It’s been 10 months since the Himalayan Institute Cameroon School of Carpentry & Construction opened its doors in Kumbo, and since then it has created many opportunities for the community. Each project that the school undertakes is designed to target local needs in the community and is proving to benefit the carpentry industry in Northwest Cameroon.

Training Programs, Workshops and Internships

Many classes have been taking place since the school opened; most notable in 2009 were two 10-week training programs titled “Modern Carpentry Methods.” The first training was delivered to local carpenters who were looking for advanced training. The second training was for a group of technical teachers sent to our school by the local government trade school. These teachers not only learned how to improve their approach to carpentry but, more important, attention was given to help develop teaching skills.

Cement Block and Seasoned Lumber Enterprise

In Kumbo, the majority of homes are built from cement blocks in wooden frames. Some builders cut costs by using less cement in their blocks and by using untreated lumber. The result is that the blocks crumble and the untreated boards warp.

To address this problem, the School of Carpentry & Construction set out to provide the community with high-quality, dependable building materials. By taking time to dry and treat their lumber and by ensuring the proper proportions of cement and sand in their cement blocks, this new enterprise now makes these materials available to the community at all times. This effort is already improving the durability and safety of building projects throughout Kumbo.

Contracted Services Unit

This service program was developed to give the school’s trained students and staff an opportunity to use their skills on private contracted projects in the community.

Custom Woodwork Trainings and Enterprise

Almost every training program has been geared toward improving quality and increasing the efficiency of the carpentry trade. In the city of Kumbo there are over 200 carpenters, most of whom have been able to use this knowledge to add value to their own businesses.

The students and staff of the school have also created their own microbusiness, making refined furniture available to buyers either from custom orders or from a standard line of affordable, durable, and beautiful furniture and products.

Specialty Woodworking Service Program

After students are trained and pass a certain level of certification in modern shop operations, they are then authorized to open the shop and machines up to the community as a service program. This Specialty Woodworking Service program allows local carpenters to have access to all of the tools. Through this program, carpenters will now be able to bring in boards to be cut, sanded, and finished by trained Carpentry & Construction technicians.