Creating career opportunities for women in Cameroon
In a remote village in southern Cameroon, most women stay at home to care for their families.
But Thérèse Kaldjob, 21, wanted something different. She yearned for a life beyond domestic work and dreamed of supporting herself and her one-year-old daughter on her own.
Getting there was not easy for Thérèse. She was six years old when she started school. When her father died, she had to drop out of Elementary school and helped her mother take care of her eight siblings. Without a full education, her access to job opportunities was limited.
Thérèse started to create the life she wanted when she enrolled in a health training program through the Centre de Promotion de la Femme et de la Famille in the coastal city of Kribi. Here, young women who haven’t finished school are taught vocational skills they can apply right away.
The centre offers classes in fashion design, tailoring, hospitality and hotel management, cooking, and basic healthcare. Provided by Cuso International volunteers, alongside Cuso International local partner Ministère de la Promotion de la Femme et de la Famille, the training gives young women access to job opportunities, higher education, and allows them to start their own businesses.
“This training program gives the girls a chance to learn a trade and to earn money with what they have learned,” said Thérèse.
The trainers accommodate the women and their situations. Thérèse brings her daughter to class while she studies basic healthcare.
“Health is important, and I want to help my community,” she said.
Thérèse is already using what she’s learned in her community and hopes to open a pharmacy or medical outreach when her studies are complete.
“Thanks to my training, I am not only more confidant in myself, but also have the recognition from my family. My neighbors call me ‘docta,’” she said.
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