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WVED ; P.O Box : 212, Bamenda, N.W.R Cameroon, Central Africa ; Tel : (+237)77949694/75990300 ;Email : info@wvedcameroon.org

Organising Partners: Arizona State University, Gandhi Research Foundation and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL)


Coordinated by: University Community Partnership for Social Action Research (UCP-SAR net)


Presented by:  Helvecia Nfombi Takwe    participant from World Vision for Education and Development (WVED) Cameroon, P.O Box 212 Mankon, Bamenda-Cameroon. Tel: +237 75 99 03 00


About World Vision for Education and Development (WVED) Cameroon:

WVED Cameroon is an association created on the 6th of February 2012 with registration number 05/E.29/1111/VOL.8/ALPAS in conformity with the Provision of Law No 90/053 of 19th December 1990.


WVED-Cameroon has as its goals to contribute in:

Developing a global partnership for development (MDG 8)

Reducing gender disparity in schools (MDG 3)

Ensuring primary education (MDG 2)

Eradicating extreme poverty (MDG 1).


Primary Objective: to promote educational, agricultural and sports developmental activities in Cameroon and with a world wide touch.

Specific objectives are:

- To create possibilities for interested groups/individuals to communicate with other organisations worldwide

- To promote exchange on best practices to people of different cultural background

- To encourage female students in the field of science, mathematics and innovation

- To promote / encourage developmental priorities that addresses self-reliant skills

- To carryout training and sensitisation on career orientation and building good leadership skills /qualities in youths

- To carry out a program referred to as Cameroon Academic Honour Roll program abbreviated (CAHRP) which shall effectively award medals to outstanding students, teachers and ALUMNI, offer scholarship to less privilege students in all the secondary schools approved by the ministry of Secondary Education in Cameroon.


Mission:

Our mission is to improve on learning/educational standards /enrichment opportunities for youths, strengthen leadership development (youth focus) by supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices for better living standards.


Vision:

Our vision is to put in place a solid structure that will reward and encourage excellence especially innovative ideas, give hope to the less privileged children, use models to promote exchange on best practices of different cultural backgrounds, enable students to have access to a variety of enrichment programs in and outside of school that prepare them to be contributing members of their communities and responsible leaders.


Activities carried out by WVED - Cameroon: Since its creation WVED Cameroon is currently carrying out the following activities:


1) Cameroon Academic Honour Roll Program (CAHRP):

This program has as objectives to:

Recognise achievements

Promote academic excellence

Promote good leadership and participatory development

Encourage females in the field of science, mathematics, technology and innovation

Provide equal education opportunity for all there by reducing gender disparity


Brief description of Program:

CAHRP involves using models to promote exchange on best practices by awarding medals of mathematics to best female mathematics students, medals of science to best female science students, medals of excellence to outstanding students (students who come out first in their class),medal of victory to teachers (who are hard working and duty conscious), medal of distinction to best ex students (who have served in several positions and participate in developing his Alma-Ata and community), medal of distinction ( to student with leadership qualities that fits the Honour Day theme for the year in question, and trophies to schools with academic distinction in end of course examination.

This medal award process is done in collaboration with the Regional Delegation for Secondary Education North West Region and the Divisional Delegation for Secondary Education Mezam division by organising an Honour Day where students from Secondary schools come for the event. 2012 Honour Day event celebrated under the theme “Education and Responsible Leadership” at the Bamenda Congress Hall with Honour Day speaker Mr. Tangie Peter Suh-Nfor saw the award of 258medals to the above group of persons in 20 secondary schools in Bamenda I,II and III sub divisions and one trophy to school with academic distinction.

Results:

As a result of recognising achievements there is an improvement in:

Education standards in secondary schools in Bamenda I,I I and III sub divisions

Zeal development in students to produce quality results in their examination and to be able to read extensively

Good leadership practise by students in what ever they do and where ever they find themselves at school, home or community as a whole.

