A Voice For the Voiceless


The Advocacy Project (AP) recruits students to help marginalized communities tell their story and claim their rights.

My RSS Feed

Twitter: #apfellows

Global Education & Environment Development Foundation (GEED)

Helah Robinson | PostedAugust 1st, 2009 | Africa

Tags: , , , ,

As part of their Vital Voices supported HIV/AIDS advocacy campaign, Nkumu Fed Fed (NFF) held sensitization workshops on the harmful effects of certain cultural practices, training representatives from 70 other women’s groups. Each representative was then able to take the new knowledge back and share it with other members from her own organization. One woman, Clotilda Andiensa, attended the trainings on behalf of the Bamenda based Global Education & Environment Development Foundation, or GEED. Last week, Johanna and I had the opportunity to sit down with Clotilda and three other members of GEED to discuss their own mission and activities, and how effectively the NFF campaign played out.

Sit-Down with Women from GEED
Sit-Down with Women from GEED

Above: Clotilda Andiensa speaks with Johanna and me at our meeting with GEED. In the background are two HIV/AIDS awareness posters produced by Nkumu Fed Fed. These materials were critical components to NFF’s advocacy campaign.

Established the same year as Nkumu Fed Fed, The Global Education & Environment Development Foundation has been working to change the conditions for women in Cameroon since 1996. Over the past 13 years, GEED initiatives have reached out to women and young girls, providing education on health, leadership skills and conflict management, to name a few. Using a gender sensitive approach, GEED promotes social justice and development by fighting for and defending human rights.

Inviting GEED to participate in the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign was a natural partnership for NFF, given their common interests (see previous post I fine for sabi for NFF’s mission and vision). During our meeting, Clotilda told us what she took away from Nkumu Fed Fed’s training and how she felt NFF could improve for the future.

The primary objective of NFF’s workshop was to sensitize participants on how specific cultural behaviors facilitate the spread of HIV/AIDS and, as the GEED women remarked, NFF hit its mark. They learned, for example, that polygamy increased the potential for new partners whose status is unknown to bring the disease into a marriage. Furthermore, the NFF seminar discussed the excessively lax attitude people of the North West (and all of Cameroon for that matter) have towards HIV/AIDS, not getting tested often enough or before getting married. The workshop then explained that cultural traditions cause major problems as well, such as the Njumba Market Days. During these Days, all the young people gather together in the center of town, finding various sexual partners. On the eve of a Market Day, wives go to the houses of their boyfriends while husbands wait at home for their girlfriends to arrive— a traditional, acknowledged and accepted spouse-swap, creating a dangerous environment and allowing HIV to “spread like wildfire in the dry season.”

As far as recommendations for improvements on the trainings, the GEED women had some very interesting insight. First, they mentioned that while training women leaders helped create awareness, the campaign would have had a far greater impact had NFF focused on training youth, in particular young girls. Additionally, NFF did make an effort to include traditional rulers (called fons) in the project, but as GEED pointed out, fons don’t work alone. They are individuals surrounded by a system and environment constructed to protect and enforce cultural traditions. Therefore, getting in touch with fons directly is an important step, but GEED discussed the need to train the enforcers of traditional practices as well (i.e. traditional councils, healers, etc.).

It is important to understand that changes in culture will come gradually, but with NFF’s efforts and GEED’s advice, the campaign is on the right track.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Global Education & Environment Development Foundation (GEED)”

  1. [...] Global Education & Environment Development Foundation (GEED … [...]

Leave a Reply

Security Code:

Fellow: Helah Robinson

Vital Voices in Cameroon


-1 Advocacy Project AMA Women Project Cameroon Cameroun Chiefs Child Trafficking Culture Douala Helah Helah Robinson HIV HIV/AIDS market Nkumu Fed Fed Pan African Women's Day Sandaga Traditional Rulers UCOMAS Vital Voices women women's rights




2013 Fellows


Benan Grams
Meron Menwyelet
Mohammed Alshubrumi
John Steies


Andra Bosneag
Chris Pinderhughes
Emily MacDonald
Jasveen Bindra
Kelly Howell
Raymond Aycock
Sujita Basnet

Middle East

Mona Niebuhr

2012 Fellows


Dane Macri
Laura McAdams
Mallory Minter
Megan Orr
Oluwatooni Akanni
Katie Hoffman


Adam Kruse
Alex Kelly
Alicia Evangelides
Heather Webb
Jesse Cottrell
Matthew Becker
Rachel Palmer


Claire Noone
Elise Filo

Latin America

Laura Burns

Middle East

Nur Arafeh
Thayer Hastings

North America

Caroline Risacher

2011 Fellows


Charlie Walker
Charlotte Bourdillon
Cleia Noia
Dina Buck
Jamyel Jenifer
Kristen Maryn
Rebecca Scherpelz
Scarlett Chidgey
Walter James


