Walter Wilson Nana
Women in the Southwest Region have taken a commitment to rethink development options that must have a positive impact on their lives and communities.
At a recent exchange visit in Kumba, christened “Women Working for Women and Changing Lives for Economic Strengthening in The Southwest Region of Cameroon” and organised by the civil society organisation, Reach Out Cameroon, women were told that today’s development is aimed at supporting women to develop the family, the community and the nation.
According to Esther Omam, it is time to put aside classroom ideas and get into best practices. “This is the moment to empower women economically via the sampling of leadership models that have succeeded in project management in the municipality of Kumba,” she explained.
Omam said women will develop faster by showing the best examples to their fellow sisters what they know how to do best. “We have visited many projects which are success stories and inspiring to others.
These are examples of project managements that we have to emulate,” she noted.
Despite some of the weaknesses recorded on the ground, the Reach Out Executive said it is also a learning opportunity since there is no monopoly of knowledge, adding that we have to rethink development by chipping in innovative practices that will better equip women in terms of project implementation and management.
While mentioning that her institution is not a bank with money, she said theirs are; ideas and opportunities for visibility. “Giving them the visibility we are doing is a big achievement for us. When we came to Kumba in 2005, the women did not know anything in leadership skills, how to establish, manage, monitor and evaluate a project. After reinforcing their capacities for eight years, we have come to see them now as best practices for their friends from Buea, Isangele and Akwa.”
A delighted Florence Nkangha Ashu, President of the Kumba Association of Women’s Groups, KAWG, expressed gratitude to the management of Reach Out for stretching a hand of concern for the empowerment of the women in Kumba, saying there are eighty registered women groups in Kumba that need regular training and support of all sorts.
Project Coordinator of KAWG, Mary Anne Mukete said group cohesion is the lifeline for the success of women, while urging them to continuously stick together for their betterment. “If we stay together, with our numbers, we will succeed in assisting in the development of our communities. If we are united, we will be able to develop our communities and our country in general,” she mentioned.
Amina Moussa, member of the Mbororos Cultural and Development Association, MBOSCUDA, Buea, said she has learnt group dynamics, the importance of being their own persons and training their members on what they can do.
From Akwa, Kombo-Abedimo Subdivision, Glory Arrey said teamwork is the key for women. “We have to learn how to bring women together, resolve conflicts and work hand-in-glove. Back to base, I will teach our fellow women how to plant cassava as we saw in the demonstration farms.”
The women groups from Buea, Isangele and Akwa visited cassava and vegetable farms in Mambanda, spices and vegetable processing workshop by Ndamu Women Farmers in Kosala, computer and sewing project in Hausa quarter and a poultry project by the Bafaw Women CIG in Kumba-Town. All the aforementioned projects are in the Kumba municipality.