Impact:

The rate of teacher’s attitudes and devotion towards teaching has increased by 30% because everyone ones to come out the best

Ex students are more committed in participating in developing their Almata

The zeal for hard work and innovation in students have greatly increased as the first student in the General Certificate of Education Advanced level 2012 is a laureate with medal of excellence in the 2012 award. He says “the medal of excellence I received made me to work six times harder”



2) Youth making the difference as immerging leaders (Leadership Clubs in Secondary Schools):

Objectives:

To enhance leadership development in youths

To encourage equal participation of girls and marginalised in decision making

To provide guidance, counselling and carrier orientation

To enhance zeal development for innovation, being forward thinking and remain sensitive to the changing times


Brief description of club activities:

WVED – Cameroon in collaboration with the Divisional Delegation for Secondary Education Mazam Division in October 2012 created leadership clubs in 7 secondary schools in Bamenda II sub division with the intention of expanding these clubs to all secondary schools in the North West Region and beyond. These clubs presently have 280members who are trained as peer educators for good leadership practises. These peer educators are expected to train others to lead by examples and be the positive change they want to see in their homes, schools, communities and country as a whole. WVED-Cameroon has developed a well structured leadership module for the training which is being used by the trainers each month in the various schools.


Through the leadership clubs WVED-Cameroon aspires to solve in a way, Cameroon’s unemployment crisis through proper orientation, promotion of developmental priorities that addresses self-reliant skills, counselling and zeal development as the club will make our youths more assertive and better equipped to take control of their future by making reasonable decisions


Results:

WVED Cameroon has created seven leadership clubs with 280 members in the following secondary schools in Bamenda II: GBHS Downtown, GBHS Ntamulung, GBHS Mankon, P.S.S Mankon, P.S.S. Azire, Our Lady of Lourdes Secondary School Mankon and L.C.C Mankon.

WVED has carried out 5 training workshops in the secondary schools having leadership clubs with 280members as peer educators


3) Inspire a child:

Objectives:

To contribute in universal primary education to completing primary school

To reduce gender disparities in schools by providing equal opportunity for education by all


Project description:

WVED through the patronage of Mrs Fonkwa Gladys has been able to sponsor 8 female orphans in primary school and 3 female orphans in secondary school by providing to these needy and intelligent children their needs and means for education.


WVED’s participation at EM Peace LABS 2012 workshop


It was in the course of WVED Cameroon implementing its activities that inspired Christain Tanyie of LUKMEF Cameroon to recommend Helvecia Nfombi Takwe of WVED Camerooon to participate in the upcoming EMPeace LABS 2012 workshop based in Jalgaon India.



EM Peace LABS Concept:


Empowerment for peace through leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability: Eradication of poverty in Rural Communities.


Arizona State University (USA), Gandhi Research Foundation (India), and Jain Irrigation Systems, Ltd. (multinational company headquartered in India) have partnered to create  EmPeace LABS (Empowerment for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability), a training and leadership program committed to building a strong foundation for global peace by preparing young professionals for leadership in agri-business and sustainability. This unique project will create a South-to-South EmPeace LABS Network that supports the realization of the UN Millennium Development Goals by connecting agricultural and capacity building organizations with community leaders from participating countries.

To reach its stated goals, EmPeace LABS has created a leadership training system tailored for success in developing countries. Working in partnership with local communities, government and non-government organizations, EmPeace LABS will select young leaders from the Global South to initiate and implement community projects in their home regions that are designed to encourage sustainable development through agricultural innovation.

First selected young leaders will be trained in agricultural technologies and community leadership at a series of annual international leadership workshops held in Jalgaon (India) and hosted by Jain Irrigation Systems, Ltd.  In addition to providing opportunities for education and certification, these workshops will hold forums for cross-fertilization of ideas and best practices, and serve as launching points for dissemination of project results to sustainable development and peace building organizations across the world.  Program of the workshop will include modules that teach participants to "train the trainer," expanding the impact of EmPeace LABS programs to communities throughout each participants' home region.

