Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Belo Beautiful" is Blossoming


In a field of work that can often be frustrating, small successes are a call for celebration. This past week was one of those weeks at RUDEC.
Three months ago, we (Joshua and I) set our focus on expanding access to financial opportunity to more women in Belo. Our main goal was to support the income-generating activities of local women by providing small loans. In addition to that, we wanted to provide an environment in which these women could work together on their own accord to design the framework for their own development. Our hope was that these efforts would work to build the capacity of women—specifically single mothers—to become more economically independent and in better positions to provide for their children.
We identified two groups of women in the village who were interested in participating in the project. In the first month of the project, we met with each group twice a week to evaluate each woman’s business or business idea, determined their eligibility for the loan, and advised the group in creating their own group rules/policies for the loan. The driving force behind each group was the idea that their repayments of the loan would be used to help even more women in the future.

Two months ago we distributed a loan of equal amounts to each woman who agreed to the terms their group had decided on. On the day on the loan distribution, we all communed with one another, and the air was heavy with a sense of unity and hopefulness for what was to come. Each woman made a pledge, not only to herself, but to her fellow sisters who were there to support her in her own endeavors. Appropriately, we decided to name this initiative “Belo Beautiful”. Several group meetings, training workshops, and business consultations later, each group proved its ability to sustain itself. Each group has an active executive board, which manages and records all aspects vital to move the project forward.

This past week marks two months since the distribution of the loans, as well as the women’s first repayment! Each woman (13 in total) paid their first interest-free installment of 6,000 francs. The best news is that enough money was repaid in order to provide two new women with a loan as well.
I am happy that the project has proven to be sustainable thus far. Although I am no longer in Belo to celebrate this step forward with the women, I am celebrating in spirit from afar and looking forward to more good reports. We are now at a group of 15 women and hope to continue to see manageable growth.
Many times, the hard work of Cameroonian women goes unnoticed. Women are arguably the backbone of Cameroon’s agricultural economy, yet hit the glass ceiling of gender-discrimination and societal expectations in many areas of their lives. Much of the reason for women’s struggle to gain income in this agricultural economy has to do with their acute lack of credit and inability to raise enough money to engage in lucrative business. Our vision is make the rural town of Belo a safe-haven of economic opportunity and empowerment for women by highlighting the vital role that women play in society and providing women with access to economic opportunity. It is also our hope that the Belo Beautiful initiative elevates the voices of the hard-working women of Belo and provides them with the tools to activate change in their own lives and community.

Friday, July 17, 2015

RUDEC is back up

 Our website was broken and it was down for some time !!  Now the site is back up and i wish that you all know. See it at

Broken or Hacked site of RUDEC

 Our website at is broken and it is down !! If you wish to contact us then join Joshua Chiamba at or our Volunteer Michael Clounie at for any information....Our website manager says it was hacked and he is looking at how to fix it. Any help ideas would be useful.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Health Care to Orphans

 Since 2008 that we started the orphans project we have had simple sickness but 2015 is special year because Odette Ngong had ankylosis. She was to be operated . We did cried and people came to our support and the operation was successfull.

We are giving thanks to God for the support and care pour on the donors who made us and Odette happy. 
Odette is able to chew now because before she was not able to open her mouth and chew!!!

The second child Harrison Mulong , has being the attached by cellulitis and this has made his foot angle very painful. Before we thought that the leg was broken and we rushed him, to the hospital for a check up and we had an x-ray but it was not broken but as we took him  after 4 days its resulted into a red swollen leg.

We had a fight with the family who were for the traditional witch doctor. This was much temptation that we had to withstand and today we are happy that this leg is improving and we are left with a short time to celebration the work of God in the life of Harrison. 

We are also joining Harrison to smile and give thanks to all who supported us especially our volunteer Mme Debbie Bardin, Anto, Louise and all that would be joining to give us more smiles


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

RUDEC Volunteer Testimony- Andrea

During my three months with RUDEC, Joshua and I worked on a micro-loan project for women who were members of a local community group in Belo. Joshua, the women of the group and I sat together in meetings to discuss loan ideas in order to decide on the best terms for all parties involved. The outcome of these discussions was a loan project that has proved to be quite successful. To date, 12 women have received a loan and none of them have defaulted on their repayments. Joshua and I hope that we could expand this program to other women's groups in the area because of how successful it has been. The other volunteers and I also worked Monday through Friday at the after school program during the school year and the summer school program when school was not in session. These programs that RUDEC offers are so essential to the school children's education because it is the only time students will get individualized attention in a small classroom setting. Children attend schools that often have more than 100 students per classroom so it is very easy for them to fall behind.
I noticed that these students are eager to learn and are happy to attend the program. It is essential that we have more volunteers coming to RUDEC so that it can continue to provide these children with this educational service. What is great about this program is that almost anyone can be a tutor. We taught them all of the same things we learned when we were their age in school - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, English. You do not have to be a teacher to help students with their lessons. It was also fun to watch them learn about acting in the drama class - that was something totally new to them and they enjoyed it! The weekends always brought a new adventure for the volunteers as there are many things to see and do in and around Belo. Belo is a beautiful, picturesque village situated amongst mountains.
Woman gets a loan
Looking outside was an experience in and of itself. In town there is also a waterfall that one could walk to on the way to Joshua's house that was also a beautiful and fun excursion. My favorite experience was the Mbingo Cliff walk, which Joshua accompanied us for. We walked along the mountains and eventually came to a breathtaking waterfall, which we were able to get very close to. Lake Oku was also a magnificent experience and I happened to spend my 21st birthday there with my fellow volunteers atop the second highest mountain in Africa overlooking a sacred mountain lake surrounded by forest. The Northern Highland Tea Estate was also a cool experience. We toured the tea factory with a guide who walked us through the process of how the tea is made on this estate, which is the largest tea estate in the world owned by one person. We toured the tea fields and saw tea at every stage in the growing process. Then we saw the horses and ostriches that live on the estate and played with the monkeys who were quite friendly. They also gave us a bunch of tea to take home, which I still drink with the white honey I brought back! It is also very likely that one will experience cultural activities and celebrations. I recommend to everyone who travels to Belo to do their best to see the JuJus, who are masked tribal dancers who perform at death celebrations.
The people who live in Belo are very welcoming and understanding. They know the volunteers come from cultures very different from their own and are more than ccommodating of the foreign volunteers. I do recommend to take every opportunity to learn about what life is like in Belo and cherish your time there. You will develop friendships in the community, and this is perhaps the best part of living there. Joshua is a great person to work with because he so passionate about helping his community and is truly invested in his work. His enthusiasm for what he does is evident and inspiring and it passes from him to the volunteers he works with. He also maintains a connection with his volunteers throughout their stay, ensuring that they are feeling welcome in the community. One of the best things that Joshua does is that he listens to the ideas of the volunteers and works with them to develop their ideas into actions. Working with RUDEC was the best experience I have had, and I wholeheartedly recommend others to volunteer with RUDEC in Belo. Volunteers who can take initiative and can maintain an open mind will succeed in making a lasting contribution to the community and