My name is Sonia Buma, and I come from Bamenda, Cameroon.
Growing up, my father often told me that education opens doors towards achieving dreams. My dream was always to help my community and country prosper. Fortunately, I was the first MasterCard Foundation scholar from Cameroon which enabled me to study International Development at McGill University on a full scholarship.
During my studies, I helped lead a collaborative community building project in Cameroon where we built a water tank, a biogas digester, and empowered women to run their own ginger farm and retail initiative. These projects continued successfully until the recent crisis in Cameroon escalated in 2016. The crisis has affected my projects and my family, as I have lost three dear uncles and friends since it started.
The Humanitarian Crisis
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 500,000 Cameroonians are currently displaced. The majority of them are women and children who are homeless and lack access to basic needs such as food, clothing, sanitary pads, and healthcare. The difficulties and hardships these people endure motivated us to start the Hope for Cameroon Project.
Beginning in 2019, we brought together two student non-profits: SymBioSyn and Nourish, to find ways to bring hope to the people of Cameroon for a better future.
To start by improving the living conditions of 200 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) affected by the crisis, who have fled from the North West and South West regions of Cameroon to Douala.
With 10,000$ CAD we will be able to provide basic supplies for 200 Internally Displaced People currently living in Douala for 3 months. This includes food, cooking basics, sanitary products, books, and pens for children to resume their classes in September.
Here’s a breakdown of the overall budget:
And here’s a detailed breakdown of exactly where your donation goes:
Although Douala is a city, these IDPs lack shelter, food, clothing, and are essentially shunned by their new community. We want to help shed light on their plight by:
First: Satisfying their urgent need for food and sanitary products. Our hope is to begin to build a trusting relationship with the IDPs through this short term relief.
Second: Learning from and collaborating with the IDPs to co-design the best solutions, tools, and long term plans that will sustainably empower them to take charge of their future.
Today, we intend to kick-start the 1st phase of the project in the Douala region by:
- Providing rice, maggi, salt, cooking oil, and beans
- Distributing women’s sanitary products and soap
- Providing books and pencils for school children
Help us reach our goal of $10,000 before August 2019 to provide these needs as soon as possible.
Here’s a breakdown of the overall budget in West African CFA Francs, Canadian Dollars, and Euros:
We understand that focusing on handouts alone can create a perpetual state of dependency. This is why our long-term goal is to:
- Co-create a sustainable community initiative that empowers the IDPs community through education and skill building programs
- Enable them to take charge of their livelihoods and help others in their community
Cameroon needs hope, Cameroon needs peace, Cameroonians need your help. Together with your donation, we can help change lives.
Here’s a link to our Youtube page that provides more information about the project here
Top row (Left to right) : Yves, Ségolène, Gaspard, Sonia, Bottom row (Left to right) : Edgar, Matthew, Melchior