Back-to-school: NGOs Impact Less-privileged Children With School Material, Free Haircuts

Thirteen-year-old Princess Ajonko, a student, was presuming a difficult start of the new academic year mainly because her parents could not afford all her school needs due to lack of finances.

Out of a sudden, some of the challenges disappeared and now her parents’ contemplation is how to pay her school fees for this 2023-2024 academic year.

Ajonko has got books, pens, school bag among other school needs – things that could have cost her parents a lot. She received them plus a haircut for free in Muea, a locality in Buea.

The gesture that she was grateful for came from Falone, GooFirm Foundations and Walcutz community development initiative – organisations putting humanity first to prepare less-privileged kids for school.

While praying to God to bless her helper, Ajonko said, before school resumption, she had wondered how her parents were going to manage.

“There were no books and my parents could only sell a few things, to ensure that they provided my school needs,” she said

“Now, I am happy that the stress on my parents has been reduced. Because of these organisations, we’re able to achieve all these. So we will forever be grateful to them,” she intimated.

Ajonko has pledged to work very hard and make the foundation proud and not regret helping her. 

“When I grow up, I will remember how they helped me and I will one day help others,” she added.

Just like Ajonko, Carine Che, a single struggling mother in Muea, could not imagine that her child would now have all the didactic material to start school.

Falone, GooFirm Foundations and Walcutz community development initiative came to her in times of need.

“They have assisted in providing a few books that my child can resume school with,” Che said, before they came, she “was looking for a way to borrow money from a friend” so she could send her child to school.

“But now, I will work just for his school fees” Che added.

The operation 500 free back-to-school haircuts and school needs for orphans and less-privileged communities targeted Buea, Limbe and Kumba, all in Cameroon’s Southwest Region, carried out by Walcutz community development initiative, Falone and GooFirm Foundations.

Themed: “Take us to school and not the streets,” they said it was an initiative to impact lives.

The campaign started on August 19 and ended on September 2.

In Muea alone, they helped about 500 less-privileged children.

Ache Justance Falone, the founder of the Falone Foundation, said they were motivated by the ability to do good and their passion for humanity.

“Our targeted persons are underprivileged children,” she said.

“We target them because they don’t have the opportunity to go to school with their hair cut,” she added.

To Falone, their goal was to have thousands of children who could go to school without having to worry, as they could have their school fees paid and books, and pencils among others bought.

As one of the donors to the campaign, Ekie Walters Ngalle, a renowned Buea barber, said they participated by providing voluntary barbers to cut hair for free. Through the Walcutz community development initiative, Ngalle who is currently in Dubai, mobilised on the ground, Miss Abigail (Winner of Miss Beauty D’or), Noel The Barber (Winner of BOTBA Barbing Competition), Brandon The Barber (Buea based Barber), Neba Nobert and Etienne Nsakse (Autentic Barber) to give the children free hair new look.

However, they might have not been able to help financially but contributed in their little way by offering free haircuts to children.

“Although we have some difficulties like to get barbers who are willing to volunteer, getting funds for transportation and donations and to locate and assemble the kids. These barbers have helped a lot because most often they pay for their transportation. I just want to thank them for the work they are doing in building our community,” Ngalle said.

“And to the youths, I want to say that no act of kindness is too small to build our communities with the little we have,” he added.

Winchester Nkongho, founder and Executive Director of GooFirm Foundation was also one of the donors that helped a lot. Just like Falone Foundation, they were also striving to reach out to more vulnerable children and communities.

“Free haircuts keep them clean and bright for the start of the school year. Health campaigns are done to raise awareness on health and hygiene” Nkongho said.

To him, the campaign was not based on sharing school needs but ensuring children were in good health conditions as well.

This is the third year these organisations are carrying such campaigns and have vowed to continue. They plan to help as many children as they can.

By Nfor Tracy Titie & Nkeanglefack Blessing (UB Students on Internship)

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