Harbour Center Cameroon
by Linda Aseh
(Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon)
Gift ran short and we find ourselves in a fix asking who will support our work in oder to bring joy in the heart of every child?
Harbour Center is a national organization in Cameroon. We are very glad to share with you our story of existence.
Harbour Center was created some few years ago. The board members work sacrificially to develop the organization and the staff. Many practical issues led to the creation of Harbour Center as a not for profit Christian organization:
- Considering the fact that Cameroon has a high rate of female dropouts from school which is increasing their illiteracy.
- Considering the high dependency ratio of women, the girl child, and the underprivileged generally.
- Aware of the marginalization of the less privileged, the orphans, and the handicapped and lack of enough support for their socio-economic and cultural development of their communities
- Aware that poverty, misery, and diseases abound in enclave communities due to inability and skills to manage the scarce resources.
- Considering the continuous increase in our streets by beggars and socially under privileged persons and street children.
- Considering Cameroon government determination to fight poverty at all levels.
Harbour Center was then created to address these issues as they proclaim the message of the cross of Jesus. Below Are Areas of Operations
Areas of operations in the North West Region of Cameroon where we are active and now attempting to rebuild the nation.Girls and Women
A baseline survey, observation, and interaction with other groups have proven that dropped out girls from school suffer most in Cameroon. They face the highest level of discrimination.
In most homes, attention is given to boys' vocational training/education because they feel girls cannot contribute much in the society and above all somebody’s wife.
The major problem arising from this situation is that most of the girls are highly exploited sexually because they are idle or need someone to depend on for their future. This is resulting in early pregnancies in girls between the ages of 12 to 19.
Despite these challenges, the girl child has proven to be more responsible over the years. She is more of a bread winner for the families as demonstrated in homes (especially where the two parents are gone due to death) as she takes care of the younger ones. She remains more responsible at home than the boys as they fetch water, wood for family, and take care of family members rather than herself.
This is resulting from the fact that they have a natural hard working and caring ability. To this effect, HC believes if they are given the chance to develop, it would be a quicker way to transform a nation in breaking its cycle of poverty. This is a dynamic approach to change families and then the society.
Harbour Center therefore in building church leaders is investing more on girls and young women. 70 percent of our resources are spent on girls and women while 30 percent is spent on boys between 12 to 19 years of age. Our Main Objectives in the Choice of our Programs to Girls and Boys Are To:
- Train girls in their character to promote abstinence and family management skills.
- Economic empowerment - Give Life skills training for self employment and expose them to other successful business persons.
- Research and document policies and practices that reduce the rights of girls in education, business, and employment.
- Give start up packages to them to begin small businesses.
- Empower them through seminars and conferences so that they can gain more boldness to be able to fully participate in the job market, the fight for environmental change, and societal development.
- Build a strong network of young business girls that can promote love, boldness, and creativity amongst them leading to self employment and independence.
Reduce the level of migration, immorality, atrocities, and frustration amongst them by offering vocational trainings in order to increase employment rate amongst them.Disabled Children
Disability is a common phenomenon in Cameroon. It’s a common reality to find disabled people on the streets begging for a living.
Disabled persons often have varying, productive potentials, stigmatization and lack of support from their families and communities. They are left with more or less one option which is begging on the streets.
The educational system has hardly integrated the disabled in its design and implementations. In general education and technical schools, desk - lessons and workshops, practicals were often insensitive to various disabilities.
This has led to many disabled persons being unable to pursue education. Hence employment or self employment remains a dream to many. Many of them suffer marginalization and rejection especially women and girls.
The implementation of new laws and justice is very slow and still creating a big gap for the disabled persons. To this effect, Harbour Center is working to address these issues. Our Objectives Are:
- Economic empowerment - Life skills trainings.
- Locally train volunteers for sign language interpretation and the use of braille and monitoring purposes.
- Encourage the teaching of basic sign language in mission primary and secondary schools as a way to penetrate to build an inclusive society and to encourage other private schools to do the same.
- Translate basic primary and secondary school text books into braille.
We work with vulnerable children to give them a chance to develop and we equip them just like any other child."Thank you for increasing inclusion and employment opportunities in Cameroon,"Linda Aseh
Harbour Center Cameroon
P O Box 235 Mankon Bamenda-Cameroon
Tel: 237 77 56 28 70