Participants of EmPeace LABS annual workshops will collaborate with community organizations and governments in their countries to co-design and implement (with the support of EmPeace LABS Network) local training workshops that introduce innovative agricultural technologies to villages. Initially such countries as India, Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria will be included, as the project develops other countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America would be added.  Participants of local workshops will be expected to design new community projects and will be supported in their implementation by individual mentors expert in agribusiness and sustainability, and backed by a global network of researchers, innovators and practitioners committed to leveraging natural and human resources to build sustainable village communities.

The EmPeace LABS approach combines hands on experience with multicultural exchange of solutions and visions, addressing existing community needs and promoting collaboration between community, government, university and corporate business. Most importantly, EmPeace LABS reinforces individual creativity and innovation in developing community projects and businesses related to agriculture and offers the opportunity for young leaders to make a positive impact in their communities. The EmPeace LABS model is therefore designed replicable, measurable and sustainable across contexts and communities.

The project is coordinated by the University-Community Partnership for Social Action Research (UCP-SARnet). a global community of over 1,300 researchers, community professionals and students, and is managed by multiple administrative units and departments at Arizona State University: Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, School of Sustainability, School of Social Work, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, School of Community Development and Resources, Global Resolve and the Department of Psychology. 

 

Empowerment for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness “EMPeace LABS 2012”:

The Em Peace LABS 2012, an international workshop brought 62 community leaders from 13countries(U.S.A,Australia,Nigeria,Ethiopia,Madagascar,Cameroon,Tan zania,Ghana, Uganda, Nepal, Kenya, Canada, India).

There were four participants from Cameroon namely:

1) Christian Tanyi of LUKMEF Cameroon (Based in Limbe)

2) Darline Symphonie of Global Youth Innovation Network (Based in Yaounde)

3) Silas Ngahane Njacheun of United Planet

4) Helvecia Nfombi Takwe of WVED Cameroon (Based in Bamenda)

This workshop was partly sponsored by Jain Irrigation Systems (JIS) in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India and each individual participant had to take care of his or her visa cost, insurance and travel expenses. Arrival was on the 18th of October where participants were introduced to the different sections of Jain Hills and the full training program began from the 20th to the 26th of October 2012.







Events Reports 
EmPeace-LABS 2012
Training Workshop
Jalgaon-India

JAIN” More crops per Drop”

Farm Fresh

EmPeace-LABS 2012

Replication Training Workshop

Bamenda, North West Region – Cameroon


Participants of EmPeace - LABs 2012 replication workshop ( government officials, agric schools representatives, organisations working in agriculture and agribusiness, media organs and farmers)


Introduction

Within the framework of the implementation of the recommendations of the EmPeace-LABS 2012 workshop the World Vision for Education and Development (WVED) Bamenda, Martin Luther King Foundation (LUKMEF) Limbe, who participated in the 2012 workshop held in Jalgaon India in collaboration with the North West Association of Development Organisations (NWADO) organized in the North West region of Cameroon a replication workshop. The workshop that took place on the 23rd January 2013 brought together 42 participants representing a cross section of stakeholders in the agriculture sector in the region. The participants came from Bamenda I, II, III and Bafut council areas. Amongst those who attended the workshop were: government officials from the Regional Delegation of Agriculture North West Region, Regional Delegation of Live Stock and Fishery, Divisional Delegation of Agriculture Mezam Division, Bamenda City Council representative, a representative of the Cameroon Christian University, Students and trainers of National Cooperative College Bamenda, some NGOs involve in agriculture, some farmers and media organs.

Opening

The workshop started with a word of meditation led by Reverend Dr. Joe-Set Aji Mvo the Board Chair of WVED who highlighted the importance of knowledge and how to use it to improve our situation in life.

