Annual Report



“Little drops make a mighty ocean”. Mountains created from nowhere. Many people belief on having the money capital before starting any venture. When I left the university some times in late eighties, I belief on being one of the catalyst in solving the problems of the deprived Cameroonians with focus on women. To do this I strongly have in mind that my intellectual capacity will create results. What came in mind is to create a structure for this purpose. As early as 1990, Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society (BERDSCO) was created and legalize in 1993 as a full flesh non governmental organisation. Its objectives were simply to alleviate poverty. I can see it today as a mighty ocean.

This organisation has year by year created the necessary results, the required impact on the poor living in respective communities throughout the South West and North West provinces of the Republic of Cameroon. These results couldn’t have been achieved without its combine activities; microfinance for income generating activities, health prevention education, environmental education and conservation, community development, research, training schemes, consultancy work and volunteer exchange programmes. In no less than distant time, our vision at the inception of BERDSCO will be realized of creating a poverty alleviation financial institution. This we must strengthen our relations with our partners under our concept that “no one hand can tier a bundle”. This institution will completely become a legal entity itself providing multitude of financial services to the poor in our society.

If we implement all these with our firm commitment in the near future the poor will be capable of providing their basic needs. The year 2006 had organizational crisis in financial terms as no project was funded during the year. However, servicing the poor with our migre resources was at the centre of all our activities. Our evidence of success can be read from the story of a lady beneficiary on our scheme. With the burden of my children with no father as their breadwinner under care in the provision of food, housing, clothing, health, education etc, she claimed that she found no reason to live. One day a friend told her that a new organisation called BERDSCO has arrived the village which helps disadvantaged and displaced people. She approached BERDSCO project officers for a loan of 50.000 Francs CFA for sale of dresses in the market. This woman realize profit and payback BERDSCO loan without any difficulty. Today, her life has change as she found avenues where she could meet her family needs. From such statements from our borrowers, we can see how little drops make a mighty ocean.

We have carried out our savings activities granting of small loans for income generating activities and loans for social activities. In the domain of the family we have within the year carryout training on responsible parenthood education and creation of family livestock farms. The year also saw group leaders course on skill development as group management. Our environmental activities were also on the platform with tree projects and planning of research on medicinal plants and wildlife research in species and population. The community awareness mobilization and training and organisation into local HIV/AIDS control committees was on the high gear. To crown all the malaria education and prevention strategies was at the forefront of BERDSCO activities ranking second to our microfinance activities. Our consultancy activities took as to three projects within the Catholic Diocese of Buea and one project in Lebialem division which studies were well conducted. The year 2007 will be a year of much expectation as we have began an intensive programme of building the capacity of Benevolent community Education and Rural development society from the viewpoint of developing the capacity of the staff by requesting expatriate volunteers to serve on our programme. Let us work as a family for the realization of our goal.



This non governmental organisation which has successfully raise itself at the international level still maintain its head office at Federal Quarters in Buea where it has had many activities. The head office still maintains a staff force of 10 skillful personnel ranging from secretaries to the director. Between this period, the regional office of the organisation in Lebialem and in the North West province each maintained a staff force of two untrained workers due to lack of resources to carryout staff development activities.


The office in Buea is well staff with Cameroonian and expertrate volunteer workers. In this, we currently maintain three volunteers RNDr. Muron Pavel M.Sc. from Czech Republic, Anna Treuova from same country and Martin Zieba M.Sc., B.Sc. from Poland. They current work at best ways of organizing BERDSCO to function well and project development in various fields such as agriculture, small enterprises development, farm equipment and support to schools project.




Our principal operation is the application of all strategies to alleviate poverty, hunger and ensure food security to sustain the lives of the poor. Since 1998 Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society has been running a micro credit programmer for the interest of the poor. Such programme has been reaching the community using two approaches sensitization on the poverty situation of the area, education and training both through managerial training and technical training schemes to capacitate the poor. These credit training programmes have built the capacities of the borrowers through new skills learning experiences to earn and live an appropriate lifestyle and the ability to keep appropriate record.


The Products At Hand

To reach the poor, we need adequate and well tested products. The testing of our products helps us to understand whether the targeted beneficiaries welcome our scheme. For our nine years of our credit operations we have targeted, developed and tested four acceptable products for our clients.

  • The productive short-term loan given for small income generating activities and to newly acceptable population acceptable on our scheme. They are given for a period not exceeding 12months.

  • The productive long term loan which are usually granted specifically to second and third borrowers. These are loans made for a period not above 18 months for longer term crops that takes more than one year to mature.

