Abomvomba is a small village of about 650 residents about 22 miles from the much larger city of Ebolowa in Cameroon, places it’s likely very few Americans have ever heard of.
Recently at Bread and Water for Africa® we first heard of Abomvomba from our partner in the country, Hope Services, about the great need for water for the people there.
To say the village is remote would be an understatement as it’s located on an undeveloped road linking Ebolowa with the town of Kribi where its inhabitants have no safe drinking water source, no electricity, no schools, no health care facilities and an extremely limited telecommunications network.
“So, it is essentially a poor population,” says Esther Ndichafah, CEO of Hope Services. “That is why Hope Services has been involved with this community through medical missions, community education and development programs since 2017.”
During the course of her outreach to residents, “the community expressed the need for a good portable water supply for their household use.”
Upon examining the problem further, Esther confirmed there indeed was a great need for water in the community as the nearest source of safe drinking water was in a neighboring village about two miles away – meaning people, mostly young girls, spent their days walking that distance one way to fill empty containers, and then carrying full, heavy ones back with the full weight on their heads.
To address this problem, Esther turned to Bread and Water for Africa® to request the $9,400 necessary to construct a borehole about 200 feet deep, thereby ensuring there will be no risk of the well becoming contaminated and/or polluted.
As expected, the community is very excited and supportive of the prospect of having water in the village more so than electricity, and residents are willing to help expend out of their own meager funds the cost of maintaining and protecting the well upon completion.
Residents have already formed a committee charged with locating the ideal site for the borehole, with the top priority that it be located far from any outhouses and latrines where waste could leach into the groundwater contaminating the water source.
Before any commitment could be made, Esther and her team met with members of the community to stipulate that in order for a borehole to be drilled, they must agree to create a committee to manage and oversee the security and preventative maintenance of the water supply facility, collect contributions from all families to be served by the well to have funds available for maintenance needs as they arise.
The bottom line is that the residents of Abomvomba “are in desperate need of water,” says Esther and at Bread and Water for Africa® we are working to see that that desperate need is met this year.
Any child living anywhere in the world is destined for a life of poverty without an education.
Nowhere is that more true than in sub-Saharan Africa which in no way could be described as “a land of opportunity” for those who can’t read or write, add or subtract of have a general knowledge of the world.
Theirs is a life of struggle and despair with no hope for anything better in their life than to labor hard – if they are fortunate enough to find work – eat for a day, and have a place to sleep for the night.
That’s why Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for school fees and school uniforms for hundreds of children each year in several African countries.
For example, in Cameroon, our partner there Hope Services, enables deserving children whose greatest wish in the world is to go to school with funding provided by supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.
This year, Hope Services Director Esther Ndichafah expects to enable more than 200 underprivileged children including orphans and what she calls “persecuted children” to go to school, giving them their only chance for success in life.
Her mission, she says, is to give “the underprivileged the same opportunities to be educated like others” and helping transform “poor children into established self-reliant individuals” by encouraging academic excellence.
At Bread and Water for Africa® Esther’s mission is our mission. We strongly believe that education is not a key to success, it is THE key to success.
In the villages of Bangolan and Babungo in Cameroon, as well as Lolo in Chad, secondary school tuition is extremely inexpensive compared to what it costs to educate a child in the United States.
That is unless you are a poor orphan and then it may as well be $1 million.
In Kenya, Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for secondary school students living at the affiliated Lewa Children’s Home as well as sponsored children in the local community.
Stella Keino of the Lewa Children’s Home stated that by providing school fees for orphans living at Lewa and others “This benefits the Eldoret community and the country as a whole.”
Stella sees short term, medium term and long term outcomes for the students.
In the short term, children will be able to go directly to high school without any disruption to their education with funding for the school fees in place from the start of the school year to the end.
In the medium term, children will be able to attend all the years of high school without worry of how they will pay their school fees year after year.
And in the long term, the students will be able to attain a higher education than they otherwise might not have been able to “and develop themselves to be better citizens.”
In Zimbabwe, working with our partner there, Margaret Makambira, director of Shinga Development Trust, 30 primary school students and 20 secondary school students, will benefit from our school fee support program.
