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USDA McGovern-Dole 2018 Award

The United States Government, through its Department of Agriculture (USDA), has awarded 27 million dollars for a literacy and nutrition program for primary schools in 4 regions of Cameroon. Nascent won the privilege of implementing this program through a highly competitive bidding process with other international non-profit organizations. The initiative, officially, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, will run for five years, and benefit more than 200,000 people, including 81,510 children, teachers and parents in 265 schools in the Adamawa, East, North and North West Regions. The program’s major components include nutrition, teacher training, health and sanitation, and good governance; capacity building for government officials at the regional and national levels.

In executing this program, Nascent will draw from over 6 years’ experience implementing a similar program in the North West Region, which has received overwhelmingly complimentary reviews from visiting US and Cameroonian government inspectors, as being the most effective of the McGovern-Dole programs in the region.
The grant will enable Nascent and its partners to implement a targeted five-year plan designed to improve the literacy and nutrition of school-age children in the four regions of Cameroon. This plan will focus on achieving the following objectives:

  • Improve the literacy of school-age children by enhancing the quality of literacy instruction.
  • Improve student attentiveness by providing daily school meals.
  • Improve student attendance by raising community awareness of the importance of education, providing take-home rations and strengthening the capacity of parent-teacher associations (PTA).
  • Promote good health and dietary behavior by enhancing knowledge of appropriate health, hygiene and nutrition practices, safe food preparation and storage techniques, and clean water usage.

Nascent welcomes this new challenge, having managed programs in Cameroon, Uganda and Zambia with a portfolio of more than $50 million.The $27 million 2018 McGovern/Dole award comes three months after the close of the $12-million 2015 USDA award, which benefited about 57,000 people in Bui Division of the North West region, including 22,000 school age children.

In partnership with local and international cohorts and our recipient communities; we are confident to make this program a success and transform the education, nutrition, health and future prospects of our beneficiary communities particularly their women and children. We further reiterate our thanks to the US Government and the US department of Agriculture for their enduring support.

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Ending Gender Based Violence

NSI joined the international community in commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which began on November 25th to proceed through December 10th. Gender-based violence is endemic in the communities in which we work and international condemnation and attention of gender-based assaults help greatly in changing the culture and shaming perpetrators in our beneficiary communities.

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NSI has worked for over 10 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing women together to mobilize and inspire them towards financial autonomy, education and psychological emancipation from circumstances that marginalize or abuse them.The women’s groups we helped form in Cameroon, Uganda and Zambia wholeheartedly condemn and work to bring about an end to gender-based violence within their groups and in their communities as a whole.

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They and our staff stand together with the international community in advocacy for the battered, abused and undervalued victims of gender-based who often times do not have a voice within their own communities, being the casualties of archaic custom, poverty and violent partners, employers, relatives and/or parents.

With education, mobilization and your support we will continue to emancipate and empower the most vulnerable.

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Beatrice Buys a Bicycle in WEAVE Project Success

Beatrice Sichone is a member of Kapyandoshi WEAVE women’s group, which she joined in February, 2011. Her group has 21 members and total group fund of 1, 800,000 Zambian kwacha (ZMK). Beatrice has ZMK48,000 in mandatory and ZMK190, 000 in voluntary savings.

She got her first loan of ZMK50, 000 from the group and bought fertilizer, vegetable and tomato seeds which she planted on her plot of land. When they were ready for harvest she started selling these vegetables at the local market. She did not supply to other wholesalers but opted to sell them at the market herself as it proved more profitable. She paid back the loan, bought uniforms for her grade seven daughter, more seeds, fertilizer and pesticides. She has continued selling at the market. From the profit she bought a bicycle which she uses to transport her vegetables to the market. She also bought two pigs, a male and female. Her plan for the pigs is to sell their off spring to raise money for school fees when her daughter and son, who are in grade seven, qualify to grade eight. Her ZMK190,000 in voluntary savings has also been earmarked for her children’s school expenses. Beatrice is married and has a very supportive husband.  “I did not know that a woman can bring development to her household,” said Mr. Sichone. WEAVE stands for” Women Empowered against Violence Everywhere,” a USAID-funded project conceived and implemented in Zambia by Nascent Solutions, a US non-profit. The program has mobilized more than 8000 women in three constituencies in Mpika District and organized them into 412 groups. In less than three years, these rural women, who were solely dependent on their husbands for support, have collectively raised nearly 156 million Zambian kwacha or the equivalent of $31,000.

