Heifer International began its activities in Cameroon in 1974 but was officially registered with the Government of Cameroon as an independent international development NGO in 1995. Back then, the focus was on the dairy industry through the introduction of high-yielding purebred dairy cattle. Today, Heifer International in Cameroon has grown to include other livestock species and varied livelihood strategies for assisted persons in six of the 10 regions of the country.
The program places emphasis on livelihood enhancement through integrated crop/livestock production, dairy enterprise, agroecological improvement, gender equity, HIV & AIDS and youth training. It also provides various training on a need basis and subsidizes farm inputs, livestock and other production resources on a â€śPassing on the Giftâ€ť basis. In order to reach more resource-limited and vulnerable persons, Heifer International uses a holistic approach to development, and works in collaboration with other NGOs and state institutionsâ€”especially the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of project activities and results.
Impact and achievements
The Heifer International program in Cameroon is the oldest in West Africa. In over 35 years of operation, it has directly assisted over 25,683 farm families (152,400 dependents) and has also indirectly assisted 96,862 persons in the communities to improve their livelihoods (food self-reliance and access to nutritious food, income, shelter, childrenâ€™s education and healthcare), improve gender relations and mitigate the negative impact of HIV & AIDSâ€”while protecting the environment. Heifer International also helped to strengthen research capacity at the Wakwa, Mankon and Bambui research stations of the Institute of Zootechnical and Veterinary Research (IRZV) by providing animal genetic resources, infrastructure and training to researchers and technicians. The program continues to transform lives in the country.
Elancoâ€™s group list of things we must do or learn about (continued from the Day 2 blog)
- Talk to one family affected by a Heifer International project to learn their story.
- Have a personal story from this trip to share our experience with U.S. peers and help us celebrate what we do in the U.S., and how we can help feed the world.
- Reaffirm that Heifer International's model is real and sustainable.
- Understand start to finish for a Heifer International projectâ€”how do they define success and how does the process work?
- Understand Heifer International's effect on children.
- Understand poverty and what Heifer International brings to the table compared to other NGOs.
- Understand animal protein value versus other food sources in Cameroon.