Garoua Programme Unit
Area: 66,000 sq. km
Population: 2,050,229 (2010)
Councils covered: 9
Sponsored children: Around 8,200
Garoua is a semi-arid region located in the north of Cameroon. It is one of the 10 regions of the country with several ethnic groups living in the plains and mountains. The main activities of the rural population are fishing and farming. The region is one of the poorest in the country with a per capita income of less than US$1 per day.
Plan started work in Garoua in 2007 in the Benue division and currently partners with 8 councils in the field of education (Barndake, Gashiga, Pitoa, Ngong, Lagdo, Touroua, Bascheo and Dembo). All Plan’s interventions are implemented in partnership with the ministries of basic education, social affairs, health, water and energy, and territorial administration and decentralisation.
Early childhood care and development
Plan Cameroon supports vaccination campaigns nationwide for children aged under 5 and also raises awareness about the importance of birth registration. This provides children with an official identity so that they have easier access to services such as health and education.
Nursery schools are also supported with teaching materials and game sets to increase early cognitive stimulation.
Integrated childhood development
Plan Cameroon is working to raise awareness of the importance of education, especially for girls, who are often left at home to tend to household chores. Plan also promotes a child-friendly learning environment by building classrooms and wells as well as school latrines to promote good hygiene practices.
Training is also given to parent-teacher associations on their role in managing the schools and to teachers on new approaches to teaching to improve the quality of children’s education.
Towards a productive adulthood
Plan Cameroon works with radio stations to produce programmes that raise community awareness about children’s rights. ‘Kids 4 kids’ is a radio programme produced and broadcast by the youths themselves, in which key children’s rights issues are talked about and debates are held.
In Garoua, Plan Cameroon is piloting a village savings and loan project, which trains community associations to help families increase their household income through small-scale business. It also boosts parents’ capacity to meet the needs of their children, such as tuition fees and books for school.
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