Join us as we help nurture a new life for orphans in Cameroon through in-home foster care and schooling.
CameroonONE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing healthcare, education and a home to orphans in Cameroon. Many of the children’s parents have passed away from HIV/AIDS, a huge epidemic in the country. It is one thing to donate money for foster care, but it is another to ensure the child is actually benefitting from the money. Not only does CameroonONE pay for school fees, uniforms, vaccines and other healthcare the child requires, and living expenses like food and hygiene, the organization will only allot the money to the family if the child attends a decent school (and regularly), receives grades to a certain expectation, and the child’s healthcare is being taken care of. CameroonONE is truly committed to changing the life of a child.
The Cameroon Orphan Crisis
CameroonONE is a Registered 501(c)(3) devoted to providing a new life to orphans in Cameroon through foster care. According to statistics from UNICEF, there are currently 1,300,000 orphans in Cameroon who have no immediate family members. Unfortunately, Cameroon does not have an efficient or credible foster care system for these children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. The best scenario is the child is sponsored for housing and schooling by a self-operated commune. Other children are living with grandparents and other extended family who do not have the resources to provide for another body. And sadly, there are children who are victims of human and sex trafficking.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
Fortunately, there are living blood-related family. However, as mentioned before, these family members do not have the financial stability to take care of the child. This is where CameroonONE comes in. CameroonONE created an In-Home Sponsorship program, which is the first ever in Africa. The first priority is to keep families together and CameroonONE places the young children with relatives who take on the parental roles of a niece, nephew, or young cousin. The relatives then receive a stipend that includes PTA school fees, medical assistance, school supplies, uniforms, textbooks, shoes, as well as rice, seeds and cooking oil. This stipend is conditional and is only given if certian requirements are met for the child. These requirements are that the child attends a decent school, maintain certain expectations for their evaluations, and is fully vaccinated and receives other healthcare that he/she requires.
This program not only provides a new life for the child, but is also in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to reduce child hunger and poverty, achieve universal education and reduce child mortality. This program is intended as a model to be applied throughout the rest of the continent.
About Project Creator:
My name is Kimberly Dawes and I’m an adoptee from China. I was adopted when I was 18-months old by a single mother. When I was researching for internship opportunities and came across CameroonONE, I knew I had to apply. The work the nonprofit does resonants with me on a very personal level. As an adoptee, I was once an orphan and have always felt the responsibility to give back to other orphans so they could have the opportunity to start a new chapter in their lives. Starting in first grade, I asked for donations in lieu of birthday gifts to sponsor two girls from my orphanage for foster care.
I was able to raise enough so they were able to continue receiving foster care. Eventually, they were able to live with those families permanently. From my own personal experience, I have seen what a difference foster care can make in a child’s life. (If you would like more “fun facts,” I’m a dancer, specifically ballet, jazz and modern, a classical pianist, aspiring doctor in the global health field, rising sophomore at Villanova University, and from Beverly, Massachusetts.)
Link to the Project: