Countdown to Cameroon

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Power for Women and of Women

We had a great meeting with the local women of the village organized by Anadou who was able at times to share valuable insight and translate questions in the local dialect.

He said the most important part is to work to offer women who are honest the right opportunity - we were very impressed by the group of 15 women who came to share their stories and limitations.

The key blocker is not the desire to work but capital to be able to purchase fertilizers and rent land to provide extra income, and the key is to improve the quality of the crop. Better product = more income = independence, we were so impressed by their resilience and understanding of this basic concept.

We realized through our interaction that the women in the village, who are responsible for the children and household maintenance, are also expected to make extra income two days a week after working the field the other five days.

What the micro loan could mean for them? They want to be able to hire men to do the digging for them to make money to be able to afford education for their kids and reinvest in more things for the family, so they could own together one day a plantation - this was inspiring and we knew we could make a direct impact.

We explained that we had resources but that they would have to apply for a loan- to be repaid within 6 months (allow for money to be used through two growing cycles) - a good crop has yield a 50% return on average and they historically have been able to recoup all money during a bad season. We charged them to return tomorrow with 5 pods of women and a detailed budget each - we have forms ready to go and so ready to provide these women the opportunity.

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