National Day is a holiday in Cameroon celebrated on 20 May, a day whose events this year unfortunately made international news because of the violence that flared up in our region of the Northwest during these celebrations.
Beginning as an anglophone demand for more say in the government of President Paul Biya at the end of 2016, the movement has evolved into strikes, demonstrations and an uprising which is beginning to claim lives and whole villages.
Despite this worrying situation BERUDA is hopeful that a peaceful solution to this uprising can be found and that once again children will be back in school and villagers can return home.
In the meantime BERUDA has moved its headquarters from Belo, which has become a centre for the conflict, to Fundong, where it has always had a branch office, and staff are now working safely out of the Bamenda and Fundong offices, and our projects continue. Community organisations responding to the needs of local people become invaluable in times of crisis because needs can change so quickly.
Those of you involved in sponsoring our Orphan program will be aware of the impact the crisis has had on our children through the closing of schools in the area. BERUDA maintains contact with all the orphans, many of whom have moved out of the area to stay with relatives in other parts of Cameroon. Older children who have remained in the area are enrolled in apprentice programs wherever possible. Despite the problems facing education in the region, looking after the well being of the children in the program remains a priority.
And we are working on exciting new developments too.
For the last 6 months we have been surveying the Ijim Forest and have created a project to reclaim the forest. There has been conservation projects focused on this forest in the past but it has been many years since they have been active and villagers and graziers have begun encroaching on the forest again and it is gradually being destroyed. Following the surveying we are now seeking funds to embark on a reclamation program which will involve:
A computer Project in the Far North:
Micro-finance projects in Nwa Subdivision:
So we are excited about the work on the horizon, and we are hopeful that the political situation will stabilise and peace will return to the Northwest.
As always, but especially at times like these, we appreciate your support and your kind words. We'd love you to get in touch and to share your thoughts with us.