This was followed by a Word of welcome from the coordinator of NWADO Mr. Kiven Emmanuel who praised the efforts of WVED and LUKMEF who after attending a workshop had taken the time and resources to invite participants and restitute the workshop to pave a way forward for actors in the agric sector to strategize on the lessons learnt to improve the perception of agriculture in the North West Region. He said WVED a member of NWADO was by this workshop just doing what NWADO encourages its members to do that is: to share information. He then welcomed the participants and called on them to listen attentively and participate actively in the discussions. He presented the program and then took his role as the facilitator of the workshop.

Next was self introduction of the participants. Each participant stated his / her name, where he/she was coming from, what he/she does in life and his/ her favorite dish.

Workshop objectives

The coordinator of WVED Helvecia Nfombi Takwe stated that this was a replication workshop of Empowerment for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability (EmPeace LABS) which took place in October 2012 in Jangloan India.

This workshop was thus organized with the aim of disseminating useful information and to share experiences and best practices they had from the event in India



Presentations

After this preliminary opening session, the Coordinator of WVED then made the first presentation on the UCP-SARnet / EmPeace-LABS Concept.

The Ghandi Research Foundation India, the Jain irrigation System India and the Arizona state University jointly partnered to form the EmPeace-LABS. EmPeace-LABS a training program committed to building a strong foundation for global peace by preparing young professional leaders in Agribusiness.

The goal of EmPeace-LABS is thus to create a network that supports the realization of the UN millennium development goals (MDGs) by connecting the agricultural and capacity building organizations with community leaders from participation countries. EmPeace-LABS work in partnership with local communities, Governments and NGOs.

She then presented the EmPeace-LABS approach which:

offers the opportunity for young leaders to make a positive impact in their communities

Reinforces individual creativity and innovation in developing community projects and businesses related to agriculture

promotes collaboration between community, government, university and corporate business

combines hands on experience with multicultural exchange of solutions and visions, addressing existing community needs

Select young leaders global south to initiate and implement a community project in their home countries that are designed to encourage sustainable development through agribusiness.

The first selected young leaders are expected to be trained in agricultural techniques and community leadership at series of annual international workshops that will be held in India.

The workshops will hold forums for cross fertilization of ideas and equally serve as launching points for dissemination of project results to sustainable development and peace building organizations across the world.

For each of such international workshops, the program will include modules that teach participants to train the trainer, expanding the impacts of the EmPeace-LABS program throughout each participant’s home region.

Participants are expected to collaborate with community based organizations to co-design and implement with the support of EmPeace LABS network local training workshops that introduce innovative agricultural techniques to villages.

This was followed by the presentation of Tanyi Christain of LUKMEF on Agriculture, Agribusiness and water management

In his presentation he highlighted agriculture in Cameroon, Changes in agricultural systems, and the perception of agriculture in Cameroon, agriculture as a business (Agribusiness, investment, soil, crops and water profits). His presentation that was richly illustrated with the JAIN irrigation systems and the gadgets used were very inspiring to the participants. With the use of guiding questions he facilitated the presentation

Why do we farm?

Who is a farmer?

What is Agribusiness is the business of farming.


He stated that Agribusiness includes the production (PRIMARY FARM PRODUCE), processing and supply of agricultural goods.

Next was an examination of the characteristics of agribusiness versus family farming.

From family farming to agribusiness:

– The context in Cameroon.

– How to go practical in Cameroon.

– Opportunities for Agribusiness in Cameroon.

– Difficulties to overcome in Cameroon.



The JAIN Irrigation Systems was presented as Best practice and through this participants got responses to:

- What is irrigation?

-What is drip irrigation?

-When and Why to choose drip irrigation over other forms

Participants then listened to the presentation Food processing

What is food processing?

What level of processing is doable at low cost?