  • The social loans. This scheme is build simply to create a source where members could meet up their social obligations such as school fees for children, medical treatment housing rehabilitation, water and electricity connection, deaths, marriages etc.

  • Loan default insurance. A scheme designed to assist members of the group who by virtue of misfortune can not be able to service their loans. Money to build up this fund is taken off from loan activities of members from which the obligations of defaulting members are met for eventual collection from them in good times.

Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society microfinance activities to the public are in variety of dimensions small scale agriculture, manufacturing, commerce, animal breeding, housing and service sector.


The Cameroonian family is currently facing rough times poverty, marital conflicts, increasing conflicts between parents and children. Among this we have taken a stock of juvenile delinquency, instability and breakdown between men and women the lost of traditional values which odd to be promoted by the family, the irresponsibility of men as fathers within the home, the inability to shoulder the burden of family education, corruption, rural exodus, prostitution and the total abandonment of their relations to live in foreign lands. The family face with this problem needs to find solutions. In this domain, we have consisted run three training schemes in the year 2006 on responsible parenthood education. The first is gearing to training hoping to find avenues where family members could have the necessary means to care for their families inclusive here was family life education. The second aspect is education on human sexuality which intends to make people be aware of their status as male and female in the society.

Family Livestock Farms

The family is the basic unit at the heart of the society which takes care of all its dependants. In this, we talk about father, mother, children, dependant which is typical in African settings. Most of this includes relatives. Thus, in African and in the realities of Cameroon, it is common to find twenty people in a household living as a family. This to perform the real family functions by its members becomes something that is unfounded. Basically it is the function of the family to provide it members with basic needs such as health, nutrition, shelter, physical and emotional care, and personal individual development. Also inclusive in these functions of the family is the maintenance of family moral customs values and beliefs leading to the family culture. To meet with family basic needs hampered with the means. In this aspect many families lives in extreme poverty which amount for incidence of low protein supply in families. To eradicate this problem BERDSCO promoted Back Yard Family Livestock Farms with two folded objectives. The first was to increase the level of household supply and consumption of meat and secondly to sell the surpluses to improve household income which can be use for other purposes viz children fees at schools, medical fees, contribution to shelter building etc.


As it all reads, BERDSCO is a 90% women oriented organisation. This implies that the emphasis during field operational activities is on women. Although at the realization stage we can record 65% to 75% achievement from the women benefiting on our programmes deviating from the targets above at the founding time.

Benevolent community education and rural development society a long servicing NGO has noticed that Africa and Cameroon in particular had been going through an upsurge in the prices of goods bringing about an increase in the suffering of women and most especially the rural masses who have to a certain extend nothing or marginalize income to spare. Women face unemployment problems coupled with unavailability of jobs and the fact that women are less qualified have no alternative to acquire income. The crux of the whole issue has been due to some extend, lack of awareness, no collaboration on their part, the need for constant advice and supervision, unaffordable high rate of interest change by money lenders, some aspects of tradition and customs, high rate of illiteracy on women and lack of training.

Thus, this training programme on credit management women leaders of BERDSCO was designed to be held in Buea where the head quarters of the organisation exist. Its purpose was to enhance the skills of women leaders as personnel who suppose to have the technical know-how in developing their respective common Initiative Groups linked to the BERDSCO system of micro-credit delivery for their income generating activities.

In overall, 30 participants received the training at BERDSCO head office to which they had the opportunity to learn

  • how women still have the potential despite the exploitation

  • credit mechanism in women’s groups

  • Sharing experiences among themselves on various credit systems.

  • food crop production, rearing of animals and marketing

  • the rationale of savings and credit

  • book keeping, cash flow

  • Legal aspect on savings and credit and the capacity to contract.

  • Women’s awareness and gender promotion on savings and credit.

  • Discipline in women’s groups and the major causes of indiscipline in groups

  • Effective communication barriers to effective communication were analyzed

  • Group dynamics and quality of a good leader

  • Sources of loan fund to women groups

  • Feasibility studies and monitoring of savings and credit projects

  • Definition of a project and background information on project proposal writing

Finally, the participants during the course submitted projects to which BERDSCO should reflect on them during the subsequent assistance to the group as follows;

  • Sale of cosmetics goods and roasted fish

  • Designing of latest styles in the market and sale of second hand dresses.

  • Rabbitry and piggery, agriculture and savings.

  • Soya beans farming and marketing

  • Rabbit breeding

  • Piggery and yam farming

  • Cold store

  • Livestock, mini livestock fishery

  • Rabbitry and agriculture savings

  • Sale of garry, cocoyam, kerosene and fresh tomatoes.

