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Posts tagged UCOMAS

And That’s a Wrap!

Helah Robinson | Posted August 21st, 2009 | Africa

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And That’s a Wrap!

Being my last blog, and coming at the end of a summer during which Johanna and I produced a documentary film, I felt the urge to use an appropriately movie-related, concluding and cheesy title. My work, however, is far from over.

For our last week in Cameroon, Johanna and I returned to Douala and spent the remaining days with the women from UCOMAS. We After spending two days with Eric, Adelaide, Mamma Frida, and Janet I am suddenly very aware of how much I am going to miss the people I have met. I did not have to say my final goodbyes when I left UCOMAS the first time around, and I am not prepared to do it now—not knowing when I’ll be back (when not if) is not something I’m quite willing to deal with just yet… In fact, it has only been four days since I left Bamenda, but already I am dreading the coming weeks and months when I won’t be with Eunice in our cramped closet-office, waiting for Emmanuel to go on the next unpaved, 7-hour road trip, or at Helen Fohtung’s house thanking her for her kindness, warmth, hospitality and (thanks GOODNESS) medical expertise. I feel I have known members of UCOMAS and Nkumu Fed Fed for a lifetime, and yet the summer seems to have flown by.

I say my work is hardly ‘wrapped up’ because I refuse to let this be the end. Even from abroad, Johanna and I are committed to continuing the work of our two partners, doing whatever is needed to help sustain what they have struggled to accomplish. (Speaking of: Anyone in the San Francisco area late October or early November, keep your schedules open for the UCOMAS fundraiser we are planning at a local Senegalese restaurant. Details to come for those interested!)

This summer has been an incredibly humbling experience and I am in awe of what these women are able to do with what little resources they have. The women of UCOMAS have overcome daunting environmental and social obstacles, and continue to fight each day to move forward. I have immense respect and admiration for the members of Nkumu Fed Fed as well, who sacrifice their time, skills and even money for the betterment of their country while asking for nothing in return. It will be difficult to leave, but I am forever grateful for the lasting connections and friendships I have made with the people and places of Cameroon.

I would like to end by saying thank you.

Thank you to Vital Voices for giving me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most dedicated and inspiring people I have ever been lucky enough to know.
Johanna, thank you for being there for (and putting up with) me through thick and thin, for the late nights of MASH and A Mighty Wind, and of course, teaching me to cook. Lonely does not begin to describe what this summer could have been had you not been around.
To the women of Nkumu Fed Fed, thank you for your hard work, dedication and selfless commitment to bettering the lives of those who need it most. Helen Gwanfogbe, you made our stay possible and I cannot thank you enough for all you’ve done. Emmanuel, despite not being an official member for Fed Fed, you were there nonetheless to help us each day. Thank you for guiding us through the twists and turns of the North West, all the way to Kumbo and back. I must thank you, Eunice, not only for your generosity, but for your company as well (by which I mean your friendship, not Make IT for Africa. Though the cyber helped immensely, to be sure!). Last, but certainly not least, Helen Fohtung, thank you, thank you, thank you for welcoming us into your home in times of need, for your endless generosity and for making our stay in Bamenda the wonderful experience it was.
I cannot leave without saying goodbye and thank you to the women of UCOMAS. Your perseverance, strength and determination are truly extraordinary. To the women of the executive bureau, thank you for letting us into your lives and offering instantaneous trust. Madame Kah Wallh, thank you for being the inspiration, support and guide of UCOMAS. Annick—all would have been lost without you. What you have helped create will continue to improve the women’s lives for years to come. Eric, I cannot tell you how much you have meant to me over these past two months and know that UCOMAS is blessed to have you.
And finally, thank you to everyone who supported me throughout the summer, for following our work and keeping me sane. Without you, this experience would not have been possible.

Though I am leaving Cameroon and don’t know when I will be coming back, I assure you all—you have not seen the last of me!

Action Phase: The Creation of UCOMAS

Helah Robinson | Posted July 8th, 2009 | Africa

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Spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 5 weeks with one person can have one of two results. You either begin to morph into one being, or you both end up dead. Thankfully, Johanna and I seem to be leaning towards the former, which explains this week’s posts. As our time in Douala comes to an end, we decided to present a brief, yet comprehensive view of what we’ve been up to and what UCOMAS is all about. In two parts, our posts excerpt the documentary we produced while working with the union.

