A Community Taking Their Children’s Schooling Into Their Own Hands

Site Visit 7: Self-Reliance Promoters’ NGO – Kumbo, Cameroon


The people of the village of Tajika are in the process of building a new school for the youngest of their children. In Cameroon, kids start school at 3 years—but yet they are the only village in the vicinity that does not have a nursery school. The people of Takija don’t want their children to lag behind others, and thus decided to start this project. The community is highly involved and invested in the project—as you can see from the video above, Salle Wiylanynys, the chairman of the project, has two children himself who will attend the school.

Above: Some of the children who will be students at the new school!

Above: The elders of the Tajika village gathered to welcome us and to thank GlobalGiving for their support—GlobalGiving is their only source of funding.

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Check out Meg’s post here!

How you can help: Donate to their project called “Help Takija build a nursery to educate 60”!

Educating All of the Children of Kumbo

Site Visit 7: Self-Reliance Promoters’ NGO – SEREP – Kumbo, Cameroon

Above: The current school for OVCs 

Self-Reliance Promoters’ NGO realized that there was a need to provide education and vocational training to the most vulnerable children in their communities: the children who at lost one or both parents, most often due to HIV/AIDS. The acronym “OVC” is not common knowledge for the average American—but in this community, it’s a much-needed shorthand term for the large number of Orphans and Vulnerable Children that live here. They currently run a school for these children, and are in the process of building a new one so that they can provide education and training to even more children! 

Above: A SEREP teacher at the building site

GlobalGiving is SEREP’s only source of funding — so I can promise you that your donation is needed, appreciated, and used to build the school brick by brick, or to educate every single student. 

Above: Three SEREP teachers showing us the school-in-progress. 

Unfortunately, as we are visiting during the summer holidays, we did not get to meet any of the children. But the passion of SEREP is very much tangible. In the video above, three teachers who work for SEREP thank donors for supporting the education of these children. 

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Read Meg’s post about the visit here.

How you can help: Donate to their projects called “Provide education for 100 orphans in Cameroon” and “Give the gift of education – Sponsor an OVC child”!

Teaching About Computers Without Computers

Site Visit 1: iEarn – Douala, Cameroon (6/15)

Imagine learning how to swim for the first time. On land. Then having to pass a national exam in a 10 foot deep pool.

That’s exactly what the students that iEarn works with are doing. Except instead of having to learn how to swim, they have to learn how to use computers. The Cameroonian government has decided to make computer science a required subject on the national exams. Because of obvious difficulties in ensuring each student can be taught computer science, for now the points received in this section are “bonus” points. Schools in Cameroon vary widely in the resources they have—Le Petit Monde had a computer lab that they were able to equip thanks to iEarn’s help. On the other hand, Voufo La Patience, pictured above, barely had electricity, roofs or enough space for their students.

In one tiny classroom at Voufo La Patience, there was an exact total of:

  • 1 teacher, writing on
  • 1 blackboard, separated into
  • 2 sections by a line of chalk, allowing one each for the
  • 2 grades taught simultaneously (the 3rd and the 4th grades), making up
  • 70 students crammed into
  • 100 square feet of space, under
  • 1 tin roof that makes everything inaudible when it rains. (Which it does often. Hard.)

I’m not quite sure how that all adds up, but these teachers and students make it work. Unbelievably enough, this was a private school that in its fourth year of operation, already had over 700 students. Parents are scrambling to send their kids here.

Growing up around computers and the internet was a big part of my childhood (perhaps sad, but true). It satisfied my every curiosity, made me thirst to know more, while also allowing me to meet people from all around the world from the comfort of my home.

In this day and age, it is absolutely essential to every child’s future that they become computer literate. Completely aware of this, schools like Voufo La Patience are forced to teach computer science with textbooks only. I don’t think I need to tell you that flipping through pages and answering questions with pencil on paper will not lead to computer competence. Many children will never use an actual computer until the day of their computer science exam. iEarn is working to achieve a world where all children have access to such technology.

See my fellow intern Meg’s post about iEarn here!

What you can do: iEarn does not currently have a project to which you can donate on GlobalGiving. You can see their previous project here. But after our meeting, they are planning to start a new project—so keep your eyes peeled!