Implementation of the initial project stage
Eddy Esien spent 2 weeks in Cameroon coordinating the initial phase of the pilot project. In order to guarantee the donors the 100% handover of donations, he personally handed over the donations (backpacks, books, clothes, school materials) to the children in Bai Bikom. He had started his journey the 6th of March with 6 portions of extra luggage (150 backpacks plus clothing) towards Cameroon. From then on, networking meetings took place on a daily basis, involving highly ranked people of politics and community. The preparations for the donation handover celebration took about a week’s time and were performed together with networking partners (community of Bai Bikom, catholic church and city). Eddy also met the divisional officer (D.O.) of Mbonge, the educational inspector of Mbonge, the educational delegate of the Meme Division and the community chief of Bai Bikom, as well as representatives of the catholic church (Reverend Tchamda, youth leadership and church people). Discussions took place at the networking meetings, the foundations of “non-profit” organized working were taught, and also the HIBA association with its history and goals was introduced. The negotiations resulted in the handover of a 1,3 ha big piece of land out of the private property of the community chief to Eddy and his association, for them to be able to build a school.
Donation handover celebration
At the 15th of March, a big celebration took place in Bai Bikom. Around 12 o’clock Eddy and the HIBA-members of Cameroon came arrived in town. Many towners had already gathered and prepared the celebration. Pupils arrived together with their teachers. The pupils recited poems and songs. Important town people and negotiation partners, as the D.O. of Mbonge, the school inspector and the educational delegate of the Meme Division, the chief of Bai Bikom, representants of the catholic church, and the mayor of Kumba II were invited to take part in the celebration. The celebration was inaugurated by the Reverend with a sermon, followed by a speech by Eddy in his role as the founder of HIBA. After that, speeched by all the formally invited guests followed. The D.O. spoke and handed over a letter of approval to Eddy. After that, Eddy distributed school bags, books, writing tools, rulers, as well as clothing among the pupils of Bai Bikom. The children were rejoicing greatly, they were dancing and cheering. Two traditional dancing groups gave artistic form to the celebration and entertained the people. Also the media, like for example Equinox Television, Ocean City Radio or the newspaper “The Detective” were present throughout the celebration. A final interview was made with Eddy as the founder of HIBA and the D.O. of Mbonge. The D.O spoke about the benefits of the schooling project for the development of Bai Bikom but also about the obstacles in the ways of a Social Entrepreneur and director of an NGO in Cameroon. Eddy emphasized the importance of education as a key to take foot in society. He compared children without education to farmers without tools.