The ERuDeF Centre for the Advancement of Women’s Initiatives (CAWI), a Women and Gender /Humanitarian wing of ERuDeF keeps striving to inject light into the gloomy lives of some internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Cameroon. Following their recent monitoring visit to some of the business sites of the IDPs in Buea, CAWI discovered that the beneficiaries of the Economic Recovery Fund are really doing well in their economic endeavors. Those lastly visited gave very encouraging testimonies.
Mme. Folaven Elisabeth, 51 flee her home at mile 16, Southwest region where clashes between the military and the Separatist fighters have been very recurrent. She found a new home in Buea where there has been relative peace since the start of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. Though in a comparatively peaceful environment,
Mme. Folaven Elisabeth could barely provide for basic necessities of life until she benefited from CAWI Economic Recovery Fund. She was given XFC 100.000 to start a business of her liking. She ventured into fuel wood business which has fetched her a lot of profit. Her standards of living have not only improved greatly as a result, but she also owns a provision store which she opened from the profit she generated from her fuelwood business. “CAWI supported me with some money in which I stated a firewood business, today I make XFC 60,000 to 70,000 as profit every month which has enabled me to take good care of my family and myself. I have equally diversified my business; I now own a provision store alongside my firewood business. I really want to thank CAWI for giving me this support. I and my family are doing exceptionally well”, Mme. Folaven Elisabeth said with a broad smile on her face.
Just like Mme. Folaven Elisabeth, Mme. Tambendeck Louisa, 33 was forced to leave Kumba where she has been living before the onset of the Anglophone crisis. As a business Woman, Louisa could not realize her capital talk less of profit from the businesses she has set up in Kumba.
Coupled to that, her life and that of her family members was at risk given that the Anglophone Crisis has been escalating in Kumba. When she finally found a safe haven in Buea, she faced a lot of difficulties in keeping up with the daily demands of life. He had the intentions of starting up a cosmetic business in Buea to sustain her family but didn’t have the capital to do so. The mother of 2 was simply confused and hopeless given that she had nowhere to get the necessary finances to startup her business. Her frustration was short-lived. CAWI supported her with the sum of XFC 80,000 in which she stated her cosmetic business. “When I came into Buea I had nothing doing. I was very hopeless until CAWI came to my aid. Today I own a cosmetic shop which I started with the capital CAWI provided me with. I now have a running capital of XFC 300,000 and I make a profit of at least XFC 60,000 a month. I am very proud of myself right now and want to thank CAWI so much for for this support” Mme. Tambendeck told the CAWI monitoring team.“I have diversified my business”, Mme. Tambendeck continued, “I sell jewelries as well as inner wears, which has increased my profit margins significantly”.
“I ran away from Konye, Kumba as a result of the Anglophone crisis. I came to Buea with basically nothing. My life was in tethers given that I didn’t know anybody in Buea and I had nothing doing that could give me income to sustain myself and my seven children. I was helpless until I received CAWI’s economic support which have revolutionized my life”, Mme. Clementine recounted how her life has changed as a result of CAWI’s support. Mme. Clementine, 45 who settled in Buea , precisely at Sandpit as an IDP owns a provision store which she setup with funds from CAWI. Her business has been growing in leaps and bounce. She can now take good care of herself and her family with relative ease.
“Today, I make XFC 50,000 to 60,000 monthly which has helped me so much. I will forever be grateful to CAWI for this live changing support.
My life has never been the same since I received this support. As you can see, my business has been growing at a very fast pace and am projecting that I will be making not less than XFC 100,000 monthly in no distant time.”, the 43 year-old remarked to CAWI M&E team with an assuring smile on her face.
Mme. Beng Augustina is also a beneficiary of CAWI’s recovery fund. The mother of 3 lives with her husband in Upper Bunduma, Buea after being displaced as a result of the “never ending Anglophone Crisis”. She invested her own share of CAWI’s support in call box business.
The initial capital has generated a lot of money that she is reinvesting in a provision store. Hear her, “I make XFC 40,000 TO 60,000 every month from my call box business. This has helped me establish a provision store which is giving me additional income alongside my call box business. My family is much more stable as compared to when we flee to this place. I now assist my husband in doing certain things which I could not do before” She acknowledges that Coronavirus has made business to be slow but she is hopeful that that things will get back to normal soon. Jut like other women the 33 rear old is very grateful to CAWI for the support. Her wish is that more and more people displaced as a result of the crisis should benefit from this support just like her.
Mme. Etumbu Florence makes 120,000 every month. The beneficiary of CAWI Economic Recovery Fund arrived Buea from Konye. She and her family were living at the mercy of people of goodwill. When she received assistance from CAWI she initially started doing egusi business. She later diverted to plantain business that have fetched her a lot of profit.
This has enabled her to provide for her family with relative ease. “I buy plantains from ‘bush markets’ and sell them here in Buea. I make a profit of at least XFC 30,000 a week. Cumulatively, I make a net profit of XFC 120.000 a month form the sales of her plantains.The 22-year-old says she intends to expand her business further and perhaps employ others.
The Cameroon Anglophone Crisis which started since late 2016 has so far displaced over 700,000 Anglophones from their original settlements causing untold hardship and misery on the displaced. As the conflict continues, CAWI continues to share the pains of the IDPs with a lot of passion especially when they receive such positive feedback as seen above. We hope to put smiles on many more faces in the days ahead God willing.