From adversity—to unity
"Our first challenge when we arrived here was to stay together."
Brought together by violence and displacement in Cameroon, the group of women pictured above has turned from adversity—to unity. From different places, backgrounds and religions, they all share a common goal: to provide for themselves and their families. This is why they have set up a soap-making business.
Financial empowerment, countering harmful stereotypes about women, strengthening the sisterhood and building a better tomorrow for themselves, their children—and their community.
Here’s one of them explaining how they made it happen and some of their plans for the future.
“Before this project, we were living isolated from each other but today life is good and social: we meet good people, we discuss and we share both good and bad moments. Our first challenge when we arrived here was to stay together. We practice different religions, but this doesn’t matter any more thanks to the Women and Girl Friendly Space where we meet and the activities that are organised there. Today, we eat from the same plate and feel happy.
We have been making soap for about nine months and we are sure it’s going to continue. In the future, we want to buy a grinding machine for corn and a generator.”
International Medical Corps has worked in Cameroon since 2008 when we responded to a large influx of refugees from the Central African Republic. In the years since we have provided life-saving assistance amid cholera outbreaks and floods as well as care for families fleeing ongoing violence in the CAR and the Lake Chad Basin.
With generous funding from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), we among other things, provide vocational training to women.