Sponsor an Orphan Project
In 2006 a volunteer from Perth spent 6 months volunteering for BERUDA in Cameroon. Whilst working on developing the eco-tourism project for BERUDA, a good friend (Kate Lee) back in the UK asked if she could send £20 a month over to Cameroon to sponsor an orphan in the village. After extensive work researching the feasibility, sustainability, cost assessments and needs analysis it was decided that for all the work needed to set this up it made sense to develop it so that other friends could get involved and become sponsors as well.
The Beruda Sponsor an Orphan Project was born, and its goal to ensure all the sponsorship money sent was spent to the benefit of the child rather than being lost in bank fees and administration costs became paramount. As an African non-profit NGO, and not a ‘registered charity’ as recognised in the UK, BERUDA found it difficult to do simple things UK charities take for granted. Essential operational activities like; opening a dedicated bank account for orphan sponsorship money, sending money for free through PayPal, joining volunteer recruitment websites, registering for Gift Aid, applying for funding and being internationally recognised were impossible. To help overcome these obstacles and ensure the sustainability and development of the Beruda Sponsor an Orphan Project, Afri-link was set up in 2008.
The Beruda Sponsor an Orphan Project currently has 65 sponsored orphans. Sponsored orphans do not live in an orphanage, rather as is tradition in Cameroon, they are housed by relatives. Most of these families are extremely poor and have children of their own to clothe, pay school fees for and medicine for when they are sick. In Cameroon if you cannot afford the school fees then you cannot go to school, likewise if you cannot afford medicine when you are sick then you cannot receive treatment and you may die. Orphans are the last in the pecking order to be taken care of.
Through careful evaluation and needs analysis on the ground, sponsorship is strictly on a neediest first basis. Sponsorship covers education costs and text books, hospital bills and medicine, food supplements (U12) to combat malnutrition, clothes and a dedicated local fieldworker.
If you would like to sponsor an orphan, please use our contact form.
Beruda lights the way with solar energy
Over 75% of the rural population in Cameroon is without power. As the nights are long, this means that children can’t do their homework and families become isolated. If we can install solar power systems, then local people can benefit tremendously.
With a generous donation from one of Afri-link’s donors in Australia, BERUDA was able to install a solar system in the church in a rural community in Fundong Sub Division. This community, with a population of about 2000 inhabitants, living in isolated dwellings, was without electricity and the possibility of the national electricity line reaching them, even within a decade, is just a wish. But now, with electricity provided by solar power in the church, the people of Mentang no longer have to walk for hours to get their phones charged and night-time activities such as choir practice and doing homework can be carried out. They can also play musical instruments like the piano, a guitar and a band.
Named after the Afri-link project manager’s sister, Sarah’s Fund has helped many people from the Belo area to rise out of poverty. Sarah is a member of the United Reform Church in Hornsea in the UK and she worked tirelessly to raise funds. With the money provided, BERUDA and Afri-link established an outreach project to assist girls’ education, the elderly and schoolchildren.
Amongst the activities we carried out are; providing the elderly with blankets and fixing their houses; paying PTA fees for children whose parents couldn’t afford them; and paying school fees so that girls can get back into education.
Currently, cooking for the typical Cameroonian family in the Northern Highlands is carried out over open fires and indoors – there are frequent heavy rains in the equatorial region. This has several drawbacks:
1. Wood needs to be collected and it comes from local forests, thereby exacerbating the issues of deforestation, with resultant ecological consequences.
2. Furthermore, the collection of wood is carried out by women and children, thereby keeping them away from activities such as income generation and education.
3. As cooking is carried out indoors the smoke generated causes eye and chest problems for the whole family but mostly for the women.
Two pictures are shown below of indoor cooking and of the smoke effects on a building:
If an alternative to using wood to cook over open fires were available then these issues will disappear. This is where Biogas Plants can come into their own. There are many instances of small scale farming in the region being carried out with pigs, cows and chickens. If the animal excrement is collected, it can be fed into a Biodigester and produce useable gas for cooking. Doing this also reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. A diagrammatic representation of a Biogas Plant is shown below.
