About the project
Emergence Foundation for Education and Development was founded in 2003. Its mission is to bring forth the inherent capabilities of the Cameroonian people for the benefit of their society. With a focus on education, Emergence supports and enhances the educational processes within the country by implementing the Preparation for Social Action (PSA) programme, a programme that allows to build capacity in the local population to take charge of their own development. The capabilities acquired allows them to improve on their lives and bring about progress in the community.
The program, equivalent to the first two years of high school, aims to raise the capacity of students to become effective agents of change in their communities. Those who complete the first level earn the designation “Promoter of Community Well-Being”.
How we help
Emergence implements the first level of the Preparation for Social Action (PSA) program for youth in the region’s rural villages. The program, equivalent to the first two years of high school, aims to raise the capacity of students to become effective agents of change in their communities. Those who complete the first level earn the designation “Promoter of Community Well-Being”.
The PSA curriculum covers four areas: language, mathematics, science and technology, and service to the community. Emergence focuses on agriculture for the social action/service component to directly address the malnutrition problems faced in the region. Courses on agriculture provide students with the technical knowledge to improve agricultural practices and better protect the environment while increasing and diversifying their crops.
Students and their families are guided by PSA coordinators to apply activities in the Diversified High Efficiency Plot method. Every family delineates their plot, typically 500 to 625 square meters. There are two planting and harvest seasons. Beans, corn and cassava are planted in the first season, followed by green beans and pumpkins in the second season. Pawpaw and barbadine are planted around the plots to serves as barriers.
The Preparation for Social Action programme assists in closing the gaps in Cameroon’s current system of public education. It is currently implemented in the country’s East, Centre, North and North West regions with over 1,600 graduates. The impact of the program extends to the community-at-large which also benefits from the improved quality and variety of products sold in the markets.
The East Region of Cameroon has very little industry. Its main commerce consists of logging, timber, and mining. Dubbed “the forgotten province”, the region is often ignored by politicians as a result.
Most of the region’s inhabitants are subsistence farmers who grow small quantities of single crops (monoculture), including bananas, groundnuts, cocoyam, manioc, pineapples, oranges, mangoes, and yams. Another challenge is many farmers have poor agricultural practices (planting the same nutritionally poor crop YOY) resulting in poor overall diet. Their poor diet makes them vulnerable to disease and malnutrition, especially among children.
There is a crucial need to diversify agriculture at the subsistence level so that each household can produce and consume a variety of nutrient rich foods, thereby alleviating hunger and malnutrition and providing a source of income. The practice of polyculture and thoughtful crop rotation would also better protect the soil.
There is little access to secondary education to raise local capacity to address this crucial need:
- Most of the region’s high schools are located in larger villages and towns. To get to school, students have to either walk long distances each day or stay with relatives or rent rooms in town during the school year. There is no delivery system for education to take place in the rural villages.
- Education is not considered a priority, especially for girls. The generally held belief that rural life is of lesser worth than urban life has led educated individuals to migrate to the cities and left rural communities without the human resources to initiate and sustain local development.
- While primary school is free, families must pay a fee to send their children to high school.
- Current educational content is not relatable to the reality of students living in rural communities.
To measure the success of the project, Emergence has identified the following indicators:
- At least 115 students will enroll in and complete the training seminar. Following the seminars, the students and their families will implement Diversified High Efficiency Plots.
- Eagerness of the participants to contribute to their community using traditional and modern scientific knowledge and skills to innovate and using participatory methods and farmer networks to enhance solidarity.
- Developing skills to work independently and be empowered to make decisions about their operation.
- The ability to manage their own infrastructure and systems.
- Producing healthier food and that people understand the difference between their products and conventional products.
- The ability to produce not only for the market but also for themselves.
Resources for their children and greater time with their family.
- Adaptability to climate change and planting throughout the year.
Improvement in agricultural techniques:
- Use of local and improved crop varieties that are better adapted to their environmental conditions.
- Avoiding the use of agrochemical and other technologies that adversely impact the environment and human health.
- Efficient use of resources, reduced use of non-renewable energy and reduced farmer dependence on external inputs.
- Minimize the ecological footprint of crop production, distribution, and consumption practices, thereby minimizing GHG emissions and soil and water pollution.
- Promote practices that enhance water availability, conservation of biodiversity, soil and water conservation, etc.
- Strengthen adaptive capacity and resilience of the farming system by maintaining agro-ecosystems diversity.
2021 Project Goals
Educate 115 high schoolers and their families from 13 communities