Johanna’s blog entitled “Assessment Phase: Understanding Women Traders’ Needs” profiles the women of the Sandaga Market, the problems they encounter and their need for more representation. In the face of “intimidation, manipulation, blackmail, and scams, [and] verbal, physical and sexual harassment,” as an opening sentence from the documentary explains, “they (women traders) must fight to secure the functioning of their commercial activities in order to improve of the conditions of their lives and those of their families.”

In the video below, I present a short introduction to the story of UCOMAS and its future. Vital Voices Global Partnership, a DC based NGO, partnered with Mme Kah Walla to launch the AMA Women Project whose goals were to empower the women traders and bolster their efforts at improving market conditions. After participating in the AMA Project’s leadership and advocacy trainings, the women decided to come together and “speak with one voice” to make change. Thus, you have: UCOMAS

We have also set up a Google site for the organization. Please check it out and give us feedback!


Profile: Eric Dongmo

Helah Robinson | Posted July 8th, 2009 | Africa

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Eric Dongmo is not, of course, a member of UCOMAS. He is, however, an integral part of the union and indispensable to its success. As a co-manager of the AMA Women Project, Eric has been involved with l’Union des Commerçantes du Marché Sandaga since its inception and is as committed to its future as any one member of the executive bureau.

Eric Dognmo, Co-Manager of the AMA Project
Eric Dognmo, Co-Manager of the AMA Project

From the first day, stepping off the airplane and being greeted by a big sign with our names splashed across it, Eric, and his big smile, has been a constant presence in my and Johanna’s lives in Douala. He is always first at the market, working all day everyday with the women traders, helping get UCOMAS off the ground. As the primary contact between the director of the AMA Project Mme Kah Walla and the women of UCOMAS, Eric is not only aware, but also sincerely dedicated to every aspect of the association’s goals. He has been the primary resource for all UCOMAS trainings, has spearheaded each project (both enacted and planned) and has guided UCOMAS’ growth from the very beginning. But even more impressive than Eric’s devotion to his work is his genuine interest in promoting this cause and empowering the women in Sandaga.

Over the past five weeks it has become very clear that Eric is not just a strong supporter and facilitator of UCOMAS, but is in fact the CORNERSTONE of its stability. As I mentioned in a previous post, the creation of UCOMAS was a pragmatic decision. Academic theory aside, it was understood that better treatment of women, who are large contributors to the Cameroonian economy, would only serve to benefit society as a whole. Although he is a man and not a trader in the Sandaga Market, Eric fully appreciates the worth of investing in women and ensuring equal access to opportunity.

Eric Dongmo, Co-Manager of the AMA Women Project
Eric Dongmo, Co-Manager of the AMA Women Project

I don’t want to give the impression that Eric is an extremist, constantly ranting or rambling about the issues. To the contrary, he is a very clam and collected individual who is just very aware. It’s incredible to see the relationships he’s developed with the women of UCOMAS and, while asking for nothing in return, he continues to work tirelessly for a better future for all.

Sur le Terrain~ On the Ground (Part 2)

Helah Robinson | Posted June 28th, 2009 | Africa

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The second installment of my 2-Part post concerning the importance of being sur le terrain, or in the field.

Part 1 was a general reflection on the critical missing link between on-the-ground situations and development agencies’ headquarters. This second partie is less a discussion of the work, but more of the life “on the ground.”

Part 2: Living It

First, the women of UCOMAS, from the executive board and general members alike, are taking real ownership of this association. While young, the Union is not just an idea for them, it is something concrete that they know has real potential to succeed. Two weeks ago I attended the General Meeting of UCOMAS, which was my first opportunity to meet UCOMAS members outside the executive board. What was striking and so impressive about this meeting was how it compared, or really contrasted, to réunions I have participated in in the US. At work and at school I have been to numerous staff and club meetings that have the same routine: lots of discussion that may or may not result in decisions, many of which are of little consequence. The point of such gatherings are typically just to touch base with colleagues, make sure everyone is on the same page, or because club charters mandate it.