Starting small



JAIN tracks” Then and Now” and “Towards a Bright Tomorrow”:

After the presentations participants had the opportunity to view two of JAIN tracks for inspiration. “Then and Now” was broadcast after which “towards a Bright Tomorrow” was broadcast. The participants were so amazed with the movies and expressed their appreciation to the team for sharing and creating such a forum for training, discussion and experience sharing. Participants especially the youths were amazed to see how a small dream could turn in to a big revolution and they were motivated to initiate innovative projects in agriculture and agribusiness especially in relation with high tech. Irrigation systems so as to cultivate crops all year round since most farmers solely rely on rain as the only water source for irrigation and so farming is mostly done only in the rainy season. The youths where inspired to take up agriculture and agribusiness as a carrier which can improve their income level and living standards as well, since agriculture is mostly done by the old people who are getting tired and so a reduction in the labour force. “We are committed to begin with intensive agriculture no matter how small we start we shall come out with a big imitative that can improve our income level and change our lives we are not only going to rely on subsistence farming” said by the President of “Youth Farming Group Nforya Bafut”

Discussions /questions and answers

In the questions and answers that followed participants got clarifications and additional information

The irrigation probably thrives in India due to the terrain. How will it work in the North West Region that is very hilly in nature?

Presentation of knowledge gained from Empeace-LABS 2012 workshop

Words from the regional delegate of agriculture and rural development North West Region

Presentation on initiatives/concrete actions taken by organisations that attended the international training workshop (What has been done from October 2012 after the workshop and way forward):

WVED Cameroon: WVED Cameroon in November 2012 through a survey identified the following:

Mostly the old persons are involved in agriculture and agribusiness in Cameroon.  

Farming is limited to six months since farmers solely rely on rains thus limiting farmers to farm during the dry season due to lack of irrigation

From these results WVED embarked on encouraging the unemployed youths to take up agriculture and agribusiness as an income generating activity that can change lives. WVED further identified 3 communities (Bamenda I, II and Nforya Bafut) and did a need assessment with the youths of these communities in the area of agriculture. After which they developed a concept note for a proposed project for the youths and are now in the process of implementation. So far two follow ups have been done.  (See Annex 2 for details of this concept notes)


LUKMEF Cameroon: (see Annex 3)


Remarks/Observations from local workshop participants:

The representative of the Regional Delegate for Agriculture was so delighted and praised the theme that attended the workshop in Jalgaon for the wonderful initiative taken to organise the replication workshop so as to disseminate the information to those who did not have the opportunity of attend the training in Jalgaon. He further said the Delegation of Agriculture is open to all participants and the community for any information and technical support needed in the domain of agriculture and agribusiness.

Some 03 organisations and 06 members registered as members of UCP-SARnet. These members with the amazing movies of what they saw expressed their wish to attend the EmPeace-LABS  2013 workshop in Jalgaon India. (See annex 1 for registration forms)


Resolution:

Irrigation was identified as one of the needs in agriculture/agribusiness to ensure food security and economic growth in Cameroon and it was resolved in the workshop that WVED Cameroon, LUKMEF, NWADO, Bamenda II council, Regional Delegation for Agriculture and some Agriculture related NGOs(to be identified) should map out areas that needs irrigation and co-design a project on one of the needs in sustainable agriculture/agribusiness in the North West region which is to provide most farmers with irrigation systems since they greatly depend on rain fall for their produce.


Conclusion:

Those of us (from WVED Cameroon and LUKMEF Cameroon) who attended the EmPeace – LABS workshop in India heartily express our appreciations to JAIN Irrigations Systems Ltd, Ghandhi Research Foundation and Arizona State University for the wonderful initiative and smooth training programs with rich lessons couple with hands on experience and expertise.

We are implementing EmPeace- LABS lessons learnt here in Cameroon so as to achieve its goal: to support  the realization of the UN Millennium Development Goals by connecting agricultural and capacity building organizations with community leaders from participating countries.

