By Godfred Sackmu
Over 21 humanitarian organisations have had their projects sponsored, thanks to Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. They received their funding on March 9, 2022, in Yaounde.
The projects, financed to the tune of FCFA 10 million each, were selected after undergoing scrutiny at the embassy.
“Nearly all the participants taking part in this workshop are local Cameroonian civil society organisations whose projects have carefully been examined and validated. It is so completive because many people applied for their projects to be sponsored. We received over 550 applications, and 21 were selected. Each project is financed to the sum of FCFA 10 million. This is done every year from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives,” Canadian Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Richard Bale, stated.
On the criteria for selection, the Ambassador said, “We access their projects based on certain number of priority areas like: entrepreneurship, gender equality, human rights and we try to give a certain geographic focus. So, we try to provide support in the Northwest, Southwest and North Regions, not leaving out Littoral and Centre.”
H.E Richard Bale added that they provide moral support to the affected regions, but special 40 percent priority is given to the Northwest and Southwest Regions unlike 20 percent for other Regions.
The President of the Organisation in Charge of Albinism, also a beneficiary, Ebenye Nicole, Whitney, disclosed how she will use the money.
“I will use the 10 million to create income-generating activities for the albinos. We will also buy lenses for them, since we sometimes have difficulties with our sight. It is my first time to benefit from this initiative, so I am so glad to be one of the beneficiaries,” she said.
Some of the organisations which benefitted include: Unicri; Local Youth Corner Cameroon; LUKMEF Cameroon; Southwest/Northwest Women Taskforce (SNWOT); Assets-based Citizens-led Development, HOFA; Cameroon Women’s Peace Movement (CAWOPEM) and EMIDA.
Regarding the duration of the initiative in Cameroon, the Ambassador said, “This year is 50th anniversary, but it has been existing in Cameroon for 40 years. We have funded a number of NGOs which are run by women and peace builders. It is a long standing programme. In the Far North Region, we focus on gender-based violence, gender equality,” he stated.
Beneficiaries used the occasion to share their experiences, and to know more about each other. Rendezvous was taken for the next competition. It should be noted that a beneficiary cannot go in for a second time.