Meet the people of Better World Cameroon
Director/Founder, Youth Development Activist
In 1996 I created Better World Cameroon NGO and through it Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village. The Eco Village project has come to fruition through working with the personal initiatives of unemployed volunteer graduates, government support and high level international networking for the betterment of livelihoods in Cameroon. Many social change professionals in the social networks (whom I have never met in person) have helped me work on this project behind the scenes.
In 2011 I attended the Development Education Summer School in Helsinki and developed a regenerative education concept for Ndanifor.
Then in 2012 my transdisciplinary approach to mapping the big picture of Better World Cameroon (BWC)’s transition to sustainability connected me to Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Gaia Education, International Permaculture Convergence IPC and Local Governments for Sustainability ICLEI. As a sustainability researcher.
I joined Education for Sustainable Development EDE2013 at the Sieben Linden Ecovillage in Germany in 2013 and shortly after joined the Transition to Resilience Learning Adventure for Change Makers (Module Four) in March, 2014 at Findhorn Ecovillage, Scotland. My intention was to build bridges into academia and sustainability practitioners for BWC.
In August 2014 as Bafut Ecovillage Vision 2020 designer and Partner NGO to Bafut Council, I was admitted in the training to Design Water Retention Landscapes in the Healing Biotope 1 Tamera Ecovillage, Portugal. I came back with an Integral Intentional Community Design for Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage Demonstration Centre (NPE) in Bawum, Bafut.
Our 2015 International Youth camp and Ndanifor Bioregional Mini EDE were inspired by the Gaia Education curriculum. The aim is to create new models of African ecovillages that are climate adaptation alliance projects based on Permaculture as case studies, that support young African entrepreneurs to network and communicate with each other from an African platform.
I participated in the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence (IPCUK) in 2015 and left deeply inspired by our significant achievements in the creation of the African Permaculture Union. I felt a call of service to Africa for translating the sustainable development goals (SDG) into social businesses through a bold international outlook for using Permaculture the African Way through Ecological transformation by greening local economies.
During my participation in the first African Technical African Regional Workshop for Cities and Local Governments in October 2015 and signing of the Durban Climate Adaptation Charter I renewed my commitment to sustainability and making BWC a model of development education in the world.
I have taken on the role of Director at BWC, with three areas of responsibility:
1) Permaculture-learning coordination of the Bioregional EDEs Courses
2) Academic and Partnerships Coordinator
3) Continuing with product development in the HVAP Programme.
I am proud to be part of the management team at BetterCOOP, because it gives me the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the global sustainability movement.
I bring my personal experience and educational skills, my passions, and my track record of helping to develop both the GENAfrica network, and Gaia University’s curriculum for NPE from the beginning. I value collaboration and personal engagement with issues important to resilience, restoration, and evolution of the social systems we live in. My present role includes expanding out-reach with our chosen target audience to increase BWC’s visibility in the world while working toward financial self-sufficiency. This is the undertaking of our spirited team, leveraging solid marketing principles to maintain continuous understanding of who we are communicating to, and in particular, how and why.
For all who value my work and would like to invest with me for further projects I welcome your ideas and conversations.
Mbah Sonita Neh: Administration and Director of Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage
I was born in Cameroon and have a background in Letters and volunteering for community hygiene and sanitation projects. I hold a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) and an EDE Certificate (Ecovillage Design Education). I am a facilitator/trainer as well as Administrator of Better World Cameroon I have dedicated the last 4 years to reconnecting young people to the land and carrying out youth entrepreneurship and cross-culture education programs through youth camps, and other community initiatives related to climate change adaptation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhjApLtJIfk ).
I am also a Peer Mentor and am co-creating a Peer Mentorship Program with Gaia University for Associates still undergoing Online Orientation.My passion for social change led me into exploring food security, cultural heritage and green economy as possible solutions to the growing rate of unemployment in rural Africa.
“I will Never be bullied into silence”
Contact Sonita by email
Koh Crystel: Communications and Public Relations
I am a graduate of the University of Buea where I obtained a BSc in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Political Science. I have been with Better World Cameroon (BWC) since 2011 when I was part of the Better World Student Nature Club.
I currently hold the position of Communications/Public Relations and take part in managing the BWC facebook page, writing and editing website content, organizing youth camps, Mini EDE’s, other events and offering my skills where needed. Part of my work entails doing secretarial work. Throughout my stay with BWC I have taken part in writing proposals and grant applications.
I enjoy taking part in the work parties at the Ndanifor Permaclture Ecovillage site where my energy goes into farm work, gardening, Permaculture and harvesting.
With time, I have come to embrace the vision of BWC. I am excited to be part of this transformative experience and I offer my knowledge and skills to contribute to making this vision a reality and actually seeing the change we want happen.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”
Contact Crystel via email
Beatrice Ofakem: Program Manager/Projects Monitor and Director of High Value Agriculture Products (HVAP)
I am TAMUNJOH Beatrice SALONG, Cameroonian and holder of Engineering Masters in Social Sciences for Development with specialization in Population, Peace, Mediation, Conflicts Management and Resolution. I graduated from Higher Institute of Sahel of the University of Maroua-Cameroon in 2014. I also have a Bachelor Degree in Bilingual Letters with specialization in Translation and Interpretation for French and English from the University of Yaounde I- Cameroon.