In order to attain agribusiness sustainability & rural development so as to eradicate poverty in Cameroon:

Concerted effort must come from individual citizens, families, local authorities/local councils, NGOs & ALL government departments.

Support from Developed institutions/countries will remain a highly needed resource


We here by encourage some related organizations to support Gandhi Research Foundation, JAIN Irrigation Systems and Arizona State University in this laudable initiative so as to eradicate poverty in rural communities.






Copied:

Regional Delegation of Agriculture North West Region

Bamenda II Council

Jain Irrigation Systems India

UCP/SAR net /ASU U.S.A

North West Association of Development Organisations (NWADO)

LUKMEF Cameroon

WVED Cameroon




Attached to report:

Press release

Copy of workshop video news report






Report of Follow up Visit to Nforya Bafut Youths within the framework of

World Vision for Education and Development (WVED)’s

Youth Empowerment through Agriculture and Agri Business Program


Introduction

Within the framework of it activities to empower youths through Agriculture and Agri business, World Vision for Education and Development (WVED) Cameroon carried out a follow up visit to farms of the youths of Nforya Bafut on the 1st of June 2013. This visit comes at the heals of a previous one that was made at the start of this planting season during which the youth farms were visited to assess the level of preparation of the farms and farm inputs donated to support their individual initiatives to revolutionize agriculture and move towards Agri business aimed at reducing poverty and contributing to food security. The team from WVED comprised the Board Chair Rev. Dr. Jeo-Set Ajimvo, the coordinator Helvecia Nfombi Takwe and three field staff. WVED had as visitor Mr. Pierre - Alexis Kaptos a trade expert and journalist with nouvelle expression and working with scientific research. The trip was honored with the presence of the Regional Delegation of Agriculture and Rural Development represented by Mr. Mbah Moses who is the chief of projects at the Regional delegation of agriculture and rural development. Waiting to receive the WVED team were the Nforya youths and the Quarter head of Nforya who is an exemplary farmer in the area. The day spent in Nforya was a big motivation for the youths of Nforya as a whole, an opportunity to share experiences and a moment to assess progress made so far in the process of youth empowerment though Agriculture and Agri Business. In attendance were 15 persons from Nfroya and 6 WVED team members.(See Annex 1)

Objective of the follow up visit

The follow up visit had as objective to assess the level of progress made after the 2nd follow up and also to find out challenges faced, successes and failures, weaknesses and share our visions for effective solution.

Activities carried out during the visit

The day started with a courtesy visit to Pa Shu Martin Amaboh the Quarter Head of Nforya Bafut by WVED team and some representatives of the Nforya youths. During the visit the team was reassured by the Quarter Head of the commitment of the traditional institutions of the availability of land for the initiative as promised and its total support to have the pilot phase come to light in Nforya.

Farm visits were then made to some selected farms starting with an elaborate visit to the Pa Shu Martins farm. As mentioned above, the quarter head is an example of good practice in the area. He has   large farm covering about 4hectares with well laid out plots for maize, yams and cassava. He is specialized in maize seed production and does this on a large scale. The farm has a local form of irrigation system in place that usually enhances second maize crop production alongside production of tomatoes during the dry season. The visit to this farm and the discussions painted a clearer picture in the minds of the youths on what agriculture as a profession should be and reinforced the dream WVED has for the youths of this area.



The second farm to be visited was that of Awah Jacheh Njioeng the youth president. She reported an increase in her farm size from the previous years and appreciated the seed support she had received. The discussions that followed identified areas of weaknesses on her farm that needed to be improved come the next planting season like, poor crop combination on her plot, absence of documented information on her farm size, the inadequate ridges she had for her cabbage farm. Nonetheless from the baseline done at the start of the process she was more involved, passionate about agriculture and had greatly improved and farm size and quality.                                                                                                       

The cabbages on her farm were facing the adverse effects of the dry days in between the rains thus presenting a good reason for an irrigation system that should off set the effects of climate change. It was observed that her huckleberries needed spraying to keep away the parasites on the leaves. Just coming back for the exemplary farm, she was quick to observe that she was on track but still needed to do a lot to become a professional farmer.





