By Burinyuy A. B.
Participants in the skills building and entrepreneurship programs for 100 economically vulnerable internally displaced persons by Hope for the Needy Association (HOFNA) have ended their training in celebration following the complete production and packaging of all products planed for and reception of their startup capital.
They celebrated the complete production of treatment and bathing Soap, glass cleaner, powdered soap and Vaseline. Beyond dancing and singing, they shared their feelings about their productions.
"These are things I use to see only on television. I didn't know I will one be the one doing this. The soap is so nice and I am very happy. I want to thank HOFNA for making me part of this training. I will like to start my own production very soon and I will use the short form of my name for the products which is KiK..." Frida Kidu from Ako Subdivision said
According to Kunde Sidonie Nkfunjie from Ngarum, the training received was essential and intensive. Displaced from Ngarum village by the ongoing armed conflict in the North West and South West Regions, she has been in search of a source of livelihood. She considers this as a turning point in her life.
"Since I left Ngarum and came here to Nkambe, I have been suffering. When I heard about this training I was happy but I didn't expect this. I was thinking that maybe they will just come and teach us about some women things and then share food to us like some people have been doing. I am very happy because HOFNA has decided to training with things that I can do and get money myself all the time. The products are shining and people will buy when I start making my own." She said
The skills building and entrepreneurship program for 100 economically vulnerable internally displaced persons is part of the enhancing community peacebuilding through trauma healing, economic empowerment, and prevention of gender based violence project by HOFNA Cameroon. This project according to the Executive Director of HOFNA Cameroon is the result of broad-based consultantations with community leaders.
"By engaging with and consulting various stakeholders such as Mayors, MINPROFF, Social Affairs, community leaders and members, we identified marketable products that are highly consumed by the local population. We are committed to building on the skills of selected internally displaced persons - 100 of them and support them with basic start up capital in cash to ensure they are able to put skills gained in practice and stand out as entrepreneurs. We are also training them on entrepreneurship - fundamentals of starting and running a business and leaderships in business to ensure sustainability. We would continue to follow up participants after training to ensure sustainability." She said
She has expressed gratitude to the German foreign office through the German Embassy in Yaoundé for believing in HOFNA Cameroon and supporting her organization in bringing hope to women and girls in rural communities. Christelle Bay has also appreciated local administrative authorities for accepting to continue monitoring and supporting the women after the trainings through their community radios, provision of accommodation for activities and more.
"I am grateful for this opportunity given to me by HOFNA Cameroon to transfer these skills to our vulnerable women. It gives me great joy doing this and I feel so happy with the women who have been very committed and punctual during our trainings. I will continue to assist them and mentorship to ensure that they make maximum use of the skills acquired and better the lives." Mercy Kongla, lead trainer said
She has training alongside Vumomsi Ngwefontaa and Munteh Florence on starting and running a business, leadership in business, microfinance and gender based violence.
HOFNA Cameroon believes the trainees will make use of the training received not just for their personal verbal commitment but also because the choice of products were as a result of consultations with the IDPs themselves to build a sense of ownership to the initiative.
Local administrative authorities have been taking engagement to ensure the trainees effectively implement the knowledge acquired from the trainings with the Nkambe Council accepting to provide accommodation to the trainees for production.
Created in 2007 and officially registered in 2010, Hope for the Needy Association (HOFNA) Cameroon is engaged in local development initiatives meant to improve the quality of life for women and girls. The Bamenda based organization also registered as a Charity with a 501(c) status with the United States of America has as mission 'to strengthen the leadership, power, and voices of susceptible women and girls from disadvantaged communities and develop them into self-reliant and socially conscious leaders.' HOFNA Cameroon is also in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)