Charity begins at home, but should not end there—Scottish proverb
The charitable give out at the door and God puts in at the window— John Ray
Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW)
• Motto: Acting locally and thinking globally
• Based in Bamenda, NW region of Cameroon
• Organization has won countless international humanitarian and environmental awards
• Seeks to eradicate poverty, gender inequality and unsustainable environmental practices through several avenues, including vocational training programs
• Finds, screens and assists displaced young women in the NW region of Cameroon through vocational training and helps them establish a business. They in turn serve as mentors to other young women coming through the pipeline.
• Finds and screens skilled professionals willing to train and serve as mentors to these young women
Meet Nelly B
Nelly B* is a 16-year-old who is talented and passionate about traditional embroidery. She was born into a large family of 7 with multiple fathers all of them unknown and a mentally unstable mother. Raised by her sick grandmother, at 14 years old she left Bui division for the greener pastures of Bamenda town.
Due to the ongoing socio-political crisis in the North West Region of Cameroon she is an internally displaced girl. This in addition to being born into an extremely poor family has caused her to have barely any formal education and no skill sets. As a result, she has had difficulty finding a job or earning a steady stream of income. She has no home of her own and has to rely on the generosity and charity of others. She recently pleaded and now lives with a kind hearted lady from her neighborhood who has been morally supportive and plans to continue to provide her with safe housing and assistance with her basic needs for as long as it is necessary for her to complete vocational training, learn a trade and earn an income.
Her passion lies in traditional embroidery but despite her innate talents, she took the initiative to network with other young ladies who are currently being mentored and trained in traditional embroidery through the partnership between CAMGEW and local businesses. Speaking recently from a personal development workshop, she said that she is familiar with her roots and is certain that the end story will be different because her talents will lead to a better life.
The staff at CAMGEW has recommended Nelly B for continued training in traditional embroidery with Maxceline K. Baba; owner and lead designer at Divine Fashion Clothing Industry. She has been screened and has agreed to be her sponsor and mentor. The workshop is located within a 20-minute walk from Nelly B’s house in a safe area of Bamenda. Giving her this opportunity will not only change her life but the trajectory and destiny of her family.
Divine Fashion Clothing Industry
Mile 4, Nkwen, Bamenda
Tel: +237 678228891
• Owner and lead designer: Maxceline K. Baba
A talented and passionate designer who is compassionate, nurturing and results driven
Has over 7 years’ experience doing traditional embroidery
Mentored and graduated over 15 girls with skills in Traditional embroidery
Works with counsellors to help her trainees overcome the challenges of depression and hopelessness which is all too common to people displaced from their homes by socio-political crisis, enabling them to work towards becoming better
Offers networking opportunities for her trainees at trade fairs and popular local events
Offers catch up training to prior trainees who have graduated helping them cope with the challenges of being new in the field
Assists her graduate trainees with finding a store location and establish an initial client base
Meet Belinda N.
Belinda is an unwed mother of an adorable 1 year 8-month-old baby who was thrown out by her parents after she became pregnant out of wedlock. To add insult to injury, the father of her child also abandoned her. She found shelter with friends who also helped with the expenses associated with her baby’s delivery.
Every morning, with the baby strapped to her back she goes around the local market hauling trash to the dumpster for shop owners for a small fee. Through this she is able to earn 3000 CFA ($4.48) per week doing this and is able to provide for her and her child’s basic needs.
The amazing team at CAMGEW is providing her with personal development training to build up her self esteem in the hope that better days are coming. She recently learned to make Soya bean flour which she now sells. She plans to sell this on the weekends to pay for her and the babies’ basic needs while she is learning a trade. She is determined and ready to get ahead while mowing down any obstacles/adversities in her path. She remains hopeful that she can learn a trade through CAMGEW’s vocational training programs and partnerships with local businesses. She has been recommended by the CAMGEW staff to learn Hair dressing and make up application at the Joan Beauty Salon. Luckily for Belinda, the Joan Beauty Salon is located at Foncha Junction, just a 15 minutes’ walk from her home, so her transportation costs will be minimal.
Joan Beauty Salon:
Foncha Junction, Nkwen, Bamenda:
• Owner and lead beautician: Joan Y. Wirngo
With over 17 years of experience, she has trained and mentored over 125 girls, 80% of them teenage mothers
Being a single mother of 3 children herself gives her a unique perspective and insight on these girl’s daily struggles and she utilizes various strategies to counsel and support them emotionally through their depression and other personal issues
She pushes her mentees to enroll in workshops for personal development and entrepreneurship skills at CAMGEW office.