As a social entrepreneur, I am engaged in human and community development, focusing on women and family empowerment since 1999. I have worked with Better World Cameroon since 2008. Between 2008 – 2014, I served as Executive Director of the Northern Regions of Cameroon in Maroua, head quarters of the Far-North Region. There I helped empower women and young school children especially girls and orphans. My focus in northern Cameroon was an attempt to solve the social problems faced by the women and female childern of this region; illiteracy, early and forced marriages, female genital mutilation, human rights, and dependency along with an introduction to permaculture principles and practice.
With the arrival and persistence of the Boko Haram in Maroua, I had to suspend activities in this region.
Since January 2015, I have served as Programs Manager and Projects Monitor/Evaluator (January-June 2015) here in Bamenda. Currently I am now the Director of High Value Agricultural Products (HVAP) program in Better World’s Ndanifor Permaculture Eco-Village located in Bafut at Allegnwi. This program is part of our outreach to Bafut communities in partnership with the Bafut Council in regards to Food Security and Food Sovereignty in Bafut Sub-Division. Through this program we are introducing permaculture techniques in the cultivation of local crops including the integration of HVAPs (ginger, turmeric, lemongrass and moringa).
I dream of a world where the only principle that drives everything and everybody is “One for all, all for One”. Where people move freely and everything belongs to everybody. Men and women moving hand–in-hand without discrimination of race, tribe, culture.
I am the mother of four children, three boys and a girl, age 34yrs, married and living in Alegnwi Bafut. At one time I was the owner of a fast food business in Bamenda town and presently am the manager of the Ndanifor Permaculture Eco village.
I first came in contact with Better World Cameroon through community work held by BWC in Alegnwi Bafut. From there I got to know the various activities and programs carried out by BWC, some of which include Permaculture, High Value Agricultural Products and the Summer Work Camp. Awe inspired by the different programs and activities of BWC I decided to apply as a volunteer and was accepted and became part of BWC.
I have achieved a lot in a short time; from a volunteer to the manager of the Ndanifor Permaculture Eco village is a great accomplishment. With the experiences from the practice of permaculture principles, the teachings from the director of BWC and financial support from the organization through a stipend, all have made my life more sustainable.
As the manager of Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village, I create job opportunities for youths at the site, be it in farming or construction, where they are sensitized in environmental issues and possible solutions.
Elke Cole– Natural Builder, Architect/Designer, Website Manager, Organisational Troubleshooter, Teacher/Facilitator-
I have joined BWC as representative of O.U.R. Ecovillage in Canada and in my own capacity as Natural Builder and architect, facilitator and organizational supporter. I bring more than 10 years of ecovillage background as community member, teacher, program developer and designer. My main focus in the past has been natural building and project facilitation.
Here at Better World Cameroon I have designed the Learning Center and Eco-lodge for Ndanifor Permaculture Eco-village. I worked with the Bamenda team on funding proposals connected to this project. Part of my work is creating the new website look and writing some of the content. I am training the team on wordpress editing and sharing other skills as appropriate. I help with the strategic planning of Better World as a sustainable NGO.
I am the holder of a Bilingual degree and Maitrise in Bilingual Studies from the University of Yaounde. I have a post graduate degree in Bilingual letters (DIPES II) from the Higher Teachers Training College (ENS) Yaounde.
I have worked since 1992 for the Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC) as senior lecturer of French and now Inspector of Bilingualism Français II.
I am involved in village development and my love for developmental issues has pushed me to be active in NGO’s like BWC.
Sensitization of people and mobilisation of resources for development issues inteest me a lot, just as translation and education of the populace are for me a hobby.
I hope to make my impact felt in the society by my active role in issues of environmental safeguard, food sufficiency, use of natural materials for local use; house building, composting, manuring, and planting local trees to prevent erosion, and flowers for decoration. I really love nature and the natural environment.
I am the board accountant of BWC and a business woman. I learned about Better World through a discussion I had with Awantu Grace the Board Chair. I became very interested from that moment and made up my mind to be part of this great vision. My motivation for joining BWC is because of the interest I have in preserving my environment and helping others, especially our youth to live a better and sustainable life.
I contribute to BWC’s growth through financial support and also participating in some of the activities, especially work parties at the Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage. Doing this gives me great satisfaction because although it isn’t a lot of contribution, I know it contributes to preserving our environment and empowering our youth.
I do business for a living and apart from selling electronics, I practice Permaculture which I learnt from BWC and all these efforts make my life sustainable.
I am a semi retired Assistant Teacher/Facilitator, Coach, Writer and Apprentice Permaculturist among other things. I am supporting the creation of the Ndanifor Eco-village and Better World by assisting with the website, researching, intellectual troubleshooting, conflict resolution, working at the farm and occasionally cooking. I bring a measure of enthusiasm and inspiration to strengthen multicultural ties and support the efforts to create a better world.