Animal excrement and vegetable waste can be fed into the Biogas plant and, under anaerobic bio-digestion in the digester, gas for cooking and bio-digestate are produced. Bio-digestate can be used as fertiliser, insecticide and as feedstock in a fishpond. Digestate fed into water helps plants and algae to grow and provides food for fish. Given this, the fish can grow and eventually be harvested to provide income.
Recently, Afri-link has raised money and supervised the construction and commissioning of a small-scale Biogas Plant and Fish Farm, to demonstrate the feasibility of employing this technology in Cameroon. The unit is fully operational and delivering the planned benefits. Photographs of the unit and the fish farm are shown below.
As a result of the successful operation of this unit, further installations are either in planning or construction.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Projected growth based on current donations
2012 - 2016
YEAR by YEAR GROWTH
We are seeing steady base growth in our income and expect next year to drop back to about £20,000. Last year’s substantial increase was due to a single large grant to carry out a project in Fundong.
Ready to help?
AfrAsia-link Capacity Building
Despite what people hope for, charities do not run on thin air! We started life in 2008 in Scotland as a small charity, AfriLink. Since then we have realised many projects in Africa and now in Asia. Hence, in 2019 we changed our name to AfrAsia-link to reflect our growth. For many of the projects, the trustees and project manager have used their own funds to fulfil them.
Hence, in order to continue our work to the maximum, we are seeking funds to help with our day-to-day and project support costs. This includes IT, website design and travel costs. We are looking for £3,000 per annum to support our mission. As a small charity, our costs are minimal and hence every penny donated will be put to the best possible use.
Please visit our Donate page
Water Harvesting Project for Nzau Village
For fifty years, according to the village elder, the villagers have been talking to the Indian government about getting water supplies – to no avail. AfrAsia-link volunteers visited village, saw the problem at first hand and discussed solutions with the villagers.
During the dry season – Nov to April – no rain falls and there is no water in the village for drinking, bathing or washing clothes. So, what they do is walk downhill approximately 100 m below the village to where there are ponds – three for bathing, one for washing clothes and one for water collection. When this water runs out (Jan to March) they go to another area, which is a further 100 metres down and 4 kilometres away.
To collect water, ladies spend most of their day, going up and down hill with bamboo vessels, so that they can provide water for their families.
Several solutions to the problem were discussed but, on the basis that simple is often best, we decided to install two one thousand litre rain harvesting tanks at each house. There is plentiful rainfall in the wet the season and the tanks will provide fresh water for drinking and cooking for all families. This is Phase 1, and Phase 2 will be to provide bathing and clothes washing facilities in the village.
Given that much time is spent transporting water, NARUDA can also help to set up small businesses, such as cloth weaving, whereby the villagers can make a sustainable income to help bring themselves out of poverty.
There are 100 houses, so we are looking for 200 tanks. Each tank costs £50 and transport from Dimapur (100 km away on unmade-up roads) is £12.50. So total project cost is £12,500. This will make a huge difference to the 600 people who live there. Please make a contribution via our “Donate” page.
After School Program for Children in Cameroon
The project aims to help underprivileged children from different schools in Cameroon by developing their skills & creating an emotionally safe place to meet and improve the educational level of young people. Since the beginning of the Anglophone crisis, which has persisted since late 2016, the schooling of young people has become increasingly precarious. The program will help them to catch up with some of the topics they have missed. This initiative is to focus on Phase 2 budget of the program.
GMM was formed because there was a great demand of the community's needs. We discovered that rural communities in Cameroon continue to suffer - especially Children, because of the lack of initiatives for individuals to help themselves and come out of their predicament. Since the beginning of the Anglophone crisis, which has persisted since late 2016, the schooling of young people has become increasingly precarious.
The proposed project aims to help disadvantaged children from different schools by developing their skills and creating an emotionally safe place to meet and improve the educational level of young people. An after school program will help them to catch up with some of the topics they would have learned formally in school. GMM has worked very hard to carry out several projects in Boyo Division of Cameroon. The organization has focused largely on Child sponsorship and women empowerment programs.
Underprivileged Children would be benefited by learning topics they have missed because of regional crisis. Current project is aimed to be launched at Jinkfuin region, and will be extended to other regions as it progresses. We have successfully achieved Phase 1 milestone of the project, which focused on ICT Training Center foundation, now we are marching to Phase 2 milestone to complete ICT Training Center construction.