15 Apr 2012

Joining Forces - Cameroon

God is Great Orphanage Bamenda (GIG) is a promising development approach for addressing food and nutrition insecurity for orphans and vulnerable children.        GIG is a project strand of Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage to be developed which Better World hopes to realize in Partnership with NWADO.

Ndanifor Permaculture Eco-village is a social enterprise project developed by the Ndaifor Community Garden in Yaounde that develops, promotes, and facilitates greening, climate change action, food security, and sustainable natural resource use, including Permaculture.

In the context of GIG programming, Permaculture training using the orphanage as implementation agency of Better World Cameroon will help guide communities and schools around Bafut toward permanent solutions for food and nutrition security, while ensuring that the options of GIG exist harmoniously within their environment.


The purpose of this technical brief is to provide an overview of the Permaculture programming to NWADO members as a sustainable, non-donor-dependent tool for improving the health, food, and nutrition security and livelihoods of orphans and their families.

BWC & NWADO Education Thematic group will collaborate with schools, communities, women's groups and individuals in the region based on the ethical bases of respect for the land, care for people and international solidarity
Overview
Among children under five years of age in the developing world, nearly one-quarter are underweight (127 million) and one-third are stunted (195 million). Over 90 percent of those who are stunted live in Africa and Asia (U.N. Children's Fund [UNICEF] 2009, 2011a). These forms of under nutrition can have long-lasting and damaging effects on children, especially when it occurs during critical developmental years.

The situation is even more critical concerning orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) living in communities with a high prevalence of HIV; many of these children and their families are food and nutrition insecure as a direct consequence of the epidemic. Severe and moderate acute malnutrition (wasting) among people living with HIV, including children and youth, occurs where HIV prevalence is high, and there are delays in seeking treatment. And among infants living with HIV, low birth weight (a major determinant of mortality and morbidity) is not uncommon (Regional Centre for Quality of Health Care 2008).

A recent proposal of Better World Permaculture Trainer promising practices in food and nutrition security programming for OVC reveals a very suitable model of sustainable programming for GIG that directly impacts long-term food and nutrition security for OVC and the families who care for them. We have adopted the program as a new focus for attempting to address these challenges in Bamenda North West Region of Cameroon on a mostly small-scale, short-term, donor-reliant, and inexpensive salvation plan in terms of inputs per child.

This approach shows promise for BWC programming, particularly in an HIV context, as it is a framework that will work toward sustainability of habitats as well. It maximizes the use of local resources, applying ecological principles to meet human needs for food, shelter, energy, and a sense of community. In the context of OVC programming, Ndanifor Permaculture programme for the NW region will help guide communities toward permanent solutions for food and nutrition security while ensuring that these options exist harmoniously within the global environment. Importantly, bringing a perpetual source of food and nutrition to OVC through households, schools, and other community institutions is only one aspect of what Ndanifor  Permaculture will offer to OVC programming. It will also offer opportunities for income generation, and on a more philosophical level, it will teach children about their relationship with the environment and how to meet their needs in a responsible, environmentally- friendly manner.

This technical brief is not intended to offer an exhaustive review of Permaculture's methodology. Instead, it serves as an introduction to the  principles BWC will employ in a BWC NGUKT collaboration, and provides initial examples on how it can be used to achieve the object of a sustainable partnership with BWB & for the benefit of OVC and their families. The geographic focus of this brief is Bafut and the environs of Bamenda and in the long term the Far North Region of Cameroon. As part of our education work we will be economically empowering women grassroots communities with income-generating projects which will include access to the Internet for marketing and communication. The intention is to make them less vulnerable to manipulation for politically-motivated violence at election times. Moreover we want to support the development of a strong network of change-makers in the region, so small-scale farmers will regain their original strength and be free from all forms of operation.