…or What exactly do you do, anyway?
This page is dedicated to all Peace Corps Projects I have done/currently doing/will do. This is a work in progress page and will be updated periodically.
Rabbit Raising and appropriate fodder trees
Snails and Quails!
Bee Keeping with Kenyan Hives
Agribusiness: 12 course session taken from Peace Corps Cameroon’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development program. Includes project planning, SWOT analysis, Feasibility Studies, Inventory-Stock records, Cash box and record keeping, Budgeting, Marketing, Financial Services, Management, etc.
Introduction to Agroforestry
Composting and the Home Garden (Variety crops for improved nutrition)
HIV/AIDS prevention and behavior change
Water borne illnesses, hygiene, and drinking water
Girl’s Empowerment Summer Camp 2010
Working alongside with PCVs Julie, Zara, Christina, and Kim, we trained just over 70 young girls ranging from 6-19 years of age. We did one solid week in Baham followed directly by one solid week in Bandrefam. Together the girl’s painted (for the first time) pictures of women in the community with whom they respect and wish to emulate, they wrote down qualities that they admire in themselves and each other, puberty, and the immune system where we played a game called l’elephants et les lions to represent how the immune system protects the body. We also discussed the biology of HIV and had an HIV positive woman come and give a testimonial, STDs, family planning and how having children may affect your goals, then had them write out their life goals and dreams with a strategy for achieving them.
With help from PEPFAR’s Vast funding we were able to provide all the girls a nutritious and varied lunch each day. One girl even asked on the second day of camp, “We ate yesterday, we’re going to eat again?” and when we replied yes that we would each day, she asked how many days the camp was going to be.
AHP2V (Association Humanitaire Pour la Promotion des Personnes Vulnerables) – (Formally CFRASH) Building a new center and helping them to expand and relocate through a Peace Corps Partnership Proposal. *More to come! Currently in the process of working through bureaucratic red tape for a realistic budget and architectural plans. Cross those fingers, people!
Books for Cameroon: Help my friends find books (particularly French books for our Francophone region). Check out the site for more information:
Income Generating Activities
Demgo: I work with a women’s group in Demgo in Jam making, Making Powdered Soap, and Quail Raising.
Banka: I also am working pretty extensively with a group of farmers on a bee keeping project who are also taking a business course with me and applying the lessons learned to the project.
One large goal of an agroforestry volunteer is to teach environmental education in the community schools. I was working with the Lycee Bilingue when I first arrived at post. We did lots of activities together including Improved Cookstoves, school-wide clean up, ecotourism (field trip to Fovu Sacred Rock Site), Climate change, HIV and STDs. One day, the delegate to the Ministry of the Environment saw what I was doing and approached me to work in each school of Baham. There are 58 schools in Baham, and yet I wanted to do something with each one. Together we decided to create a training of teachers, inviting a teacher from each school and giving them each a manual/lesson plan guide with a couple environmental education films. We would focus on the Environment and Health, coupling relevant lessons (for instance doing one lesson on pollution followed up by a lesson on water-borne diseases.) Each school would sign a contract to have an active club, turn in attendance sheets and progress reports and would be periodically visited by me to witness club activities and have students fill in evaluations. I’m hoping to get the funding in by the end of December and complete the training just after Christmas vacations end in January. Updates to come.
Beep Your Horn Phase II: Moto Taximen against HIV
Volunteers, in collaboration with Cameroonian organizations RIDEV and CIPCRE, work with moto taxi drivers in our villages, training them to be Peer Educators on HIV prevention, promoting getting tested, and proper condom usage. On World AIDS Day (December 1st, 2010) our trained men came to Bafoussam, marched in two parades (the official parade and our own parade) all through Bafoussam, tossing condoms to spectators.
We then set up information tables at a busy intersection in the center of town and did condom demonstrations (both male and female), answered questions, and signed people up for free testing. Our guys were great and worked hard7am-3pm!
This event was all about publicity, we will now move into focusing on the moto men as a group: What motivates them? Who influences them? And working with each group in their own villages: Helping them train their community, organizing events such as parades in village. Below is a condom demonstration given by my moto taxi man in Baham, Cerato. For more great pictures see the Dec. 2nd 2010 post!