On the whole the course was stimulating and successful. Participants were well equipped with the foundation skills in management of savings and credit schemes. This has undoubtedly broadened the scope of their operations of their respective groups. Much left to be desired on the side of Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society (BERDSCO).


Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society has successfully realized the following projects in the year 2005. First on the agenda is the tree planting programme


Studies were made in the year 2005 to support residents of Lebialem community with tree planting to protect landslides commonly faced by the people of the area. This area is often described as the home of numerous hills, valleys and these exist part of mount Bambutos which is volcanic with the height of 2740 meters. The hills posed a big threat to many people because it makes accessibility to the area more difficult. Villages are spread out through several valleys each with houses wherever there is sufficient flat space. Roads curve in and around the hills farming activities are around the hills.

The area is blessed with many streams and mostly permanent found around the valleys and slops and water falls which generate some electrical and tourist potential. This makes erosion very easy to occur. Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society began to do environmental conservation using tree planting which while acting as soil enhancement also serves as wind breaks and means of erosion control. However, Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society is a non-governmental organisation working in the area of poverty alleviation. One of our field diagnose is that environmental degradation is one of the main cause of poverty in Cameroon.



Within the late half of the year 2006, a decision was reach by management of Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society to exploit resources at its immediate surrounding. Top on the list was research activities within the Rumpi Mountains of Cameroon which embraces Mount Cameroon. Two very important projects were agreed upon viz research on the “Mountain Range Medicinal Plant Survey and Conservation Expedition” and research on wildlife species. These activities when executed will be documented and published for the future generations. This research is very important because despite the development potential, the area suffers from deforestation, eruption erosion, and uncontrolled bushfire, pressure for agricultural activities, fuel wood exploitation and unsustainable harvesting of medicinal plants.

These projects are very important for tourist purposes and achieving healthcare for human consumption and livestock development. Eighty percent of Cameroonians live in rural areas and depend mostly in traditional medicine partly due to traditional beliefs, the high cost of modern medicine services as well as lack of access to health centres. In spite of the importance of medicinal plants to human lives poor attention has been give to its conservation. These projects under design are directed towards our environmental conservation. Partners for its realization are currently being researched upon. It is expected that when realized will document and publish plant species and wildlife worthy of protection as well as education of the local population on their sustainable use.


Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society have been very active in the North West and South West provinces of the Republic of Cameroon. The initiation of its health education programme gave root to many activities in the field. From our community education activities, our catchments areas face common diseases. These diseases have been affecting the health and lives of the people. The rampant ness of the diseases has affected the degree of the economic activities of the people. These diseases range from; malaria, filarial epilepsy, convulsion, hernia, tuberculosis, small pox, meningitides, diabetes, tetanus, poliomyelitis, typhoid, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, philaria, chicken pox, sleeping sickness, measles, skin diseases, cholera, upper respiratory track infection, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, rheumatism, arthritis, nutritional problems etc. being mostly rural areas, the great handicap of the people resident in our area of operation belonging to BERDSCO is the lack of medical experts and enough medical facilities. Most of them who are ignorant about the health situations holds allegiance to cultural beliefs. Poverty too places its own negative role on the health of the people by causing the population inability to have the purchasing power for drugs and even expensive ones. The end result is death. It is on this premise that Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society is re-sourcing for expert volunteer physicians to work on our health activities.



Malaria infection is a major health hazard in Cameroon. It accounts about 50% to 70% of all medical consultation in the area. About 45% of all hospital deaths in Cameroon are related to malaria. If left unchecked, malaria will become a great killer disease in Cameroon. Those in the high risk zone are the pregnant women and children below 5 years. Thus, it is set up to reduce the rate of malaria infection by 50% before the year 2010.


Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society contracted from the Government of Cameroon in its “Scaling Up Malaria Prevention Programme through the Ministry of Public Health certain activities. Among others training became one of the principal activity under the “Roll Back Malaria” initiative to which Cameroon adhered to since 1998. The government is currently reinforcing the implementation of programme with the objectives of having by the year 2010 the level of malaria morbidity and mortality among Cameroonian population. The priority is given to children below the age of five years and pregnant women. The objectives can only be considered only if the target population adhere to the various forms of intervention to control through sustain information and awareness action.

Thus an agreement was drawn up between the National Roll Back Malaria Committee (NRBMC) and Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society to mobilizes the public on modes of intervention beginning with the training of the top relay agents.