This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of [insert recipient name] and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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NS’ Intiative To Protect Rural Girls In Cameroon

It’s a bright school day in the village of Mfumte, in Cameroon, West Africa and Christina is staying home from school. Again. She takes care of her twin siblings while their mother goes to the farm, where she raises their family food. Christina bathes her siblings, dresses, feeds and cleans them when they make a mess, and sings them to sleep. For a 9-year old, this is a very grown up job. Christina needs your help.

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Girl children in the largely rural area begin working, sometimes as early as the age of 5 or 6, usually by babysitting one or two siblings.  In the villages, it is a common sight to see crowds of young girls ranging in age from 5 to 7 years, congregating in neighborhood squares, with crying children strapped to their backs while their mothers are away in the farm all day.

The babies whose care they are charged with also often suffer the sort of injuries that only experienced adults can cope with, leading to additional health challenges.

– Left unattended, these girls are easy prey for sexual predators and child traffickers
– They usually become victims of early pregnancies and have a high rate of maternal mortality
– They are more likely to be forced into early, unwanted marriages
– They are often willing victims of child labor recruiters who promise them a better life in the cities, but which usually turns out to a life of child slavery, prostitution and destitution.

 

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NS Launches Anti-Trafficking Initiative In Cameroon

The soft rolling hills and green fields of Ndop, belie the silent tragedy that grips this small farming community, in the Northwest Province of Cameroon. Driven by extreme poverty and privation, many parents and guardians in this community have been lured into giving up their children, some as young as five to work in distant cities, enticed by false promises of an education, and income for the children. Without a strong system of law and order and far away from their families, these children face chronic abuse at the hands of those they serve, and endure their ordeals silently without recourse or release; a tragic scenario that victimizes the poor throughout rural Cameroon.

To help combat this phenomenon, Nascent Solutions launched its Project SHIELD (Sheltering the Innocent from Exploitative Labor and Deprivation) initiative in Cameroon’s North West Province in June 2010. Besides raising awareness among the target communities and public officials, the project’s goals also include the eventual rescue and rehabilitation of victims. Nascent Solutions will collaborate with law enforcement personnel, social workers and community leaders in the areas of victim identification, prevention of trafficking and sensitization on the various strategies used by traffickers to lure their victims.

To begin implementation of its initiative against this epidemic of Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Nascent Solutions’ Project SHIELD management and staff have been consulting with community leaders and social workers in the Ngoketunjia, Bui and Donga Mantung Divisions to establish a rapport with members of the community, meet with affected families and shore up community sensitization efforts. The objective of the consultation meetings is also to formulate a community specific working plan to aggressively tackle this tragic phenomenon.

During the course of the meetings, parents and relatives recount personal stories of their experiences with TIP. Mr Julius Tafoloh related the story of his daughter Lizzette, who had been offered work in the distant city Douala with the promise of an education, and after three years at age 8 had not attended a day of classes. Mr Lasha a community elder and host of the meeting stated that, due to severe poverty, many parents were willing to surrender their children to strangers or distant relatives, on the promise of a meal a day and shelter for the child. Thus trafficked children often end up as indentured laborers working as far away as Nigeria and on road construction projects run in big cities by foreign corporations or victims of sexual abuse and prostitution. Community members voiced the conviction that given material and financial assistance in income generating activities such as farming and small-scale animal husbandry, their economic life would be greatly improved and incidences of trafficking would consequently be stemmed. However alerting the public to the risks trafficked children face was agreed to by all as a critical and crucial step to deterring trafficking.

To broaden the audience base Nascent’s field staff uses the local community radio to organize conferences with representatives of the community, develop partnerships partnering with the aim of broadcasting educational programs, to inform the populace of the dangers presented by trafficking. Consultations with service providers are ongoing and include the Police and Justice departments, traditional institutions, the judicial system and members of the community and government social workers, to create a united front towards effectively combating the Trafficking in Persons. Members of the target community have been encouraged and heartened by the meeting and eager to gain ground against the epidemic of child trafficking in their community.

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Yavette Chikwanda Rehabilitates Her Malnourished Child

Yavette Chikwanda is 2 years 11 months old. He had severe malnutrition at the age of 2 years and he was weighing 6 kgs.

