With assistance from Bread and Water for Africa®, our partner organization in Cameroon, Hope Services, was able to construct a clinic in the city of Douala.
And with that project completed we are now on to our task of filling it with the medicines, medical supplies and equipment needed to serve the community.
“The prospective beneficiary community is highly expectant of its start-up and there is a high need for medical equipment,” reported Hope Services director Esther Ndichafah earlier this year.
We are working right now to raise the funds necessary to ship a 40-foot container full of these items in order to enable the people in the surrounding area who are in desperate need of health care services, and we need your help.
Health care, particularly for children and the impoverished, is practically non-existent and Esther reports that the main health challenges facing the country include endemic diseases including malaria, meningitis, cholera, Typhoid fever, and many others most Americans have never even heard of.
“HIV/AIDS also have a high prevalence rate with Douala among the top cities affected,” said Esther. “These diseases require health analysis that require good equipment.”
According to a recent report by the United Nation’s Children’s Fund, few of the poorest women in Cameroon have access to a doctor, nurse or midwife at their side when they need them most, and hundreds of women die every week due complications, while many more live with “debilitating” outcomes.
In addition, the lack of medical attention results in thousands of stillbirths each week, half of them being babies who were alive when labor began, and thousands more die before they are even just one-month-old.
“For far too many families, the sheer cost of childbirth can be catastrophic,” says UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “If a family cannot afford these costs, the consequences can even be fatal.
“When families cut corners to reduce maternal health care costs, both mothers and their babies suffer.”
The situation is particularly dire for girls who married before even turning 15 years old. In Cameroon today, more than 60 percent of girls between 20 and 24 have three or more children.
Working with Hope Services, as well as our partners in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and elsewhere, we are doing what we can to help save infants and their young mothers from premature and preventable deaths.
The cost to gather the medicines and supplies, sort and ship them to Cameroon is not inexpensive. However, it is much cheaper than attempting to acquire them in Cameroon, a daunting task on its own. Using our status as a non-profit organization, the items are allowed into the country duty-free at a substantial cost savings.
Your gift of $25, $50 or even $100 will go a long way towards seeing that the future patients at Hope Services’ Douala clinic get the medicines and supplies they need to treat their illnesses, prevent them from getting sick in the first place, and undoubtedly save lives.
Hope Services has been providing free and extremely-low cost medical care to the most needy and vulnerable in Cameroon for 25 years through makeshift clinics and outreach programs. Now, thanks to people like you, the clinic is in sight of reaching its true potential.
“Our long term goal has been the extension of medical services in Douala for the benefit of the poor,” says Esther. “This project is a giant step into our long-term goal.”
At the Logos Academy School in the small village of Nafami in Sierra Leone there are 300 students who don’t have convenient access to safe drinking water – but thanks to our supporters this dire situation will change by the end of the year, and the students’ lives will be transformed.
Additionally, the well will serve a population of 1,000 in the surrounding village, ensuring that they will no longer be forced to walk long distances carrying 5-gallon containers of water weighing 40 pounds on their heads from unsafe sources.
“Access to safe drinking water in the village is a challenge,” stated Rev. Frances Mambu, director of Faith Healing Development Organization, a longtime partner of ours, which is constructing the school. “The need for water in the community cannot be over-emphasized.”
We are doing all we can to expedite the digging of this much-needed well by sponsoring our “Wata for Salone!” (Water for Sierra Leone) 5K Run/Walk to be held on Sunday, June 3, in Arlington, Virginia. And even if you can’t take part in the event itself, you can still help us reach our goal of $7,500 by sponsoring a participant. For more information, please visit https://www.generosityseries.com/charities/bread-and-water-for-africa/d.c.–district-of-columbia/.
Ever since mankind made the transition from hunter-gatherer to agrarian society about 10,000 years ago, most of the world’s population relies on farming and other agricultural activities for food.
In many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Zambia many millions are reliant not just on farms for food, but must rely on themselves to grow enough food for themselves and their families, and hopefully have surplus crops to be able to sell at local markets.
The challenges for these small-holder farmers, a large percentage of them women, are many and great – especially regarding having adequate rainfall during the growing season in these times of climate change which cause extensive drought leaving farmers with nothing as all they can do is watch the crops wither and die.
But in these countries Bread and Water for Africa® has been working for two decades to support agricultural programs leading to food self-sufficiency and economic independence on both large and small scale projects.
