Education is a very crucial topic in Cameroon, as this country has a literacy rate of about circa 74,8%. Hence, about a quarter of the population is hit by illiteracy. Many illiterate people are adults and also parents. The educational situation is especially difficult in rural regions, like for example the village Bai Bikom in the South West Province of Cameroon. Bai Bikom is a remote village with 2000 inhabitants. About 50% are adults and older than 30 years. 30% thereof are women; this is the demographic group which is most hit by illiteracy. Many of them have never attended a school and can neither read nor write.
The project „Mammi di Lern Buk“ was initiated by women, in order to…
• … fight illiteracy. Therefore, an evening school was established, in which women can meet and discuss educational and societal topics, as well as learn to read and write. By this, the significance of women in society shall be increased and their knowledge, through self help, shall be beneficial to their children. Women are supposed to play a more significant role in the education of their (future) children.
• … promote equal opportunities for women. In the sense of Gender Mainstreaming the needs of women should be taken care of more. Therefore, the appropriate education is needed, to create a foundation. Women should receive more attention in the daily life in also in the work life. Especially, this project should be a first step for women, to overcome their traditional role.
• … reach about 50 women in the first stage. A female teacher does the courses, the courses take place on 2 days a week. The curriculum was created by the teacher herself and is going to define the topical frame of the courses.
The courses are being held in modules and offered twice a year. The first course was held from April 2012 to August 2012. For times and appointments to be realized and met, cooperation partners are installed locally. These are the HIBA section Kumba-Cameroon and the Saint Augustus Catholic Church in Kumba. These two partner organizations are supervising the implementation of the time plan.
Different modes of learning are used during the courses, but the very usual materials like books are dominant. Locally, also questionnaires are being created and the courses are evaluated by the women. Reflection rounds are also part of the courses, so the partaking women can reflect together on the impact of the courses on the local society.
The women’s project is supposed to complement to and make fruitful the school project in Bai Bikom. The women will go to school synchronously with their children and it should also be possible that women and children learn together. By this means, literacy shall be promoted and also the people should get to know motivation and joy in (life-long) learning.
More Infos: Project description at Google Docs