UCOMAS General Meeting
UCOMAS General Meeting

With UCOMAS, the tone, atmosphere and intent are completely different. Here, members actively participate, presenting their own ideas and combating others. General Meetings are viewed as opportunities to make real change in the association and are used as such. Members see the potential UCOMAS has to improve their conditions in the market, approach each meeting with a pragmatic eye and will debate each detail, no matter how small, until the point is resolved, decision made and put into practice.

UCOMAS General Meeting
UCOMAS General Meeting

Second, day-to-day life here teaches you things that would otherwise be isolated to the classroom. In our interview with UCOMAS president Adelaide Foute Tega, she talked about the significant, but unacknowledged impact women have on the greater Cameroonian economy. She continued with a very matter-of-fact discussion on the importance of girls’ education and the need for UCOMAS, not just for the current traders, but more importantly for future generations as well. When she made that point, there was no pretense in her voice. No theory. No fluff. It was fact: “I am doing this for this reason.” For Adelaide, improving living conditions, opportunities and equality for women and girls is practical, necessary and readily apparent. Just by living her life she came to the same conclusions as the Nike Foundation and their Girl Effect Campaign, or the World Bank and its Gender Action Plan (“Gender Equality as Smart Economics”), but she did it without a PhD in development theory or econometrics. This is not meant to discount efforts made by the international community in addressing gender equity. To the contrary, development theory has now thoroughly addressed and accepted the vast importance of advancing girls’ opportunities to improving general living conditions. But it took years of varying economic theories and programs, years of trail and error, to come to that realization. Adelaide and the women of UCOMAS know it because they live it. It just makes sense; it’s truth and very much needed.

Initiated by the women of Sandaga to work for the women of Sandaga, UCOMAS is the result of people who, aware of their surroundings, were willing to come together, stand up and make change. Below is a short introduction to UCOMAS— to some of the women who made it happen and why.

Sur le Terrain ~ On the Ground (Part 1)

Helah Robinson | Posted June 28th, 2009 | Africa

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The meaning of the title of this week’s post is two-fold—While my intention was to write solely about the immense importance and utility fieldwork has for development, I ended up reflecting on workingsur le terrain,” as well as living it. As a result, I offer you both in two parts.

Part 1: The Work

Last weekend I was with some colleagues who work at STRATEGIES!, the marketing consulting firm that created the AMA Women Project, and had a lively conversation with one girl, Marilyn, who is very passionate about development and the future of her country. We were discussing methods different international institutions use for development work and she could not emphasize enough how critical she felt being on the ground, or ‘in the field,’ was to the success of any development program. ‘Fieldwork’ is a buzzword I’ve heard since I began development studies in school, but it wasn’t until I got here that I realized how vital seeing it really is.

Perception is everything.
From an objective point of view, working with UCOMAS is an exceedingly small, focused endeavor. For example, locals outside of the market and the AMA Project, namely those I’ve met at the Catholic Mission, view Sandaga and the women who work there as relatively unknown, menial and negligible in Douala.

Additionally, in the larger scheme of development work, UCOMAS appears narrow and overly specialized. Vital Voices, an organization that works in Africa, Latin America, Eurasia and the Middle East and North Africa promoting human rights, women’s business networks, women’s political advocacy and female health care, gave grants to 31 projects in 13 countries across Africa through one of several grant programs, the Bill & Melinda Gates Pan African Women’s Advocacy & Leadership Fund. One of those 31 grants went to Mme Kah Walla, director of STRATEGIES!, to launch the AMA Women Project, which intended to train and empower the women of Sandaga Market. L’Union des Commerçantes du Marche Sandaga (UCOMAS) was an outgrowth of the AMA Project, coming together to defend the rights of women traders in the market. In other words, one project in one region funded through one grant program sparked the creation of a women’s association in one market in one city of Cameroon.

Conditions in Sandaga Market
Conditions in Sandaga Market

When you’re here, though, the view is much different. I can’t put it any other way than just that there is so much to do. The obstacles the women face in the market are daunting. Just to name a few, they are manipulated by market officials, harassed by their male counterparts, deal with deplorable working conditions, have no access to toilets or potable water and are forced to waste large amounts of produce at the end of each day. In an effort to confront all these issues and more, UCOMAS has already drawn up plans for numerous activities, including the construction of toilets inside the market, a cleanliness program that will equip members with brooms to clean their selling spots, installation of a refrigeration unit for conservation of their fresh produce, and several technical and advocacy trainings— again, just to name a few.

