In May 2016, upon receipt of a financial grant from a female donor in the USA for us to enroll more girls in school in Cameroon, the Rescue Women - Cameroon team set out to far off Toko Sub Division in the South West Region of Cameroon (from Bamenda in the North West Region) to identify underprivileged girls to be awarded scholarships. We moved from village to village, school to school, navigating the difficult terrain by commercial bikes, trekking, passing through forests, crossing rivers and bamboo bridges just so we can give girls in that community the opportunity to attend school; a process that enabled us to identify 85 girls to be enrolled in school by REWOCAM this upcoming academic year.
As we visited the different villages, talking to community members, teachers, principals, headteachers, political and administrative authorities, we came to understand the difficulties that girls in that sub division face. The challenges were enormous. The major problems they encounter include:
Low girls enrollment rate due to poverty Early marriages and high child birth rates for girls High drop out rates for girls as a result of poverty, early marriage and early pregnacies Early pregnancies due to limited knowledge on their sexuality and reproductive health Preference for marriage over education as some parents would rather their daughters get married than go to school Lack of mentors to serve as role models to the girls in the villages Poor menstrual hygiene due to limited knowledge on menstrual hygiene Limited knowledge on the importance of girl child education Early dating resulting to pregnancies, STI's, HIV infection etc Grandparents parenting grandchildren (Most of our beneficiaries are children born when their mothers were teenagers. They have left the children with their parents and traveled to nearby towns in search of greener pastures which they often do not have with their low literacy rates)
The challenges for girls in rural Toko Sub Division are enormous for girls and it is for this reason that REWOCAM thought it is not enough to just pay school fees for girls and offer them other school supplies. We thought creating a "Girls Lead Club" in Four secondary schools (Three in Toko Sub Division and one in Mbonge Sub Division) where we have a majority of our beneficiary will help break the cycle of all the negative forces standing in the way for girls to get education and attain their full potentials.
The "Girls Lead Club" will coach and mentor the girls to become empowered young women as the years go by. The club's activities will involve:
Sensitizing girls on their rights Sensitizing them on the importance of getting an education Offering teachings on sex education and reproductive health Offering lectures on menstrual hygiene Sharing success stories of women to inspire the girls and increase their commitment to education Placing girls with female mentors and coaches who would groom the girls into responsible women Teaching girls leadership and public speaking skills Giving annual awards to the girls who exhibit high and quality levels of leadership and academic excellence and Much more
The "Girls Lead Club" is going to be the first ever and one of its kind girls club in the respective schools. We believe the impact of the club is going to be reflected in the life styles of the girls by:
Reducing early marriages and early pregnancies Increase enrollment rates for girls in school Discourage early dating Reducing the risk of infection stemming from poor menstrual hygiene and premarital unprotected sex Building a new generation of girls' and women's leaders in the area and beyond Improving on the self esteem of girls in those areas whose voices are always silenced by patriarchy and societal pressures
That said, I need everyone's help in making this dream a reality because my heart is burdened for the girls of that municipality who are not exposed to the outside world. It should be noted that Toko Sub Division has to telephone network, no TV signals, very bad roads that are often always navigated by bikes and most villages accessed by trekking long hours. There are limited secondary schools causing some students to trek for up to four (04) hours to and from school everyday.
I am appealing to friends and well wisher to help me actualize this dream by donating for the following:
Transportation for two people; From Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon to the South West Region of Cameroon, through Kumba, Ekondo titi, Mundemba, right down to Lipenja I Batanga, Toko, and Madie Ngolo and back to Bai Kuke in Mbonge sub division. Total transportation would cost $285.76 Launching of clubs in all the four schools; This would involve community leaders, students, school officials, administrative and political authorities. It would cost $510.29 Working materials/logistics: Brochures, flyers, posters, club curriculum, handouts, and other typed materials. This would stand at $134.0 "Girls Lead Tee-shirts" for the club members which will cost $355.50 Travels to attend quarterly club meetings with the girls will cost $1,714.58 Annual Awards to best girl leaders from the club will cost $297.67 Total = $3,297.84
Here is the fundraiser link: https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/girls-leadership-clubs-...
Dear potential funders, meeting this goal will be the best thing that can happen to the girls of Toko sub division and Bai Kuke. Visit us on facebook onhttps://www.facebook.com/RescueWomen I count on your donations. Thank you all so much!!!