(a) Sensitization, Education, Formation of groups, Registration and training
From the beginning BERDSCO has been building awareness and educating rural communities on several issues such as
- health (AIDS, malaria, hygiene)
- environment (land degradation, deforestation, waste management, ozone layer
- income generating activities (crop production, livestock breeding, entrepreneurship)
BERDSCO is very active in helping communities that have once been sensitized and educated to form groups. Groups are then registered as co-operatives and common initiative groups to acquire legal status. This allows them to become members of BERDSCO and receive training from our team. Specific training provides community groups with lifelong skills, to earn a living, manage their financial records or be able to solve a given problem in a society.
(b) Microfinance for Agriculture and Income Generating Activities:
Agriculture is the key sector of the Cameroon economy, employing 70% of working population and contributing 45% of GDP. However, the economically active poor categories of the population do not have the necessary resources to depend on, as a means to earn a living. Thus, groups like women’s groups, men's group or youth groups obtain small credits from BERDSCO for:
- income generating activities such as crop production, livestock rearing,
- farm inputs such as equipment, fertilizers and pesticides.
Requests are financed depending on the demands of the farmers themselves and incentives such as training. The credit act as an instrument for poverty alleviation as the poor are the main group of people engage in obtaining small loans. This helps them to create self-employment opportunities, promote food security, raise their income level to improve their living conditions.
(c) Health Prevention Education Programme
Rural population within BERDSCO catchment area suffer from various health threats and diseases. During our survey and training on health education sessions we have documented prevalance of: malaria, typhoid, pneumonia, dysentery, diarrhoea, skin diseases, anaemonia, tuberculosis, hypertension, pregnancy complications, chicken pox, epilepsy, sleeping sickness, HIV/AIDS, and several toilet inflammation diseases. We belief health plays a very important aspect in the life of poor people. Presence of diseases mentioned above can be serious threat to secure livelyhood of rural family. Once the causes are identified by BERDSCO project team, remedies are applied immedietely.
(d) Environmental and Community Development:
This NGO is much concern about the issue of environmental sustainability. Therefore, it cares about man and his impact on environment. In this area we are engaged in solving land degradation and biodiversity conservation problems through agro-forestry and soil conservation. We support hunters´ families in maintaining backyard farms, thus preventing from hunting in the bush. This contributes to wildlife protection. Moreover, we have interest in exploring and diversifying income generating activities of rural people oppose to wildlife harvesting.
(e) Exchange Programme:
BERDSCO attaches much importance to cultural differences and experiences from other parts of the world. Thus, accepts volunteers with different background for engagement in communal activities and projects in order to share and gain experiences on best practices.
BERDSCO offers following programmes on development issues:
undergraduate students internship programme,
graduate work experience programme.
We are also interested in cooperation with adults with wide experience in various fields of activities such as; education, agriculture, forestry, community health and construction. So far our volunteers were engaged and have achievements in the area of project development, setting up of village health committees, website development, women mobilisation, fundraising and film documentaries for BERDSCO.
Our daily activities in the field are complied with research and experiments carried out for example on:
- savings mobilization, credits and technology,
- introducing pigs and acceptance of pork meat,
- bee keeping and honey production,
- initiating and adapting new crops,
- starting new farming techniques,
- health problems.
Consultancy has become one of BERDSCO principal activity. We are being contact by community groups, various organisations and institutes to consult us on project proposals development and feasibilities. Once project is granted, we act as a mediator for monitoring, and evaluation between donors and those involved. We are also representatives or focal point of different organisations based outside Cameroon.