Thursday, December 20, 2012

RUDEC and Eco-Tourism

There are many beautiful natural sights to see around the RUDEC offices’ home base of Belo. Unfortunately there are very few visitors who come to this area of Northwest Cameroon and the places remain largely unvisited. RUDEC would like to promote eco-tourism in the area and help to facilitate tourists’ visits to the region. Northwest Cameroon is not geared up to mass tourism but more suited to the independent intrepid traveller.


There were two such visitors in town the last two days and they enlisted the services of Joshua and RUDEC to show them some local beauty spots. On Day one we took a scenic and exciting motorbike ride cross country to lake Oku. Lake Oku is a crater lake at 2200m altitude and it’s seen as sacred by local people and it’s waters are believed to have healing properties, indeed both of our bike drivers took home a bottle full!


The ride was through mountainous scenery with small villages, open farmland, dense forest, banana plantations; all extremely diverse and very interesting. The track ranged from wide dirt road, to steep rocky inclines and small footpaths through grasslands, we were very lucky to have two very experienced drivers who handled the ride well, whatever surprises the road threw at them. All along the way we were greeted by friendly locals with smiles and waves.




On day two we went trekking up the Baingo cliffs, another breathtakingly scenic area. The beginning is quite a steep climb but then you are rewarded with fantastic views as you walk along the edge of the cliffs. 360 degree panoramas, wild flowers and waterfalls are abundant. The trek down is through local villages and once again the greetings and smiles come readily. For the adventurous you can climb down into the river and swim up to the waterfall, although it does require making your own “trail” and using vines to kind of abseil down! A lunchtime picnic overlooking the beautiful Cameroonian landscape is a real highlight.



The next question is how to promote these “tours” and this area to visitors to Cameroon. The remote location is both a hindrance and a draw; it’s challenging to get here but once you arrive you will experience the real Cameroon, unspoilt, diverse and welcoming. Hopefully RUDEC can work on a way to help the community and people benefit from its stunning location in the future.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

RUDEC CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS PARTY 2012


Today was the RUDEC Christmas party for the 55 children in our "sponsor an orphan" program. The kids were obviously excited and eager to see what the day would bring as most of them were arriving much earlier than the scheduled 9am start.



Joshua took the opportunity of having all the children together to begin with a speech wishing them a Merry Christmas and reminding them how important it is to work hard at school and to make the best of every chance given to them. The kids are obviously very grateful to Joshua, RUDEC and its supporters for all his hard work in helping them to continue their education.

Then the Christmas fun started to the accompaniment of Christmas songs and popular Cameroon dance tunes. We made colourful party hats with shiny stars and glitter paper. The huge age range from 4 to 18 all seemed to enjoy the creativity. Lack of resources in schools means that pupils rarely have a chance to have a “hands on” arts experience and it was great to see them all getting stuck in.


Phil, one of RUDEC’s returning volunteers, was the “official photographer” and was busy capturing the event. He was also in charge of getting an up to date portrait of each child so we can keep RUDECs database current. Although the children here are super happy and always smiling and laughing, as soon as you put a camera in front of them they put on a serious photo face , so some singing dancing and tickling was employed to get these beautiful smiles on camera.


We have spent the past week making up parcels for the children, each was getting 2 items of clothing, pen, pencil, toothbrush and toothpaste, balloons, sweets and stickers for themselves and then 2kg of rice and 6 fish to take home to share with their extended families that care for them.  So after a group photo outside the RUDEC office, we distributed the gifts amidst much excitement. We had turned one room of the house into a makeshift “cinema”. We all crowded in, gave out drinks, roasted nuts and popcorn and settled down to watch the Lion King!!

It was a really nice experience having all the children together and there were many Happy Christmas wishes and thank yous to be heard when everyone was leaving. On behalf of RUDEC, thank you to all those who have helped us sponsor the children during 2012 and those who helped make this Christmas party possible.

Kelly – RUDEC volunteer - 17/12/2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

FORMER VOLUNTEERS REVISITS RUDEC CAMEROON

We had the highest surprised from on of our former volunteer Phil who came in November. who came back to volunteer with us for 4 months. He did used a cartoon box as his flight from UK to RUDEC office where he arrived as a parcel. Being football for Action coordinator and co-founder of  RUDEC UK, he comes back to continue on this project and development of RUDEC.

Sven & Daniela
                                                                       

Sven from Germany who volunteered with us in 2011 and stayed for 5 months came to visit us this time to see how we do and expand on our orphans sponsorship project. He and another former volunteer (Ruth) will be sponsoring Armstrong who is a destitute child and struggles for himself to go to school.

There many other children here like Armstrong who struggles but have poor and unsupported parents that have not means to education

Thursday, December 13, 2012

RUDEC WOMEN MICRO FINANCE PROJECT

Frida benefits from the micro loan by RUDEC
RUDEC Cameroon is working with women in the rural areas of Cameroon to help them seek means to empower themselves through projects. The feasibility studies done some one year ago showed that women do have access to credit as compared to their men.

We had to start a micro credit project that we give hopes to women loans and they pay back after two month. Each woman gets 20,000 CFA and on the first instalment, no interest is paid.The second time of payment  she pays 800CFA and the interest reduces as the amounts reduces.

Today Clementina and Emmaculate benefited from the loan project in one go. We want to thank rudec for the good work they are doing for the development of the woman and child 

Further more, at the beginning, we had 5 women who benefited and today we have given it to the 10th person. This is also an indication that the women borrow and pay back easily.

Many more women are out here would love to have the means to start a small business and take care of their children but we do not have the means to reach out to them.

Today Clementina and Emmaculate benefited from the loan project in one go.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GRADUATION AFTER 3 YEARS OF APPRENTICESHIP

 RUDEC employment project is about to reach its fruition as one of the orphans Marcel will be graduating as a welder after 3 years of learning and practice.

We met Marcel in 2009 in the streets on Belo. He asked RUDEC to help him to back to school as he had stayed 2 years at home without means. We visited their families and realized he is a complete orphan and had nobody to help him as he stayed with a grandmother of about 64. She manages on the farm and also depend on other children.
Marcel
               
After 2 months of planing to give Marcel hope though education, he decided that he would learn a trade and be able to help his other juniors.We did asked him what he wanted to do and he said welding and we took him to this famous welder in Belo who had been giving similar trainings to other children.

RUDEC will empower Marcel with working tools and he would intend to train other children who would also want to train as a welder within RUDEC apprenticeship programme for free. But other children who are within our program he would train them and have his payment.  

We will be able to train more children in Belo within this program if we have the means.                                                            

Google+ Followers