NDES has committed to develop a self-sustaining, multi-purpose Centre to promote the personal development of underserved children from the South West and the North West Regions of Cameroon. The Centre will provide a safe haven for up to 300 children and youths a year, offering workshops in vocational skills, counseling, and sport. With some basic training in a marketable trade, increased self-confidence and a network of support behind them, these children will be able to build economically secure futures for themselves and their families. The facility will be self-sustaining, utilizing renewable sources of energy via solar panels for electrically and a solar powered borehole for fresh water.
In January 2020, UNICEF, Cameroon reported that the SW and the NW Regions of Cameroon had been disproportionately affected by conflict and poverty with many children left without any form of education or means of finding future employment. In Buea there are upwards of 1000 orphans and street children in desperate need of support, all of whom are at significant risk of exploitation and the traumas of war. Most have missed some school and few have robust family or community support structures in place to give them the emotional and financial security that they need. NDES aims to bridge the gap, helping the children, their families and communities become socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
NDES is building a 5000 sq metre Vocational and Sports Centre on a 2 hectare site which has already been secured. In addition to meeting and training rooms, a football pitch and basketball court, there will be staff accommodation and offices. Modular workshops will deliver training in sewing, plumbing, electricity, IT, carpentry and construction. Sessions providing trauma support, counselling and skills for life will also be delivered along with a robust sports program to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the children. The workshops will be developed and delivered with support from local businesses and the sports program with support from sporting professionals.
The Centre has been designed to support up to 300 children and youths per year. The workshops will arm the children and youths with practical skills that will help them secure work in the organised labour market so that they can generate a regular means of income for themselves and their families and in turn minimise the risk of exploitation by traffickers. Those struggling with trauma will receive the necessary help they need with their mental health along with help for general life skills. The sports program will build confidence along with skills in communication and responsibility. The ultimate goal is to provide the children and youths with the life chances many of us take for granted and the opportunity to build an economically secure and safe future for themselves. The Centre will also be available for the local region to use for special events and meetings, creating a much needed hub for the entire community.