For the past 10 years, Himalayan Institute Cameroon has been working in a small pocket on the west coast of, what is now, one of the fastest growing, continental market-places in the entire world: Africa. The Africa we are used to seeing as a combination of war-torn, disease-ridden countries has been changing ever rapidly (even within its portrayal on mainstream media) into an image of something completely different. A giant amongst the boom of tech industries, micro-lending enterprises, and small-crop agriculture, many speak on how the future of commerce, technology, and cultural exchange lies within the immense diversity of a rapidly growing population of technology driven, innovation oriented, culturally diverse African communities. Yet, the future of Africa has always and will continue, to lie within Africa’s internal changes of self: in the inventions, determination, dedication, resourcefulness, and ingenuity of its people. This idea-that the only way forward for many African communities lies in the home-grown development of small, community-based infastructure-is at the core of all we do at HI Cameroon.
#1 We are currently the only organization with an inclusive, far-reaching Public Health Campaign, fully supported by both tribal and government leaders, in all of Cameroon.
100% By 2017 we achieved 100% management of Himalayan Institute Cameroon-Kumbo location-by local staff, through leading the Northwest region in grassroots development and community sustainability.
2015 In 2015 we hosted the Help Africa Move Forward Conference focusing on innovation in Public Health & Small Business strategies throughout Africa.
60,000 Through our public libraries, we’ve made over 60,000 books available to the community in Cameroon.
90% Our vocational trainees experience a 90% employment success rate after completing our courses.
320,000+ Over 320,000 members of the local community have access to our health and vocational training initiatives.
75% For the last 10 years, our humanitarian projects, around the world, have been funded with 75% crowd-sourcing donations from individuals and families.
Can you believe it?! Our very first venture in Cameroon-our flagship Kumbo Community Center, now 10 years old-is now 100% staffed by local community leaders who run every aspect of daily operation. It is remarkable to see the transformation between 10 years ago and today, with this aspect of our work being a singular achievement our Cameroonian staff is so very proud of.
It has been clear, even such a short period into 2017, that we have come quite far and developed immense trust and deep relationships with our Cameroonian community, all through direct work on the ground in rural villages. What is even more remarkable is that the majority of this work was funded by working people all over the world who saw the quality, long-lasting, positive and (most importantly) sustainable nature of our work.
In order to scale and grow our community outreach, we are looking into incorporating more traditional models of fundraising and development into the daily operating structure of our organization, along with maintaining the positive and supportive crowd-funding structure of our past. This means expanding our network of who we know in order to achieve future goals-we are now ready to take our operation to the next level with long-term, high-value institutional funding. This will allow us to expand in the breadth, depth, and scale of all of our projects (we are conscious to approach this new strategy in a way that honors each division of HI Cameroon, so that they each program grows equally while consistently impacting the communities they serve over time, just as we have in the past).
A major focus of reinvestment and expansion within the next 5 years is on libraries and education, community & women’s health, and job creation. We want to take HI Cameroon to a new phase where we can show how our programs impact communities never before served, while highlighting the continued success of our foundational initiatives across the region. From 2017 through 2021, our vision is to operate a network of up to 10 Village Branch Centers supported by our headquarters in Kumbo and construct a fleet of Mobile Health Unit Clinics serving all of Northwest Cameroon. This multi-tier service model, combining a centralized community center as the foundation, with comprehensive & far-reaching outreach methods, will allow us to reach vastly underserved communities while maintaining high-quality service standards. Maintaining the standard of service achieved up until now is of utmost importance for us moving forward-we do want to compromise care at the expense of expansion.
Elements of Growth
Each program in HIC offers unique services and opportunities for our Cameroonian communities. Here’s how we hope to grow:
- Integrating more complex and clinically expansive medical services
- Creating a separate teaching curriculum, along with services specific to Maternal, Pre-Natal, and Pediatric Health Care
- Transforming Public Health Mobile Units into full-service clinical centers serving a variety of needs
- Partnering with local hospitals in a more consistent, in-depth capacity
- Training even more total health consultants across multiple regions
- Investing in our patient data management software along with our ability to track diseases
- Sourcing more African textbooks & authors in order to disseminate more original African content to students and teachers
- Bringing in innovative and sustainable energy such as Solar Power to combat climate control issues
- Bringing Internet to all we serve, at each and every community center
- Development of Small-Business Building and Marketing courses specifically geared towards women
- Utilizing Sacred Link Jewelry Initiative to teach women how to use common skills to create micro-business structures
- Providing courses focused on financial literacy and family banking management
- Working with women in prison and expanding our prison system outreach
SCHOOL OF CARPENTRY & CONSTRUCTION
- Renovating our current space to expand in physical size and technical capacity
- Growing the number of apprentices and interns accepted into the program each year
- Upgrading technical equipment so trainees are learning the latest technical skills on the most modern machines
Reinvesting In Our Future
It is now, in 2017, that our future is clearer than ever. Whether or not many of the goals of HIC come to fruition in the next 5 years is largely up to the engagement of these communities and the dedication of our teams on the ground, but it is also up to you. Understanding, and learning more, about the vitality of Africa-its future in commerce, economy, trade, ingestion of ideas, mobile ingenuity, and innovative lifestyle strategies-is crucial to relating to the core purpose of HI Cameroon’s mission: in the most minute and seemingly inconsequential of places, there lies great resource, power, and cultural worth-you just have to build those personal relationships (over years of hard work and time) in order to be able to see it.
Empowering those whom we do not know, often cannot see, and rarely hear from in our news media lies at the foundation of fostering a more compassionate, caring world-one at the service of those who need it most and one that works for us all, not just the privileged few. It is the investment in these small communities, working tirelessly to provide for themselves and their neighbors, which brings us the strength, momentum, and uplifted spirit we all need to keep moving forward. Continue ever onward with us as we help to deepen cross-cultural exchange and community development with positivity, resilience, and hopefulness for the future.