When we started the Girls' Lead Club in schools in rural communities in 2016, participation was high and the girls were excited. We met them in the different schools on a monthly basis to mentor them and teach them on different topics. Making the girls value education is our priority. Club activities were going on so well until November 2016 when the socio-political crisis hit Cameroon, causing children to stay out of school till today. This led to a drop in the participation and children will rather follow their parents to the farm or engage in some unpleasant adolescent activities than coming to attend the club. But this this not frighten us to stop, instead, we improvised a better way of boosting participation.
In May 2017, we introduced two items on our monthly agenda: (1) We set out some funds to feed participants every sitting and (2) We set out some other funds to teach them an economic activity every sitting i.e. every month. So far, we have empowered the girls with skills to make things like beads, simple cake, Vaseline (petroleum Jelly), washing soap, doughnuts, foot mat and more. Participation has increased over the months as the girls are eager, every month, to come a learn a new activity and also being sure that they have a meal for the day.
We have had a few highlights of the girls exercising their full economic empowerment and one of the highlights is a girl who is now making simple cakes and selling in her village and also in the villages surrounding her village. She also produces cake on special command.
Going to the villages is one of the most difficult travels to make, especially in the rainy season. We go there on bikes and on foot/trek. We climb hills and cross scary rivers. We pass through forests and risk scary animals. We risk accidents on the slippery muddy hills. Going to the villages means cutting ourselves from basis necessities because there is no electricity, no running water, no internet, no radio or TV signal, no nothing. The good thing is, our passion keeps driving us to do more for girls who are locked up from activities of development organization. We are the first they have ever seen come to them.
As we continue to empower girls in rural communities, our successes and desires of the girls warms our heart and that, together, pushes or to move upwards in-land to rescue more girls from the shackles of poverty, early marriage, teenage pregnancies, HIV infection, Incest and school drop out. I sincerely thank World Pulse, and Global Pearls USA for all the support they have given us so far.