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Entries in community (4)


Thanks Chevrolet! 

Every few years Breaking Ground reaches out to donors, soccer clubs, and athletic companies for our girls’ soccer program—Breaking Ground Football. Writing letters and making calls on behalf of these brave girls is, however, just a small step in the process. Ngaoundere, where the program operates, is located in the Adamaoua region below northern Cameroon. It’s geographically and culturally the crossroads of this region in Africa. The main paved road from southern Cameroon to northern Cameroon passes by the city, and it’s only a few hundred miles south of Nigeria and west of Central African Republic.


With this location, one would think getting equipment here would be a breeze. But this isn’t so. Once equipment is donated, it must be shipped from North America across the Atlantic to arrive in Douala. Once in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, it must be inspected and cleared by customs; a process that too often includes an argument over attempted bribery—this time it took six months! Then, it must travel three hours by bus to Yaoundé to be put on the only viable transport option through this region, the train.


Our players anxiously waited for One World Futbol’s indestructible balls. These balls will last a lifetime on Cameroon’s rough football fields. Breaking Ground is fortunate that Chevrolet— the automtive company— not only donated the balls, but assisted in getting them through customs and on the field. Breaking Ground thanks Chevrolet and their Corporate Social Responsibility team for supporting our girls on the field!





Matching grant to bring clean water!

In 2011, the community of Baleveng approached Breaking Ground with a potential project. After commissioning a number of health studies to understand why so many people in their community were sick and then losing a child who drowned while fetching water in their local spring, the community had collectively decided to build a water pump and reservoir. When we met Baleveng's Development Committee they had already raised $2000. Paul and I were immediately impressed by this level of commitment.

Over the last year Breaking Ground, along with our partner organization Research Institute for Development (RIDEV), has spent time in Baleveng assessing the community's commitment, democratic process and readiness to undertake a project of this scale. The more we have learned, the more enthusiastic we have become about working with this community. 

Which is why I am thrilled to announce our partnership with One Day's Wages, which will enable Breaking Ground and the community of Baleveng, to build an electric pump and water reservoir. Breaking Ground will also work with (RIDEV) and local health centers to organize an educational program that will teach basic hygiene as well as water treatment techniques to comprehensively maximize the impact of the project. This project will not only improve the community’s health but will build the community’s confidence to envision, organize and implement future development projects. 

As we prepare to launch this project, we asked women in Baleveng for their thoughts on the project and its importance for the health and safety of the community.

Thérèse Mada, 51 - "When we began raising money to build the well three years ago, we hoped we would be able to solve the problem quickly. But we realized we would need to raise money for at least seven years. But then we met with Breaking Ground, and they brought us hope that we would be able to complete the well".




Madeline Nintidem, 74 - “In order to have water we have to walk. It takes half a day to get 20 liters of water. I used to take my young son with me to help draw the water, but since a child drowned at the well I cannot take the risk anymore. In the dry season, I have to go days without washing. The small amount of water I am able to draw from the well is just enough for drinking and cooking. If we could have water in our community it would be such a wonderful thing for us".


Mabelle Nguedia, 20 - "I often have to get up at 2 A.M. to make sure I am able to draw water for the day. Also, in the village there are many cases of disease caused by microbes in the water. It’s a huge risk for everyone, but we don’t have a choice. You need water to cook, to wash; water is life".


Josephine Djedjeu, 65 - "One year there was cholera very close to here. All the neighboring villages draw water here too, and we were too afraid, because bringing contaminated water here could cause everyone to get sick. When you think about it, it is terrifying".



To contribute to bringing healthy water to Baleveng and changing the lives of women like Mabelle and Josephine, please visit our campaign at One Day's Wages and see how you can help. For every $1 we raise, One Day's Wages will contribute $1.50. Together we can make an impact on the health of Baleveng for generations to come. 


New program in the works!

Paul François Zangue, our point-person on the ground in Cameroon, just returned from a 10-day research trip in the Southwest Region's Lower Wabane valley. Paul has been hard at work doing research and planning for what will be Breaking Ground's newest Small Enterprise Development program.

8-year-old children carry 20-liter water containers

Following the successes of our Women's Entrepreneurial Program in Ngaoundéré and our West Cameroon Coffee Program in the West Region, our Investing in Agriculture program in the Southwest Region will empower local communities to better invest in their own grassroots development priorities by strengthening their ability to generate income through their primary agricultural activities. We'll be targeting producers of palm oil and cocoa - two of the valley's primary cash crops - and working with women's groups to improve crop diversification and entrepreneurial training.

Cocoa Pods

Palm nuts being prepared for pressing

There will be more to come on these new programs as our plans develop, but for now, here are a few photos from Paul's most recent trip, during which he directed focus groups to help Breaking Ground better predict the benefits that communities will reap because of our new program.
Members of Breaking Ground's research team traverse a rickety bridge in the valley.

Women's Focus Group

Men's Focus Group

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Work is underway in Keuleng!

Check out these photos of the astounding progress made this past week. Having already invested almost two decades of savings into the project, the community had already laid the building's stone foundation and built its cement columns. In just a week since the funds were transferred to Keuleng to begin construction, cinder blocks have already been made and the walls are being erected under the guidance of a local civil engineer.

The Chief of Keuleng (left) in front of the quickly rising walls.

A sand delivery (left) and drying cinder blocks (right).

Cinder blocks being laid on the already-built foundation.