Conditions in Sandaga Market
Conditions in Sandaga Market

To add to the difficulty, the Vital Voices grant is nearly depleted and the contracts enlisting Eric and Annick’s help with the Union end on June 30th.  First, Eric and Annick  (the managers and facilitators of the AMA Project) played intricate roles in the creation of UCOMAS and are indispensable to its future success. They have taken on so much responsibility and offer so much outside knowledge and expertise that it would be impossible to transmit everything they know to the members of UCOMAS, or even just to the executive board. The association is still in its very beginning stages and without Eric or Annick its future is very uncertain.

Johanna and Me with Eric Dongmo
Johanna and Me with Eric Dongmo
Johanna and Me with Annick Nganya
Johanna and Me with Annick Nganya

Second, as Eric has remarked time and time again, UCOMAS desperately needs long-term investment to help it get off the ground. One of the largest problems plaguing the world of development aid is lack of sustainability, and I fear UCOMAS will be a clear example of why. A short-term grant, while well-intentioned and appreciated, is not sufficient to start a new organization up from scratch. The dangers of offering such help are the repercussions of false promises; because a smaller grant is not enough to create and stabilize a new association, it instead brings in the ideas, expectations and hope for change without adequate means to accomplish it. Then, in the face of disappointment, people become disillusioned and resistant towards future help. The brevity of the UCOMAS grant is not the fault of Vital Voices or the AMA Women Project. In fact, both Vital Voices and AMA achieved what they intended to and then some. However, the fragile state such success has left UCOMAS in is indicative of a disconnect between aid-granting institutions and circumstances in the field.

As Marilyn said, “il faut être sur le terrain,” (It is necessary to be on the ground). And she is so right.

Colonial Legacy

Helah Robinson | Posted June 23rd, 2009 | Africa

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Workdays here are characterized by a lot of waiting (for people, for electricity, for internet…), giving us a lot of downtime and ample opportunity to have many interesting conversations. Every conversation I’ve had in the past 2-½ weeks, it seems, has included a mention of corruption in one capacity or another and has shown me just how aware and engaged the people I’m working with truly are. Many of these problems, complicated by a colonial past, permeate Cameroonian society and directly influence UCOMAS.

Now, before I get into the meat of my post, I have to make a disclaimer:
*The following is based off of personal conversations and opinions, and is not meant to be taken as hard fact or with any political or partisan intent. Just read it for what it is— a glimpse into how problems, circumstances and history are perceived and understood by the people I’ve met.*

From the scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, through WWI, II and the Cold War, to modern day capitalist intervention, formerly occupied regions have struggled to find stable and independent ground, and Cameroon is no exception.
Even after the wave of independence that swept through Africa in the 1960s, and despite appearances of subsequent reparation and recompense, the controlling influence of the West has not been and can never be fully removed. Among the most common problems Eric, Johanna and I have hashed and rehashed is the degree of foreign presence in Cameroon’s economy and culture.

On the economic front, primarily French and American corporations have mastered the art of exploiting natural resources in Cameroon, exporting loads of raw materials without cultivating a manufacturing industry in the country. Eric gave us several examples, one of which was eerily (or expectedly) similar to the well-known Firestone controversy in Liberia. I say eerily because at the time of this conversation, I was reading This Child Will be Great, the memoirs of Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In her book, she documents the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company’s extensive exploitation of Liberian land and people, exposing how corruption, intimidation and pressure gave the company so much leeway, and the right to continue as-is until 2025. Although Firestone was not a product of colonialism, its treatment of Liberia reflected the colonial mentality of western imposition and exploitation of Africa. The example Eric described was that of an American company that extracts rubber from Cameroon’s ample reserves, but as he explained, the tires are made in China. It’s reminiscent of the same colonial dynamic, only justified through new means.

Colonialism left its mark on culture as well. Last week Johanna and I attended a conference at the Centre Culturel Francais (CCF) on the Rights of the Child in Cameroon. When we told Eric about the event and what we heard, he offhandedly made a comment about how it was the French cultural center that was conducting a seminar on Cameroonian issues. Commendable, yes, but he found it upsetting that the CCF is very well known in Douala, as is the German cultural center, but no one is aware of a small Cameroonian cultural center in Yaounde— the French and German organizations are much more popular.

