Well, I have been in Cameroon since September of 2009, which makes 10 months in country! Nearly a year. I thought that two years of service would be a huge and long commitment, but seeing how quickly time has gone by so far, I think I may need at least five years to do all that I want to do! I’m only now feeling comfortable in my role as volunteer, figuring out how to work with different groups and start projects.
One project in particular that I feel passionately about is helping to find the financing to build a dormitory, dining room, and workshops for CFRASH, a local center for disabled and orphaned children. It’s a small center, but dedicated. The church that owns the land where the center is currently situated is demanding that they leave as it has become very fertile for farming. Luckily the local district hospital has given the center a small plot of land, and they have even constructed a building for the children’s physiotherapy sessions, but they lack the financing to finish so that the children can move up there and go on with their lives.
The center is truly great and the co-directors, husband and wife Zacharie and Denise, have been like a second family to me. The children are happy and healthy and cared for. They receive schooling, nutritious food, therapy, and training in building bamboo furniture and jewelry making so that they have a marketable skill as adults.
I feel that helping to build the new center is something I must do. I’ve been sending inquiries out all over the place, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like doing a Peace Corps Partnership Proposal would be a good idea. PCPP is a way for PC volunteers to help raise funds for projects by sending contacts in the US to make 100% tax deductible contributions. Peace Corps then is willing to match a portion of the funds collected to help turn ideas, like this orphanage, into a real building.
I will keep you posted. Much love to all.