Making Mireille’s dream a reality
Mireille is a loving mother who works hard in hopes to secure a good education for her four children. Her dream is that someday, “All children will have access to school and a good job.” Cuso International shares this dream.
The communities of Lomié and Mindourou are located in the heart of the equatorial forest in Eastern Cameroon. It is here that women like Mireille traditionally cultivate crops, take care of cooking, household chores and childcare. Some women also trade in addition to their farming activities to supplement their income. Sadly, others fall into prostitution as the only means to pay for school and take care of their families. Cuso International is committed to providing programs that bring women out of impoverished circumstances and into an empowered and equitable status. In Mireille’s words, “women work much, much more than men, because on top of work, they take care of the children when they are sick.” This reality proves a significant challenge when dealing with the spread of COVID-19.
“Educating women on how to protect their families and communities from COVID-19 is so important,” says Ginette Sindeu, Cuso International Program Officer, Cameroon. Unlike media streams that update Canadians minute by minute on how to protect those we love, communities like Lomié and Mindourou would remain unaware if not for the work of Cuso International and the Human Dignity, COVID-19 awareness campaign. “Since the arrival of the community health workers, I have been wearing my nose mask, standing at a distance and washing my hands,” says Mireille. “Education has helped us, we don’t have many cases of COVID-19 in our town, we are grateful for the support.”
Cuso International’s Human Dignity program made it possible to launch a radio awareness campaign which has already reached more than 64,000 people in Eastern Cameroon. “The program trained health and community agents, radio hosts, religious leaders and women leaders on how to disseminate the right information to communities,” says Ginette. “We were also able to provide knowledge and resources through a well-equipped door-to-door campaign that reached 400 households. Mirelle was one of the many beneficiaries of this campaign.”
“These various actions and supports have made it possible to assist local state services in the fight against the pandemic and help prevent the disease,” says Ginette. “We are grateful to the High Commission of Canada (Global Affairs Canada) in Cameroon for funding this critically important program.”
You can help more young women like Mireille access the skills and training they need to thrive by making a donation today.