Amanda Lasik
Chantal Uwizera
Chelsea Ament
Clara Kollm
Corey Black
Lauren Katz
Maelanny Purwaningrum
Maria Skouras
Meredith Williams
Ryan McGovern
Samantha Syverson


Beth Wofford
Julia Dowling
Quinn Van Valer-Campbell
Samantha Hammer
Susan Craig-Greene

Latin America

Amy Bracken
Catherine Binet

Middle East

Nikki Hodgson

North America

Sarah Wang

2010 Fellows


Abisola Adekoya
Annika Allman
Brooke Blanchard
Christine Carlson
Christy Gillmore
Dara Lipton
Dina Buck
Josanna Lewin
Joya Taft-Dick
Louis Rezac
Ned Meerdink
Sylvie Bisangwa


Adrienne Henck
Karie Cross
Kerry McBroom
Kate Bollinger
Lauren Katz
Simon Kläntschi
Zarin Hamid


Laila Zulkaphil
Susan Craig-Greene
Tereza Bottman

Latin America

Karin Orr

North America

Adepeju Solarin
Oscar Alvarado

2009 Fellows


Adam Welti
Alixa Sharkey
Barbara Dziedzic
Bryan Lupton

Courtney Chance
Elisa Garcia
Helah Robinson
Johanna Paillet
Johanna Wilkie
Kate Cummings
Laura Gordon
Lisa Rogoff
Luna Liu
Ned Meerdink
Walter James


Abhilash Medhi
Gretchen Murphy
Isha Mehmood
Jacqui Kotyk
Jessica Tirado
Kan Yan
Morgan St. Clair
Ted Mathys


Alison Sluiter
Christina Hooson
Donna Harati
Fanny Grandchamp
Kelsey Bristow
Simran Sachdev
Susan Craig-Greene
Tiffany Ommundsen

Latin America

Althea Middleton-Detzner
Carolyn Ramsdell
Jessica Varat
Lindsey Crifasi
Rebecca Gerome
Zachary Parker

Middle East

Corrine Schneider
Rachel Brown
Rangineh Azimzadeh

North America

Elizabeth Mandelman
Farzin Farzad

2008 Fellows

Adam Nord
Annelieke van de Wiel
Juliet Hutchings
Kristina Rosinsky
Lucas Wolf
Chi Vu
Danita Topcagic
Heather Gilberds
Jes Therkelsen
Libby Abbott
Mackenzie Berg
Nicole Farkouh
Ola Duru
Paul Colombini
Raka Banerjee
Shubha Bala
Antigona Kukaj
Colby Pacheco
James Dasinger
Janet Rabin
Nicole Slezak
Shweta Dewan
Amy Offner
Ash Kosiewicz
Hannah McKeeth
Heidi McKinnon
Larissa Hotra
Hannah Wright
Krystal Sirman
Rianne Van Doeveren
Willow Heske

2007 Fellows

Johnathan Homer
Adam Nord
Audrey Roberts
Caitlin Burnett
Devin Greenleaf
Jeff Yarborough
Julia Zoo
Madeline England
Maha Khan
Mariko Scavone
Mark Koenig
Nicole Farkouh
Saba Haq
Tassos Coulaloglou
Ted Samuel
Alison Morse
Gail Morgado
Jennifer Hollinger
Katie Wroblewski
Leslie Ibeanusi
Michelle Lanspa
Stephanie Gilbert
Zach Scott
Abby Weil
Jessica Boccardo
Sara Zampierin
Eliza Bates
Erin Wroblewski
Tatsiana Hulko

2006 Interns

Laura Cardinal
Jessical Sewall
Alison Long
Autumn Graham
Donna Laverdiere
Erica Issac
Greg Holyfield
Lori Tomoe Mizuno
Melissa Muscio
Nicole Cordeau
Stacey Spivey
Anya Gorovets
Barbara Bearden
Lynne Engleman
Yvette Barnes
Charles Wright
Sarah Sachs

2005 Interns

Eun Ha Kim
Malia Mason
Anne Finnan
Carrie Hasselback
Karen Adler
Sarosh Syed
Shirin Sahani
Chiara Zerunian
Ewa Sobczynska
MacKenzie Frady
Margaret Swink
Sabri Ben-Achour
Nitzan Goldberger

2004 Interns

Ginny Barahona
Michael Keller
Sarah Schores
Melinda Willis
Pia Schneider
Stacy Kosko
Carmen Morcos
Christina Fetterhoff
Stacy Kosko
Bushra Mukbil

2003 Interns

Erica Williams
Kate Kuo
Claudia Zambra
Julie Lee
Kimberly Birdsall
Marta Schaaf
Caitlin Williams
Courtney Radsch