Margaret firmly believes, as do we, that an educated population will empower the nation, build healthy communities and lead to a long-term goal of self-sufficiency as she works to eradicate illiteracy in her community, one child at a time.
The result of our efforts – all of us, Bread and Water for Africa®, our grassroots partners working every day to better the lives of children in the communities, and you, our supporters who make it all possible – is that today hundreds of children are in school instead of the streets, and tomorrow they will have a bright future, leading the way for thousands to follow.
Bread and Water for Africa® is proud to announce that the construction of the Dr. Kenneth Gerdes primary school in Cameroon is completed and its doors have just opened to students eager to begin a brand new school year in a brand new school building.
Last year, construction began on the K-5 school building, with more classrooms to come, and we couldn’t be more pleased to hear from school President Julius Esunge that the 130 children who have enrolled now have the opportunity for a quality education.
“We are excited that this dream is coming to fruition,” he added.
And so are we here at Bread and Water for Africa®. There is nothing we love doing more than seeing a person with a dream to help others – literally making the world a better place – realize their dream.
You can see for yourself the smiles on the faces of the happy children who can now rejoice as they too are realizing their dream, a dream of an education and a successful future. Watch here:
Every year on the fourth Thursday of November millions of Americans across the United States gather with their families and friends for a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings and giving thanks for all the blessings they have received in life.
In sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of a few Americans residing there, it will be just another day.
But despite the hardships and challenges facing citizens of countries where Bread and Water for Africa® works in partnership with grassroots organizations including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and elsewhere, there are tens of thousands who have plenty of reason to be thankful.
In 2016 alone:
In Cameroon, more than 250 children benefited from the completion of a school, and another 142 orphaned and destitute primary and secondary school students benefited from school fee support.
In Ethiopia, 86,000 citizens are thankful for the medical services they received through five hospitals and a clinic supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while another 12,400 students benefited from a shipment by Bread and Water for Africa® of 22,000 books which was distributed to 20 secondary school libraries.
In Kenya, 74 orphaned an abandoned children are thankful to have found a loving home at the Lewa Children’s Home, while another 400 Kenya students from nursery to grade eight benefited from an education provided to them at the KipKeino school, constructed nearly 20 years ago by Bread and Water for Africa®.
In Sierra Leone, more than 76,000 residents are grateful for the healthcare services received through hospitals and clinics supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, 3,000 students and local residents benefited from having access to clean, safe water by a well dug by Bread and Water for Africa® on the school grounds, and another 1,006 students are thankful for the education they received at four nurseries, four primary schools and three secondary schools.
In Zambia, 93 orphaned children are thankful to have a loving home which provides for all their basic needs and another 146 children living in foster care are grateful for the food support, assistance with school fees and basic health care support they receive.
In Zimbabwe, 207 children are thankful for an orphan feeding program supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while 35 secondary school students are grateful for the opportunity to continue their education through our school fee support program.
But the credit doesn’t belong to us – it goes to you – supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who without which none of this would be possible.
In the city of Douala, Cameroon today there was a little boy born.
We’ll call him Samuel.
He is fighting for his life, as is his 14-year-old mother.
His mother, we’ll call her Sarah, has no job. No husband. No family to support her. She struggles just to get something to eat each day.
Prenatal care during her pregnancy was out of the question. It’s care that if she had gotten the mother would be rejoicing in the birth of a healthy baby boy, instead of wondering if they are going to live to see tomorrow.
Hope Services, located 120 miles away in the city of Youanda, has operated a clinic there for more than 20 years providing life-saving care to mothers and children just like Sarah and Samuel.
Hope Services has identified a similar need in Douala, and has asked Bread and Water for Africa® for assistance in constructing a clinic treating the most vulnerable and needy in the impoverished country.
On Giving Tuesday, December 1 we will be asking you for help to make that clinic a reality. On that day, people around the country are asked to remember those most in need.
And on that day, we will be launching an initiative #Clinic4Cameroon and know that supporters just like you will think of Sarah and Samuel and the 60,000 children and adults projected to be treated in the first year alone.
#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about the numbers. Tens of thousands in the first year – hundreds of thousands in the years to come.
#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about Sarah and Samuel. It’s about the 60,000.