Pa Suh Martin quarter head Nforya Bafut explaining how difficult it is to run local irrigation in the dry season on his maize farm


Njieng and the board chair of WVED pose on her farm


Next was a stop at Tangyie Abraham’s farm. He is involved in crop and vegetable cultivation. Though not documented he said his farm covers an area of about 300 sq m. he had done a maize beans combination which was commended as good and could be seen in the quality of huge maize cobs on his farm. He reported that he had just done the first harvest of dwarf bean whose yield had greatly encouraged him. He commented that the maize support received from WVED was a big push to his present farm size. Nonetheless the watermelon seeds and the beetroot had failed to germinate for reasons he could not know. He nevertheless stated that he was not discouraged but rather that it was a lesson for him in the process. The cabbage and okonkobong support he had received and planted was very impressive and looked very promising. As an observation, he had not done weeding of his tomatoes farm at the right time and had not applied manure on the tomatoes plot.

Abraham being impressed with the size of maize on his farm and grateful with the improved maize and vegetable seeds support received from WVED


The next visit took the team to the farm of Tanyi who had expressed the interest to turn part of his vast land into a plantain plantation and had received a support of 20 improved plantain seedlings from WVED. The team was highly impressed first for the fact that he had kept to his word to cut down the thick bush for a plantain farm which he had done and secondly for the fact that outside the support received, he had acquired 2 time that number of plantain suckers and so could now boast of a plantation from scratch with well over 60 plantains.

Improved plantain seedlings and plantain suckers planted on Tanyi’s farm



Then came the last visit which was made to the farm of Manka Rose where she farmed potatoes and this also had an adverse effect given that June is a month of the rainy season but the plant suffered from excessive dryness due to absence of rainfall for some days. She said she has been motivated by the farm inputs given to her by WVED Cameroon to expand her farm and this time not only thinking of being subsistence but also making profit to improve her living standards.

Mankah explains the adverse effect of dryness on her farm due to lack of irrigation. Board chair Rev. Dr. Joe-set Ajimvo and coordinator of WVED Helvecia Nfombi Takwe poses with Mankah on her farm

Discussions

At the end of the visits to the farms the team returned to the village hall for discussions in a working session facilitated by WVED program manager. The working session was characterized with a word of prayers from the Board Chair of WVED, coordinated self introduction of all present, followed by a word of welcome from the youth president who took the opportunity to present a comprehensive report of their activities since their first encounter with WVED. The report was a self assessment of the participating youths. (See annex 2)

The coordinator of WVED then reminded the participants of the objective of the visit; to see and appraise what the youths have been doing since the last visit, to discuss and share experiences on the successes and challenges in the process of agriculture and to reassure the youths that WVED is strongly moving along with them in the process of youth empowerment through Agriculture and Agri business. She also apologies that it was not possible to visit all the youth owned farms on same day but as WVED does continue follow-ups those farms will be visited.

Assessment

In the discussions that followed, the youths presented some of their successes, weaknesses and problems



Successes

- Greater commitment and passion for agricultural and agribusiness activities by the participating youths

-Seed support from WVED that has gone a long way to encourage the youths

-A remarkable increase in farm sizes for most of the youths

-Quality crops on the farms and increase yields

- Increase in knowledge resulting from training on farming techniques with WVED


Weaknesses

-Weak group cohesion

-Poor participation in some activities


Problems

-Insufficient labour to take care of weeds on the farms since the youths could not pay for labour due to lack of finance

-Absence of some basic farm protective equipments like rain boots, gloves

-Insufficient manure/fertilizers to improve the soil fertility

-Insufficient skills and knowledge in crop combination and land preparation with respect to climate change

-Insufficient means to acquire a sprayer

-manual watering has to be done on dry days due to lack of irrigation schemes else vegetable will go bad (the case of Njieng)

-Some of the farms involve bridges which are not motor able thus the farmers will have to carry the food crops on the heads to cross the bridge which may not even be strong enough to with stand the weight of the farmer and the load.