The training whose objectives was to re-enforce the capacity of the relay agents from health area associations in the area of organisation communication and promotion of malaria control in the respective health districts of the high risk zone of Lebialem division. Here, it had the specific objectives to explain the framework of national Malaria Control Programme and the health in Cameroon. Teach participants about malaria, the various modes of transmission, prevention and the mechanism put in place to control the transmission of malaria parasite. Furthermore, to educate the participants of the national communication plan, communication activities for the control of malaria and to understand the entry point mindful of the culture of the people of the area during home visits.

The training ended up with the visit of the participants to homes in the village taking not of number of residences visited number of household visited, number of pregnant women, number of mosquitoes net treated, number of children below 5years and number of residence without mosquitoes net.

Within the framework of the convention BERDSCO is charged with

  • Development of annual detail and budgeted plan of action in collaboration with District medical officers

  • Organize and hold at the commencement of each malaria prevention activity an awareness and information meeting with the administrative political, religious, traditional rulers and local partners.

  • Prepare a list of all health areas associations under their control with detail maps of the areas

  • Ensure at the commencement of each activity the training of the chosen members of the association in various health areas. Ensure the effective and quality control of the activities undertaken and reported by the health area association.

  • Ensure promptness and completeness of home visits and reports to be submitted

  • Prepare quarterly a consolidated progress report of the field activities in cooperation with the district medical officer.

  • Evaluate the activities completed in the field and ensure the prompt payment of the field agents.



A series o visits were conducted by those trained by BERDSCO in the Community alongside its own personal staff. The main activities were;

  • Presentation at household level of issue of malaria, its control measures, and how the community can have access to mosquito nets.

  • Assessment of the current preventive approach use by the communities

  • Collection of statistics on the rate of infections

  • Distribution of educative materials on malaria (flyers).


Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society works in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health following its letter of collaboration No E32-199/L/MSP/SG/IG/CJ of 2001. This collaboration memorandum has assisted BERDSCO to always be among those NGOs selected to work in the health area. To this effort, one of its notable activities has been the fight against HIV/AIDS throughout the South West province. This has always been within the framework of the Cameroon’s Government Strategic Plan adopted in the year 2000 to curb the social and economic impact of AIDS pandemic on the population.

BERDSCO being one of the NGO trained by the Government of Cameroon on how to fight HIV/AIDS using the local response participatory process is expected to;

  • Animate community participation in HIV/AIDS control so as to reduce the spread of the disease through integrated prevention and support activities.

  • To train the local population to have a sound knowledge on HIV/AIDS, the situation in their community, identify vulnerable factors and means of caring for those infected and affected

  • To identify solutions to fight against HIV/AIDS in such communities’ base on factors identified.

  • Assist the affected communities to put in place local AIDS Control Committee as a structure to execute the directives of the NGO daily at community level.

  • Help other social groups in such communities to draw up their plans of action which can be put together for the whole community and can be use to request for financial support from various partners.


  • Training of communities and legalizing community local AIDS Control Committee with the government

  • Identification of strengths and weakness of such communities prepared in the fight of HIV/AIDS

  • Identification of vulnerable factors in various communities that is the causes of HIV/AIDS in various communities such as drunkenness, idleness, poverty, lack of awareness, prostitution, unprotected sex, native doctors practices etc. many of these are being identified so as to establish measures of control in such communities

  • Other field activities is the mobilization and education of the communities on how to use condoms as a means of fighting aid

  • Further aspect are the education of the community members on home base care and

  • Lastly, the collection and preservation of statistics which helps to indicate the prevalence rate in our society.



Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society is at the service of who needs it services, thus playing a paramount role in the society. The Church involvement in educational facilities can not be overemphasized. The Catholic Educational Authorities runs more than 15 elementary schools with a population of 41.7% girls and 58.3% boys. Catholic schools ranks second to the government with a population which can not easily be absorbed in the present educational ladder. In this aspect the Catholic Educational Authority is currently facing pertinent problems which are impeding its human development activities, prioritizing among others is the development of its academic infrastructure. This is as a result of the huge gap between the number of children graduating from primary schools in Muyuka Sub Division within the period of 2005/2006 and 2007/2008 and the total number of students enrolled in form one in all secondary schools in Muyuka sub division for the period 2006/207 to 2008/2009 academic year. The catholic educational authority consulted BERDSCO to carry out a feasibility study leading to the preparations of a project proposal for ‘construction of classrooms and a fence at the proposed Our Lady of Grace Secondary school Muyuka. This was one of the activities which took us a considerable time in executing it leading to a projected demand gap of 13.5% in the further academic year of 2008/2009.


