Site Visit 4: Nourish International (Njinikom, Cameroon) – 6/24
Fight against the stomach devil, the sign said. Fruit tree domestication nursery is for you!
The people of Njinikom have come up with ingenious and eco-friendly ways to better their community. “Pa Sala” is a respected community leader and the director of “Mboyni Farming Group”. The farming group grows seedlings that are then distributed to those who need it, including the Widows’ Group. Pa Sala is a wizard when it comes to nature: he has single handedly planted many trees to make his village much greener than before, devised his own irrigation system using a stream from the mountain, and has even grown three types of mangoes on one tree. He even has an apiary, allowing him to collect honey while the bees help pollinate the trees that he planted!
The Widows’ Group, part of a local NGO called Berudep, is headed by Anna, a smiling and friendly woman. Local culture dictates that when a woman is widowed, she is married off to her deceased husband’s brother or closest relative. Despite being a tradition, these women are often neglected in their new households. Seeing this, Anna decided to bring these women together to be support for each other. She has taught them about planting medicinal herbs that has helped them become healthier, while they also act as therapy for each other during tough times. Most recently, they are working on planting fruits and vegetables on a plot of land, enabling them to support themselves while also allowing them to sell any surplus. They also hope that the new variety in their diet will help them fight against malnutrition. Working side by side on their own plot of land (currently rented, and hopefully to be bought soon with the help of Nourish International!) has given them a priceless sense of purpose, camaraderie and hope.
The volunteers of Nourish International have spent the last month helping out at the tree nursery and at the fruit tree farm. Both Pa Sala and the widows expressed how grateful they were to have these volunteers help them, and how much it meant to them to have people come all the way from the US just to work with them in the fields. I think Anna said it best in the video at the top of this post!
How you can help: Although their project, called “Fruit Tree Cultivation in Cameroon-UT”, is no longer active as the volunteers are already there, check out other projects in the “Women & Girls” category, or all the other projects in Cameroon!