Friday, October 28, 2011

Time for Work

I know some days you may be asking yourself; Martin,what is it that you do in Cameroon?

Once a week I bike out to a town called Tayer to work with a group of Men and Women. We have a village savings and loan that we started a few months back. It takes me about an hour to get there and on the road it is usually just me and the barren hills. I wanted to take pictures during the rainy season since it is so much greener and there are actually plants to see, but our post rainy season/ mini hot season will have to do for now.

I took some pictures on my last ride out to Tayer on a paved road no less. Only 10% of all roads in Cameroon are paved, and I get to use one of them.

Here are some interesting looking trees i spotted off to my left.

Managing not to get hit by transport trucks, or fall into a pothole on my ride.

I work with about 13 men and women in Tayer where we have started a vsl, a village savings and loan group. The idea is to consolidate their money together and then be able to use that money to borrow from their collective funds for projects that generate income and then to repay the loan with 10% interest.

This group saves, per person, and where from 200-1000F every other week, that's roughly $.40-$1.00 every two weeks. The process of amassing large amounts of money is slow, but each cycle lasts one year and during that year I am present at meetings to advise and discuss loans, repayments, expenses, and project ideas.

This is a picture of the bureau. President, secretary, treasurer, and money counter.

I work on this project with another volunteer, Liz Loftus, she's the white lady in the above picture.

And as I bike home from a successful meeting the sun sets over the low mountains that surround our village.