The project is expected to have the following impact in the society in general

  • Supply of skill manpower for economic, social and cultural development of the state, industry and commerce in Cameroon.

  • Improvement in economic activities in the area through the additional infrastructure development.

  • Job satisfaction of teachers towards teachable class sizes and improved infrastructure development.

  • Increase income level of the staff of Catholic teachers working directly on the project.

  • Increase number of places available for admission which reduces the social burden on parents.

  • Reduction in juvenile delinquency rate in the society

  • Improvement in the teaching and learning environment.

  • Level of literacy in the area reduces.


The aim of education is to develop the physical, intellectual and moral capacity of a person to make his live a full and happy life in a community. This re-enforced in the Diocese of Buea by the Catholic Educational Authority responsible for the formal educational system in schools specially created by catholic Mission. Before a teacher succeeds in his children learning ability, he must be resourceful to capacitate himself. This involves research, reading, writing, producing teaching aids to support him in his knowledge transfer activities and in overall upgrading his knowledge through in-service courses and seminar for exchange of best practices. The children and the general public’s judgment of the capacity of the teacher to effectively transfer knowledge is when such a teacher is always resourceful. Teachers in the Diocese of Buea greatly face this magnitude of problems that presently handicap their effective teaching. This has simply resulted from poverty as many teachers earn less than 42 dollars living them with nothing to improve them. The challenge has been taken up by the Catholic Education Authority to establish this capacity building project which will reduce at least 50% of the pedagogic problems of teachers in the Diocesan area.


In the early period of the year 2006 the Bonjongo Ex-students Association (BONEXA) consulted Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society for studies on its projects at the college. Among others BERDSCO management decide to intervene in the area of setting up multi-purpose library

St. Paul’s College which was founded as a teacher training college in 1955 was later on accorded full fledge status of a technical and commercial High School with co-educational status. The significance that attaches to this is that one of the oldest commercial high school in Anglo-Saxon Cameroon. The introduction to commercial and technical High school has led to increase enrolment. This resulted to lack of accommodation for classrooms, offices, etc. this created a demand for the development of infrastructure which was not foreseen some 50 years ago. During the preparatory phase for the celebration of the college Golden Jubilee, the ex-students mutually agreed to join their homes in solving the perennial problems of this institution. They realize that the college couldn’t solve its problems alone without the support of the ex-students of the college. The ex-students resolved to remember their alma-mater by undertaking to see what they can do to help the school to achieve its main aim of educating children in a more conducive environment.

The realization of the first project document to source for funding was entrusted onto BERDSCO as a consultancy organisation. This was achieved by coming out with a project proposal for the “Construction of a multipurpose library complex in St. Paul’s College, Bonjongo”.


Between the early months of the year 2004 a group of some women registered on BERDSCO programme decided to register an organisation in memories of the organisation which has alleviate them from poverty in Fontem - Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society for some years. The group obtained their license No SW/GP/01/04/3973 and became an entity called BERDSCO Common Initiative Group CIG Fontem

The group was introduced into many training activities with focus on 90% women, some of these activities were training on credit management, agriculture, small enterprise development, food processing and marketing etc. their loan capital and supervision of their activities came from BERDSCO. Thus, this NGO activities with groups grew so large to include consultancy. The group decided to approach BERDSCO for assistance in sourcing for funds. BERDSCO decided to put up a project titled “Rehabilitation of Community Base Food Systems and Food Security in Lebang Area of Lebialem division to include crop farming and livestock farming. The initiation of this project came as a result that many farmers who belong to Berdsco-Common Initiative Group scheme found it difficult to end the production chain due to the lack of seed capital. Thus, their project besides the initial training search for improved seeds and animal breeds will support farmers with credits at harvesting level to transformation and marketing of crops. While in the domain of livestock will support farmers with credits for fattening of pigs, goats, fowl etc. this will ensure availability in the market to overcome the present scarcity. The project targets 30 women food producers.



  • The main problem of the organisation face during the year is the lack of adequate loan portfolio to carry out formal credit activities. Banks in Cameroon do not have the appropriate package which can assist on NGO activities in the field. Consequently, operational cost become too high and the inability to handle this by the organisation. This limits the organizational ability to expand its programmes.

  • The lack of appropriate equipment and a project vehicle to assist the input supply and marketing of the products of people at community level. This makes their degree of graduating from poverty very low.

  • It currently operates on a hired building which is detrimental for the smooth functioning of an NGO of this standing. There is a need for a personal accommodation owned by BERDSCO for its 17 years of existence.

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