We are a group of Master's in Management students at ESMT Berlin. As part of our studies, we are conducting a Social Impact Project in Cameroon with the organization ASCA - "the Association for promotion of Science and Culture in Africa", a small organization which has the idea to promote and invest in a new generation of a highly educated and responsible youth.The Association for promotion of Science and Culture in Africa that was established in Altena, Germany in 1989, with a focus on scientific and academic projects in Africa. Among their most recent work has been the initiation of various projects within the city of Foumban (West Cameroon), stemming from the inability for children to go to school. Foumban is the main city of the Noun Division in West Cameroon with around 80.000 -100.000 inhabitants. It is a major town for the Bamoun people, with 70% of Muslims and 30% of Christians.
For a long time, only Christians were accepted to schools. This lead to a huge gap in education and an important need for education among the Muslims, a very conservative majority seeking for local education. The education rate in Foumban of 40-50% is much lower than in other regions of West Cameroon, ranging between 70-80%. Children aspiring for a basic education have to bike or walk to the next city. Due to a poor transportation infrastructure and unsafe roads in this region of the country, the children are setting their lives on risk every day. A long-term solution to this issue was to provide locally accessible education. However, due to a critical lack of resources, the installations that have been built so far by ASCA were only meant to cover the basic education needs which were not fulfilled before. A community house, a women’s house, apartments for teachers and a small building which served as a school were then built. In 2016, a storm has destroyed the clay walls, as well as the roof and the teachers' houses seemed to collapse at any moment. Since the buildings did not have enough capacity to accommodate the students, teaching took place among other buildings, in a church nearby.
The Motto of the organization is "Help for self-help". Therefore, we want to help them build a self-sustainable school complex in a remote area in Cameroon and establish, as part of it, micro-businesses with a deep focus on local agriculture, clean energy, and computer sciences. The main idea is to foster innovation and to establish a self-sustainable ecosystem in West Africa within the next 5 years. .
Many ask us what is the main reason why we are doing this and here is the answer from Gregory who was born and raised in Cameroon:
"I was lucky enough to afford a good education compared to the biggest majority in the central African region. My hometown, being located in the Western province of the country, I grew up realizing the difficulties our educational system was facing. A severe lack of infrastructure, persistent absenteeism of teachers, overcrowded classrooms, archaic facilities, that is the reality most youth is facing. With 80% of the population under 20 years old, the need for education in this part of the world is so high that local schools cannot accommodate the demand. As a kid, I always aspired for a better education, reason why I left my native country after middle school, keeping deep in my heart the secret dream of coming back later with a project that might improve the life conditions of my community."
As students from a business school, we believe that the knowledge and experience gained during the studies should be applied to a meaningful and relevant assignment. We have already received a funding which covers a part of our travel expenses. The amount we are still missing is 2.700€. The amount is meant for the vaccines and the basic living costs from mid of January till the end of February in Cameroon.By supporting us, you are supporting the development of education and entrepreneurship in Cameroon.
SMALL ACTIONS LEAD TO BIG CHANGES
Many thanks, Ana, Gregory, Thabo, Pavel, Huy and Archi
As an appreciation sign, we will tag you in one post on the later established social networks. Instagram and Facebook will be used for keeping you up-to-date and for sharing significant moments.
We would like to show our appreciation for your support by taking a photo of the children from the town with your name. The personal photos will be shared on the later established social networks.
After spending 2 months in rural areas of Cameroon, we will have tasted a lot of different food and by then found our personal favourite. Recipes from rural areas cannot be found on the internet, and as a thank you for your support, we will be more than happy to share it with you. ~ "The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star"
To show our appreciation and gratitude for your generous support, a small handmade gift by the children from the town will be made solely for you and later delivered by post to your desired address.
This journey is going to be the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Something like this has to be remembered, Therefore, we will be filming each step of ours, all the emotions we are going to go through, our excitement, possible nervous breakdowns, etc. The full version of the documentary will represent our journal. A short version will available on the social networks, but to show you how much your donation meant, we will personally send you the full version of our journey.