Thursday, 15 August 2013

Women shaking the nation

As we walked into the Presbyterian Church Hall in Tiko, in South West Cameroon, the women who were gathered there were singing. It was a catchy song, as African songs often are, and the words were simple, ‘Women shaking the nation’. 

Women shaking the nation!

Today we met many women who are running small businesses in order to improve their lives, provide education for their children and contribute to the life of the communities in which they live.  I am visiting Cameroon as a guest of the Methodist Relief and Development Fund and we are visiting the projects they support in this part of the country. There will be more details about the visit in later reports but in my blogs for the next few days I will try to give some glimpses of what I am experiencing here.

After spending some time with the women in Tiko, who were learning business skills in order to qualify for financial assistance we drove to Moquo, a village where other women are successfully running small businesses. Here we met Sophie who collects and sells snails for food. 

Sophie with her snails

Sophie has lived in Moquo for over thirty years and has seen the village change a great deal. The land around had been used to grow rubber trees and then these had been replaced by Plantains. Now the land is owned by Del Monte and we drove through their huge banana plantation to get to the village. It is still the rainy season here so the drive to Moquo was both muddy and bumpy (an understatement!)

The road through the banana plantation
Here we also met Magdalene who has a hairdressing business. As for all the women we saw, her business is run from a room in her home and Magdalene’s faith was evident from what she had written on the walls outside and inside her salon. She told us how important her faith is to her.

This was a common theme throughout the day as we talked to the women who naturally spoke of the importance of God in their lives.

Women shaking the nation.

Moquo village

Judith has been able to buy a grinding machine and this has increased her income enabling her to educate her children and care for her family.

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