I am a graduate of the University of Buea and a holder of a B.Sc in Sociology and Anthropology with a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Yaounde 1 Ngoa-Ekelle. I fully joined Better World Cameroon in 2012 I have come to understand and embrace the vision that Better World founder and coordinator Kohkankoh Joshua brought forth as a result of his huge experience concerning the social and developmental issues that Cameroon is coping with, I wish in my own little way to contribute to this rapidly growing and far reaching vision.
I am a high school graduate from Freiburg Germany and one of BWC’s new volunteers for the upcoming year until August 2016. My focus will be to support The Ecological Empowerment Project. This involves working with many of the communities within Bafut. I am also part of the team teaching Environmental Education in schools.
And there is office work as well, writing articles for the website and documenting our research. I ‘m a photographer and include my pictures.
Of course I do farm work too along with the staff and other volunteers out at the Ecovillage farm.
I try to bring the best of myself as possible and share my ideas, skills and points of view.
I am a one year volunteer worker with Better World Cameroon. This year I finished school and instead of going directly to university -at this time I have no clear idea what I want to do with my future- I decided to use this year to try something completely new.
I joined BWC in August 2015. Here I hope to expand my knowledge; about environmental issues, cultural differences and also about myself.
It is the first time that I work in an organisation like this and that I am dealing with these topics. In Germany we would call it “ein Sprung ins kalte Wasser” – a jump into cold water. Nothing could prepare me for what to expect here in Cameroon, I still have to learn so many things.
At the moment I am mainly involved in a project for environmental education with students and also part of a project to empower the farmers of Bafut in an ecological way.
In time my skills will surely improve, meanwhile I will do my best to fulfil my part in the whole picture of the organization.
I am holder of GCE A levels in sciences and studied at Government Bilingual High School Mbengwi.
I found out about Better World Cameroon through the National Employment Fund. I am currently an Administrative Assistant in training and volunteer.
What I offer is my commitment to all tasks given me and to be ready to learn so as to be a better person for a better Cameroon. I am happy being here and I am already a better person because I am part of BWC.
I find interest in designing shoes and dresses, singing, reading the Bible, novels, books about business, adventure, love and family, writing poems and short stories. I also am a lover of sports especially soccer, tennis and volleyball. I find pleasure in helping those in need around me and that gives me joy.
With the skills I have and am acquiring, I intend to create my own NGO and be an instrument of change for Cameroon, Africa and the world at large. So far l possess leadership skills and writing skills and am working hard to develop them.
I love BWC. Peace.
I am passionate about humanitarian and developmental work. With a special interest in livelihood improvement, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and the fight against hunger, it is my desire to contribute my skills and abilities along with continued learning to handle such issues with more competency. Having made first contact with Better World Cameroon in 2011 when I participated in the summer work camp, I am glad to be back supporting this vision and work towards sustainability. This platform will help me develop and build more experience in service since its activities are eco-centered.
Here I will be involved and actively take part in projects and programs in the community which can bring about positive change in the lives of individuals and groups, while caring for the earth.
At the Ndanifor Permaculture demonstration site, I love the concept and am particularly impressed with the kitchen; especially the fact that it uses less fuel wood and also emits less carbon into the air.
I hold a Licence in Common Law from the University of Yaounde II, Soa and a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Management from the Pan African Institute of Development West Africa (PAID-WA),Buea.
I am 26 years old, come from the city of Marburg in Germany and finished studying industrial engineering at Technische Universität Berlin this year. As an open minded person I decided to spend a year volunteering at Better World Cameroon because I need to make new experiences. I came here to get out of the environment I was used to, learn from the people who are involved in the project, offer my experience in return and be part of the Better World Community.
For me BWC, being a grass root organization as well as a place for people from different cultural and professional backgrounds, offers an environment that is the soil for sustainable ideas which are as diverse as the Cameroonian kitchen. For that reason and because of the holistic philosophy that characterizes the way people treat each other and work here I look forward to a year of exchange and finding ways towards a better world.
My name is Gilda Hosang, 23 years old and I am an international volunteer from Germany. I am supporting Better World Cameroon for one year. Before I came to Cameroon I did an education in tax accounting after I graduated from a business school. But at some point I realised that this was not supposed to be my profession. So I changed my interests from economy into social work. Before I left Germany I worked in a social organisation to rehabilitate people with mental illnesses to bring them back into the employment market. I dealt with diagnosis, psychology and got a lot of social soft skills. Forthermore I have skills in crafting and drawing and so I hope to be a good assistant for BWC.
In Berlin I found about Permaculture and the organisation of Better World Cameroon by chance. I realised I need to be conscious about our environment. The big topic of climate change is so important as a human being in the world we are living, because we have to handle overpopulation and the waste that comes out of it. In my opinion it’s so necessary to question our way of being present in this world, where time is running so fast. Also, to get an open eye for the environment we want to create for now and for the future of our children.
For me the spirit of Better World Cameroon deals with peace and a vision of a better living, where we can all find our ways back to nature and get to know how it feels like to have a closer relationship to it, which got lost during the past. Also, BWC is a place of inspiration to change our environment into a peaceful and healthy world and to place our focus on the important things in life, which means for me, that life is not about me, it’s about us and that means responsibility for everyone.