Bridges leading to some youth owned farms constructed by the youths in an attempt to expand their farms


Reactions

Reactions were made by Mr. Pierre – Alexis who came in from South Africa, Reverend Dr. Jeo Set  Aji Mvo, and Mr. Mbah chief of projects at the  Regional Delegation of agriculture and rural development.

In his words to the youths Mr. Pierre - alexis expressed his joy for being part of the WVED team to see, feel and live what he has before now been reading and hearing about this dynamic youths in Nforya. He encouraged them saying that they were on the right tract and should keep on. He also gave then tips on what they can do in the field of agriculture to improve their health and living standards.

Talking to the youths, Reverend Dr. Aji Mvo, shared a South African experience of some slum youths who had had an encounter with an organization that had turned their lives round from a situation of hopelessness to prosperity through organic gardening, market strategy development and branding. Today those youths stand tall in having made it in agriculture. He encouraged the youths of Nforya to do same and take advantage of the enormous potentials that Nforya has for agriculture and agri business and the ready market that Cameroon as a whole is for food products.

Taking the floor next was Mr. Mbah chief of projects at the Regional Delegation of agriculture and rural development he enjoined the other speakers in encouraging the youths and advised them to take advantage of the fact that their community has the potentials for agriculture and did mention that they were privileged to be in the pilot phase of this initiative that promotes agriculture and agri business for youth empowerment. He went further to advise that the youths should take advantage of the agric technician put by the Government at their disposal to invite and take him along to their farms particularly when they face technical difficulties in their farms. He stated that he had heard of the activities of these youths and that this visit had provided him with the opportunity to confirmed the information he had on them; he could read that they are a very organized set of youths evident from the mobilization, preparation and clean farms he had seen.

In his closing remarks the board Chair thanked the coordinator of WVED Cameroon for attending the EmPeace LABs workshop and doing practical implementation of knowledge gain from the workshop on the field. He said this is an example worth replicating in other regions and also he thanked the youths for making a commitment and keeping it and prayed that they should continue with this good spirit and remain as a team for together they can achieve much. He further reassured them that if they get committed in agriculture and agribusiness this will bring about a drastic change in improving their living conditions.

The visit ended up with heavy refreshment, informal discussions and departures.

Conclusions

The visit was the 3rd follow up and very timely as it offered the opportunity to WVED and the Nforya youths to assess the first results of the intervention since the first contact. It reaffirmed the earlier conclusion that Nforya was the right place to start the pilot phase of this innovative approach to youth empowerment. The commitment is there, the land is available the traditional institution and government is supportive. However irrigation especially the drip irrigation system is highly needed. It measures some of the impact of EmPeace LABs 2012 training workshop and it should be noted here that WVED initiated this program in Bafut to specifically implement EmPeace-LABs concept so that the impact can clearly be measured.

Action Taken: During the follow up one major problem of the youths was weeds on the farm and seeing the efforts put in by the youths in agriculture and the amount of weeds on their farms; WVED on the 3rd of June donated a Sprayer for the youths. The youths agreed to make a schedule on how each farmer will use the sprayer. The youths were very grateful and do promised that they will work very hard to do away with the weeds on their farms as the sprayer will serve as great motivation for them.


Handing over of sprayer donated by WVED to Nforya youth farmers at WVED Cameroon’s office (left to right Board chair WVED (Rev. Dr. Jeo Set Ajimvoe), President Nforya youths farmers (Awah Njoeng), Coordinator WVED (Helvecia Nfombi Takwe), Vice President Nforya youth famers(Ambe Victor shu)