He was enrolled on PD Hearth by Naomi Mulenga, a WEAVE Nutrition volunteer in Chakopo. Yavette was successfully rehabilitated and he now weighs 13kgs, he plays and he is very active. The mother Beauty Chikwanda thanks Naomi for saving her sons life. She says the other children will never suffer from malnutrition because she has learnt how prepare nutritious food for the family. Before Rehabilitation is on the left and the picture below is After Rehabilitation.

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Emeldah’s Microfinanced Garden

Emeldah is a widow and mother of 4. In 2011, she joined the WEAVE group “Lesa Afwa abayafwa” (God helps those who are hard-working). Through group dynamics and the vigorous group savings, Emeldah obtained a loan of k100, 000. She used the loan to purchase vegetable seedlings, pesticides and fertiliser. After selling some vegetables she paid back the loan and bought onion seeds. She has planted 0.25 hectares and still has some seedlings on the nursery, (in picture on the right), and the other area of the same size is stocked with vegetables (eggplant, rape, Chinese cabbage and tomatoes). The growing and selling of vegetables for the purposes of raising money for the family was borne after she received trainings from WEAVE. WEAVE stands for” Women Empowered against Violence Everywhere,” a USAID-funded project conceived and implemented in Zambia by Nascent Solutions, a US non-profit. The program mobilized 8196 women in three constituencies in Mpika District and organized them into 412 groups. In less than three years, these rural women who were solely dependent on their husbands for support have collectively raised nearly 156 million Zambian kwacha or the equivalent of about $31,000. Emeldah is now able to fend for the family and send her children to school with fewer challenges.

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This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of [insert recipient name] and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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Elizabeth Nakazwe’s Story of Microfinance Success Through WEAVE Program

Elizabeth Nakazwe is a member and literacy volunteer In Sampukeni women’s group in Mpepo. She is a widow and has 4 children. Before she joined the group the children used to report for school late as she depended on brewing beer to raise school fees. After joining the group Elizabeth learnt about voluntary savings and realized she could be brewing her beer during the school term and keep the money in the village bank as voluntary savings.

At the time of writing this story Elizabeth had ZMK600,000 in voluntary savings, that’s after paying fees for term three for all her children. Apart from beer she also sells kapenta, onion, vegetables, cooking oil and fish at a local market. In picture with her 13 year old grade 7 daughter at her market stand. Elizabeth is a proud mother and says people thought her children would never complete their education after her husband’s death. She says all her children will go up to university through her voluntary savings as long as she is health and alive. Her journey was made possible by the WEAVE program, partnering the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Nascent Solutions.

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Literacy Success

Evarin Learns to Read and Write:

Mpika district hosted international literacy day celebrations on 8 September, 2012. The Education Minister was the guest of honor at the celebration. The WEAVE project was represented by two groups from Chilonga under Empowerment Volunteer (EV) Rosemary Panda. In picture the Country Director, Miss Priscilla Banda in blue, red and white chitenge marching with the learners. In picture below, a learner, Evarin Chibesa displays her acquired literacy skills. She later shared how she feels to belong to a literacy class and knowing that soon she will be able to read a bible in church. The groups were given an award for presenting the best sketch. In picture below on the right, EV Rosemary Panda receives an award from the guest of honor, Dr John Phiri, Minister of Education.

 

This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of [insert recipient name] and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

 

 

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WEAVE Women Learn Computing & Microfinance

16 rural women are leading their communities into the computer age, after having completed both phases of a training course in basic computing offered as part of Project WEAVE (Women Empowered-to-Fight Aids and Violence Everywhere), supported by USAID and Nascent Solutions, in rural Northern Zambia. ICT and basic literacy trainees stand to play a crucial role in supporting broader efforts towards financial security, the establishment of private enterprises and HIV/AIDs awareness and prevention in the region.

Many ICT and basic literacy trainees are already playing important roles using their newly acquired skills to help in bookkeeping and accounting in community banking initiatives that were set up as part of project WEAVE. To date the community banks have saved K128, 221,500 ($25,600) and facilitated the creation of 1,172 women owned and operated small businesses; that greatly supplement household income and assert financial autonomy for women. WEAVE ICT and literacy trainees bring more efficient financial organization methods, and informationdissemination mechanisms that will only grow in utility as established businesses grow and expand.

Most importantly these newly empowered women are eager to participate more fully in their communities by using their abilitiesto disseminate materials on HIV/AIDs awareness and prevention, and contributing to the fight against the gender based violence that is prevalent in many remote and rural areas.

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