In 1978 the population of Mom-Dibang became aware of excessive marginalisation in the rural areas of Cameroon’s Centre Region. The Cameroonian government’s work is focussed on urban centres, which is to the detriment of rural populations. The rural exodus is increasing – people are leaving villages in search of an easier life in towns and cities. Villages are abandoned to their fate: no roads, no communication, no school, no free clinics, no electricity, no drinking water, overly archaic customs, life structured according to the whim of missionaries, etc.
A shocking gulf has sprung up between village and city dwellers. Individualism has taken control. African solidarity has been forgotten.
Some residents of Mom-Dibang have decided to take responsibility and take the destinies of their villages in hand, fighting against all forms of poverty. They have managed to find their feet, hence the creation of the CPSS (Centre for Health and Social Protection).
In a hostile environment, they have created a HEALTH CENTRE where various activities will take place.
The CPSS is located in the Centre province, in the Nyong and Kellé divisions, Dibang district. It is present in 29 chiefdoms spread through the equatorial forest, a very isolated tropical zone. It has 40 members and 10 companions, the majority of whom are women.
“A single finger cannot wash a face”
Organising villages in terms of work, living together, food crises, and fighting against individualism and witchcraft has lead to a range of activities:
• The health centre
• Training of women
• Child education
• Rearing pigs and chickens
• Drinking water and sanitation
• Rural stores
• Solidarity-based micro credit
The health centre: created to help the population with basic first aid. Reduction in infant mortality thanks to a vaccination centre and assistance during childbirth. Thanks to SOS Boîtes de Lait (SOS Milk Cartons), the centre is currently distributing milk to malnourished children and children with HIV-positive mothers.
Agriculture: a 12-hectare palm grove, an avocado orchard, a hectare of assatiers (local plums), community fields for food production (organic): banana trees, corn and various tubers (taro, yam, cassava), etc.
Training of women: manufacturing vaseline and organic glycerine, bleach, etc. Training to manage income-generating activities.
Child education: support for schools and children in difficulty.
Rearing: pigs, chickens, eggs, goats, fish, etc.
Drinking water: as far as is possible, creating water conveyances through villages.
Rural store: bringing basic products closer to the population.
Solidarity-based microcredit: given to women, allowing them to become financially independent in their households.
40 volunteer members
10 CPSS companions
100 female volunteers
Heads of agricultural posts
Leaders from political parties
Traditional and religious authorities
A network of development associations
Training in how to turn products based on natural plants (Aloe Vera, citronella, lemon, meadowsweet) to produce vaseline, glycerine and bleach.
• Including more women in a variety of initiatives
• Creating village committees in the 29 chiefdoms
• Creating a cacao-processing unit to manufacture food products
• Increasing farm production, processing of organic products, vaseline, bleach
• Installing water points in the 29 villages
• Strengthening the training of women
• Building housing for the CPSS agents
The initiative impacts on women and children more than men.
We need partners to allow us to broaden our scope of action.