For example, in Kenya, working with our longtime international spokesperson Phyllis Keino and Jos Creemers, manager of the Baraka Farm, over more than 20 years we have been witness to their efforts in transforming 500 barren acres into a thriving agricultural and dairy producing operation which supports Phyllis’ mission as director of the adjacent Lewa Children’s Home.
In Sierra Leone, after years of a brutal civil war and the tragic, deadly Ebola outbreak in 2014/15, Bread and Water for Africa® longtime partner there, Rev. Francis Mambu, director of the Faith Healing Development Organization, is not daunted – in fact he is more determined than ever to restore agricultural production to his country.
Bread and Water for Africa® supports FHDO’s own large-scale rice farming operations through the purchase of farming equipment including tractors and more recently following the Ebola outbreak when farming activities all but ceased in the country, thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide Rev. Mambu with a rice planter/harvester which allowed him to greatly increase production on his land.
In addition, through FHDO programs, Bread and Water for Africa® has provided support to hundreds of small holder farmers – again almost all women struggling to raise their children – by providing seeds and seedlings for plants such as groundnuts (peanuts) at the start of the growing season.
Most recently we are working on a program to provide women with cassava (yucca) plants which, when mature, they sell to a processing plant owned by FHDO which converts the cassava into flour. The women then buy the flour at wholesale prices which they sell at their local markets – in effect making two profits on the same product.
In Zambia, Bread and Water for Africa® supports the efforts of our partner there the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre to have a banana plantation to support the orphanage, similar to the model created by Phyllis for Baraka Farm and Lewa Children’s Home. The banana plantation, started in 2007, was so successful that a few years later Bread and Water for Africa® provided funding for Kabwata director Angela Miyanda to double the size of the planation.
Then, in 2015, Angela came up with the idea to expand her food producing activities with pisciculture, more commonly known as “fish farming.” Bread and Water for Africa® provided her the “seed” money to construct ponds each containing 3,000 tilapia fish which mature in 90 to 120 days not only providing fish for the children, but making thousands of dollars in profits annually.
And in Zimbabwe, Bread and Water for Africa® partner, Shinga Development Trust, is not set up using modern farming mechanisms such as Baraka Farm, but instead utilizes a more traditional farming method known as “Farming God’s Way.”
As explained by Shinga director Margaret Makambira, “Farming God’s Way” stresses teacher farmers to build a sustainable farming method by managing the land, maintaining minimum wastage, no ploughing, and rotation of the crops.
From large scale modern farming to assisting small holder farmers subsisting on the small tracts of land, Bread and Water for Africa® places a high value on agricultural programs, and rightly so as so many lives depend on the success of farmers, big and small.
Local Partner: Shinga Development Trust
Local Partner Director: Margaret Makambira
Area Served: Mutare, Zimbabwe
Program Goal: Primary education, women’s literacy, vocational skills training, orphan care and food self-sufficiency.
Program Services Provided: Primary education, women’s literacy, vocational training, orphan care and food self-sufficiency.
Number of Program Beneficiaries: More than 700 individuals in the city of Mutare.
Current Needs: Ongoing feeding programs, school fees and vocational training costs, operating of the farm, construction of orphans home.
Shinga Development Trust, formerly known as Emmanuel Ministries, is an outreach program serving Mutare, Zimbabwe. Until 2013 Shinga also served the people of Manica, Mozambique through orphan care, schools, and skills training programs but was able to integrate their programs with the benefitting communities and eventually transfer the management of daily operations to local community leaders. This was a great success for Shinga – and for us at Bread and Water for Africa – in fulfilling our mission of sustainability and community ownership!
Today, Shinga consists of a women’s literacy and vocational training program, pre-schools, a primary school, a clinic, a church, a men’s welding program, a cooperative small scale agricultural program and a childcare program for orphaned children. Bread and Water for Africa® provided support for the program including funds for the pre-school and orphan care buildings, and equipment and supplies for the vocational training programs. After construction, we have provided ongoing support to the hardworking team at Shinga to ensure that each endeavor gets off to a running start!
The women’s vocational training program focuses on sewing, bread salesmanship, hair dressing and brick-making activities. Sewing machines and sewing supplies were purchased with funds from Bread and Water for Africa® and the women made school uniforms for their own children and to sell to others. They are also able to make other types of clothing and craft items to sell to help support their families.
We continue to be amazed and inspired by diligent joint efforts of Margaret, the people in the local community who are participating in the programs, and the volunteers who are supporting this effort.