We're pleased to report that 2021 has been a hive of activity (pun intended) at BERUDA, and a wide range of our activities have been strengthened or have kicked off again after a period of absence. It gives us great pleasure to bring some of our highlights to you in this latest news.
Back in Business!
Two of our offices reopened in January this year. The Njinikom and Fundong offices are open and functioning normally with medicinal plants, honey, beeswax and harvesting equipment displayed on the counter, along with the friendly faces of our office staff. We're now looking forward to getting our Njinikejem-Belo office open in the near future. We intend to refill the fishpond after the fish were stolen during the crisis, recommence with the pig farm, poultry and the plantain farm as well. This will all commence as we raise further funds and as the security situation keeps getting better. But we're off to a great start.
Honey sales and beekeeping
The year started off well with many of our beekeepers looking forward to harvesting honey from March onwards. BERUDA’S bee farm was no exception as luckily we still had a good number of colonised hives that have not suffered the effects of the crisis. We have been able to extract honey from our bee farm which sell in retail sized quantities in our branch offices, and our honey displays are looking great.
Sales in general have been up and down due to the town of Bamenda facing numerous lockdowns due to COVID, which sometimes make it difficult for our honey supplies to get to the office on time, leading to out of stock situations. Unfortunately two different training sessions on beekeeping were unable to happen during the harvesting period of March through June due to roadblocks caused by the local crisis. However many bee farmers and interested farmers keep streaming in to our offices for specialist advice and we are planning to organize a mega training on bee keeping in the months ahead.
BERUDA has re-launched its mobile eye clinic for free eye consultations in Fundong, Njinikom and Belo. This is carried out by our specialist eye care nurse Isaac, who ran the clinics pre-crisis. We've seen a great turnout for the services during our sensitization campaign and it provides a much needed service.
Sponsor a Child Project
The year started off well in the Sponsor a Child Project (SACP) with most children returning to schools and to their apprenticeship posts. We were able to cover the school fees of all our children enrolled in school and provide the resources they need to succeed. Two of the girls in the program wrote their H.N.D (Higher National Diploma) in June, each of them defending their projects and emerging with an “EXCELLENT” grade which actually made us proud.
May was a great month due to re-establishing contact with three children previously from the programme who we had not had word of for more than three years due to their location in a hard to reach area in a separatist stronghold.
The academic year is gradually getting to an end and we look forward to enrolling more children in schools and for apprenticeship.
Cayenne pepper and Chicken breeding projects
Since late 2020 we have been running a twin project in Fundeng (Belo sub-division) cultivating Cayenne Pepper and raising chickens in an enclosed area. The project is aimed at creating employment for community youths, teaching them skills and providing productive activity designed to reduce the risk of youth joining the violence in the area.
The pepper is sown, harvested, processed and sold in the community and beyond, self generating the funds needed to ensure it becomes a sustainable social enterprise. The first few months of 2021 saw the project entering its second phase: transplanting the pepper into the ridges, the completion of the fence for the chickens, hatcheries and local driers. Some of the pepper planted for experimentation purpose was harvested and processed.
The blessing of being able to reach our communities!
BERUDA was blessed these past few months with a huge donation from Miva to purchase a 4x4 Pickup truck to ease movement around the communities to render services to mankind, for which we are grateful and have already commenced these services. A special appreciation to Miva for this support.
Locally committed people caring for the wellbeing of their community.