Furthermore, the languages spoken in Cameroon expose another relic of colonialism. Of course, French is the dominant language spoken in Cameroon, directing business and government. However, the country’s colonial past left it with a bizarre and complicated mix of Anglophone and Francophone regions. As a minority group, English speakers in Cameroon are marginalized and excluded from services as a result of a language barrier within their own country. Citizens of the same state are separated along linguistic lines, making communication between countrymen and women exceedingly difficult.

Woman Trader in Sandga Market: Douala, Cameroon
Woman Trader in Sandga Market: Douala, Cameroon

Such barriers are prevalent in Sandaga as well. The market, which is separated into sectors according to product, service or other factors, has one sector allocated specifically for merchants from Anglophone Cameroon (mostly from the city of Bamenda). The woman pictured above is an English-speaking trader in Sandaga, and while women already confront numerous constraints in the market, the Anglophone workers have the added language barrier making communication that much more strained.

Interviews with Members of UCOMAS Executive Bureau
Interviews with Members of UCOMAS Executive Bureau

Janet Atam (above), the secretary of UCOMAS, was born in Limbe, an Anglophone village only 40 minutes outside Douala. During UCOMAS’ General Meetings and at each executive board meeting, Janet has to take extra time to clarify and translate points made during the discussions. I’ve noticed that some other members become frustrated when Janet asks follow-up questions, but everyone knows it is absolutely necessary, both for Janet’s knowledge and for transmitting the information to the other women in the Bamenda sector. Despite their efforts, though, Janet’s ability to contribute and participate is hindered by her native language, making UCOMAS face this obstacle in addition to all the rest.

Because the varying languages are an accepted aspect of day-to-day life in Cameroon, the problems they create are easily dismissed. However, in an effort to give UCOMAS the best possible future, such problems must be identified, understood and addressed.

Besoin d’un soutien

Helah Robinson | Posted June 14th, 2009 | Africa

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I am struck each day by the unbelievable courage, strength and power of the women Johann and I have been working with in Douala. For nearly a week and a half, we have listened to their stories, learning about their lives and the obstacles they face everyday.  I hope this post does not come across as over-the-top, but what the women here are struggling to do deserves every bit of it.

Because one of our objectives for UCOMAS is to produce a documentary that presents the purpose, need and future of the market women’s association, we have been conducting interviews with each of the members of the UCOMAS executive bureau. Even though we ask the same questions to every woman, (Describe your typical day at work. What constraints do you face in the market? What obstacles do you encounter as a woman? In Sandaga, in general, how are your interactions with the men? And so forth…) each perspective is different and each response gives me a new found appreciation for what these women are attempting to accomplish.

Interview with Therese Leukeng, member of UCOMAS executive board
Interview with Therese Leukeng, member of UCOMAS executive board

Interview with Therese Leukeng, member of UCOMAS executive board

During a typical day, they wake up at 4 AM, spend 12 hours in the market, then go home to clean, cook and take care of their children and families. That stripped down and shallow depiction alone is worthy of enormous respect. However, the conditions for women in Sandaga market are much more complex and daunting. Officials from the Communauté Urbaine, for example, abuse their positions of authority to manipulate the commerçantes, making women pay almost 8 times the legal amount in taxes and other fees. Sanitation is non-existent—no potable water, no toilet facilities, and no way to conserve their produce or keep their sectors clean.  Rapport with the men is also harsh, oppressive and at times dangerous. The market women are generally perceived as inferior to their male counterparts, and are treated as such. They are given the less desired places to set up shop in the market, are victims of verbal and physical abuse, and are often harassed.

When we asked why UCOMAS was created, the women were very clear. And very strong. As many of them described, they are coming together in solidarity and together, with one voice, standing up to defend their rights and themselves. This is not an easy task, and they have already confronted much resistance. The environment in Sandaga is not accustomed to such a show of force and UCOMAS is doing something groundbreaking. During one of our first interviews with Adelaide Foute Tega, the president of UCOMAS, Adelaide discussed the barriers the association has already faced and candidly said something pretty striking in response. We had asked her if she had any ideas for UCOMAS’ future and her answer was powerful— if they have support, someone who can defend and help THEM, UCOMAS has the potential to be very, very strong.

