This ceremony comes as a follow up to Phase I of the awareness campaign and food bank caravan that took place in Bamenda and Ndop on April 2, and in some neighborhoods in Yaoundé from April 11 to June 15, 2020. It falls within the framework of Phase II of the Emergency Project Relief for the Vulnerable Persons of several neighborhoods of Yaoundé, Ndop, Bamenda and Tonga called “No one should go hungry during COVID-19” by GivHOPE Africa. Many families who have suffered from the harmful repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and wanted to get out of it, have just received an envelope worth nearly FCFA 1,500,000 to help them go back to business.
The funding of these activities precedes a training session on project management and evaluation techniques before the effective handing over of the envelopes. Prior to the “D” day, a team of volunteers surveyed the project implementation sites to make sure the-said sites were appropriate for the kind of business the beneficiaries wanted to implement. “We promised the populations of 13 neighborhoods to whom we had offered food and clothing donations during Phase I of the emergency response to the pandemic that we would return to Phase II with grants for their empowerment. Here we are! We have kept our promise,” said Hélène Pieume.
Following the organization’s selection criteria, out of the more than 1,000 households that had received the multiform donations in Phase I, only 67 of them wanted to go back to business and were shortlisted and out this number, only 37 had their requests for funding approved in Phase II for more than FCFA 1.5 million disbursed for their income generating activities ranging from the sale of groceries, fruits, smoked fished, raw foodstuffs, fast food, to multimedia accessories, second hand items, firewood, charcoal and farming exploitation.
“We are very happy to be able to bring joy in our people’s hearts. We have received an envelope for income generating activities for these desperate and vulnerable populations to help them to carry out small businesses since the breakout of the Covid-19,” explains a traditional ruler, Mr. Ze Pascal. Other traditional rulers unanimously admitted that their populations were in dire need of grants to keep busy because they have closed down some of their activities since the corona virus advent and will now be able not only to feed themselves and their families but also to send their children back to school in October.
According to Hélène Pieume, phase II of the caravan is a continuation of Phase I based on the survey carried out thereafter to measure the impact on the beneficiaries who were sensitized during this first phase and the results of this survey overwhelmingly pleaded for help to help them fish for themselves through funding of their small businesses. This money is going to be used to restart the sale of firewood and charcoal that I had stopped due to the confinement and if my activities restart well as I foresee it, I’m going to add other things and I’m counting on GivHOPE Africa to help me do so”, said Mama Biloa, visibly satisfied with the gesture.
As a reminder, more than 1000 households in the Northwest, West and Center Regions benefited from food items –clothes, shoes, and hygiene kits to help disabled and vulnerable persons overcome the economic setbacks of the Covid-19 pandemic in Phase I of this initiative.