever a genuine policy of social and economic empowerment in order to meet their own and their children's needs. This is especially important since girls are subjected to violence by men, become pregnant at a young age, and are mistreated by men who take advantage of their vulnerable position, which is why the sample of women in the Ouro-Tada IDP camp includes a substantial proportion of single mothers.
The objective of this project is to empower women economically and socially in the commune of Mokolo, specifically in the Ouro Tada camp for internally displaced persons.
Proof of concept will be demonstrated by:
- 123 IDPs (teenage mothers and single mothers) demonstrate improved knowledge and gain skills in business management and transformation of agricultural materials (Neem and Soy).
- 9 female leaders can manage a cooperative for IDPs transforming agricultural materials into business products.
- 123 IDPs (teenage mothers and single mothers) benefit a capital of 100,000 XAF for income generating activities.
- 80 out of 123 IDPs (teenage mothers and single mothers) secure health and education for their households through cooperative proceeds.
- 50 out 123 IDPs (teenage mothers and single mothers) receive free psychosocial care.
- 15 IDPs join local governance structures.
- 123+ community members benefit from cooperative services in Ouro Tada.
- At least 48 stakeholders demonstrate acceptability and feasibility of the 123 Mokolo pilot project.
In our Njangi approach, we have built on qualitative and synthesis research results to develop an innovative approach that builds on existing traditional Njangi (also known as tontine) approaches. The approach (1) brings together community members (in this case vulnerable women and girls), (2) provides them with business skills (market analysis, leadership, tools for saving and re-investments, use of IT and mobile phones for business), (3) Signs an agreement contract (4) Register Njangi House as a financial institution according to Cameroon laws (cooperative), (5) Provides a seed fund (6) Create market channels and monopolies (7) Facilitate sustainability through micro health insurance and savings for education (8) Follow up, feedback, and monitoring, evaluation and learning. Each woman receives a seed fund of between 100,000 to 350,000 XAF. Common use machines are purchased for women to access when needed at a Njangi House.
Determinants of Success of Project 123 Mokolo
- 15,000 IDPs in Ouro Tada mokolo improved their knowledge on IDP vulnerabilities and opportunities through storytelling events and radio programmes.
- 123 IDPs (teenage and single mothers) demonstrated improved knowledge and gained skills in business management and transformation of agricultural materials (Neem and Soy)
- 9 female leaders now manage a Njangi House (cooperative) for IDPs transforming agricultural materials into business products
- 123 IDPs (teenage mothers and single mothers) benefited a capital of 100,000 XAF for income generating activities.
- 80 out of 123 IDPs (teenage mothers and single mothers) secured health and/or education for their households through cooperative proceeds.
- 50 out 123 IDPs (teenage mothers and single mothers) received free psychosocial care.
- 15 IDPs joined local governance structures (PTAs and hospital management committee).
- 123+ community members benefiting from Njangi House services in Ouro Tada.
- 56 out of 60 stakeholders interviewed demonstrated acceptability and feasibility of the 123 Mokolo pilot project.
eBASE and partner NGOs have successfully piloted this approach and it can be replicated in other regions of crisis in Cameroon. The approach builds on existing working done by over 100 CSOs in Cameroon. It has a strong potential to reduce vulnerability of women and girls including IDPs, refugees, and victims of gender-based violence.