UCOMAS has much to do and a lot of potential, but they are still in development and need help.  Adelaide is not the only person who recognizes this weakness; AMA manager Eric Dongmo has been preoccupied with the same problem. At the beginning of the fellowship, AP requires that we solidify a work plan, which outlines what we hope to accomplish by the time we leave. When Johanna and I covered our work plan with Eric, he was extremely interested and persistent on going over our plans to outreach to other international organizations for financial and structural support for UCOMAS. It has become increasingly clear to me that one of Eric’s biggest worries is the financial and long-term security of UCOMAS; they desperately need continued help and they are counting on our communication support to find more opportunities. I am determine to do the best I can and hopefully leave UCOMAS stronger than I found it.

Also, upon request–Check out our progress via Flickr photostream at:


First Impressions

Helah Robinson | Posted June 4th, 2009 | Africa

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I’m going to try to make this first entry from Douala short and sweet. However, because I’m still reeling from all the activity of the past two days, and because I want to share as much as of this experience as possible, I make no promises.

First, just a fun story:
The day before leaving D.C. for Douala (via Newark and Brussels, which turned into a wonderful 23 hour trip), Johanna and I had yet to secure our visas. We’re on top of things, I know. Our flights were for Tuesday afternoon, and we were at the Cameroonian Embassy at 3:00 PM Monday waiting for our passports to be processed. Thankfully, the embassy had our visas waiting and we were out the door within 15 minutes. Now, for anyone ever leaving the country at any point in the future, here’s some advice: always, ALWAYS check to make sure your documents are in order. On our way out, I was scanning the last few pages of my passport to check out the visa for fun, which I discovered had been issued two weeks before I had arrived in D.C. and was meant for someone visiting family. Since I have no family in Cameroon to speak of, I flipped to the front page and saw a 43 year-old African man’s photograph staring back at me. The embassy had given me the wrong passport, and I can only imagine the fun that would have ensued had I shown up at customs with it the next day. I’m sure THAT would have made a great blog entry!

I have many, many more stories and thoughts from the flights, the airport, my first dinner in Cameroon, and more, but that would make this post far too long (feel free to ask). Instead, I wanted to talk a bit about the AMA Project itself—what I learned on my first day, what the expectations are and what I hope will come from our time here.

Today began with logistics—finding the ATM, buying a local cell, etc.—but we spent most of the day with Eric, a director at AMA, getting a handle on the context, mission and status of the project. There are around 1,300 commerçants et commerçantes (traders or merchants) in Sandaga market, the largest public market in Central Africa, 800 of whom are women. Despite their overwhelming presence in this workforce, only 2 women have ever been a part of the 42-member ASCOMSAD, the currently operating association for workers in Sandaga. Not having adequate representation, however, is only part of the problem. The market women encounter severe barriers and obstacles on a day-to-day basis: sexual harassment, discrimination and theft are common occurrences, and the majority of the women do not know their rights in the marketplace or the laws that govern them. As a result, community officials are able to manipulate and take advantage of the women, forcing them to pay double or triple rents for example. AMA’s main objectives are to create an association for the market women—to be called UCOMAS (Union des Commerçantes du Marché Sandaga)—and to empower the women of Sandaga, teaching them the laws and regulations of the market, equipping them with ability to defend their rights, and developing further leadership skills. AMA’s central purpose is to identify the most pressing challenges facing women in the market, and to work with them in crafting feasible and effective solutions.

AMA Business Training Workshop in Limbe, Cameroon
AMA Business Training Workshop in Limbe, Cameroon

AMA Business Training Workshop in Limbe, Cameroon

AMA has made progress—on April 22 they elected 10 women to the executive board of UCOMAS, and they have reached 250 women through business training workshops. Unfortunately, the association is still in the nascent stages; it does not have a sustainable flow of income, a finalized constitution or a solidified plan of action. The women have many ideas with much potential, but lacking resources and definition continue to threaten their growth, reach and success. Our work plan, then, is to lay a foundation and international identity for AMA, through the creation of an AMA website, a brochure that outlines AMA’s purpose and role, and a documentary that will detail its goals, projects and future.  It is going to be very interesting, as well as challenging, to help build an organization, and a movement really, from the ground up.

As Vital Voices’ Global Grants Manager Melysa Sperber commented, AMA really is an idea that now needs to transition into concrete action.

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




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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