Cameroon Volunteering Project

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Travel Updates

  • An Unexpected Visitor Yesterday evening, one day before I will leave Belo, we had an unexpected visitor. I was at the RUDEC guesthouse teaching some girls (Rose & Queen) how to check their email ...
    Posted Mar 12, 2010, 6:37 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • In Cameroon, Balloon pops YOU! Now, I've always suspected that behind every playful & colourful balloon there lurks a dangerous and dirty secret.Finally, Last week when I was blowing up some balloons for the ...
    Posted Mar 3, 2010, 4:42 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Paper Library vs. Digital Library In the RUDEC computerlab we now have a paper library as well as a digital library. The paper library is small but takes up a lot of physical space, while ...
    Posted Mar 1, 2010, 8:40 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The Bees Knees Last Thursday it was time for the 2nd honey harvest. This time we went to a small RUDEC apiary near Mbingo were Joshua has 5 colonized hives. During the first ...
    Posted Mar 1, 2010, 8:23 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Hiking to the Oku Crater Lake This Saturday I hiked to "lake Oku" with Brynne and Amanda. Lake Oku is a beautiful crater lake surrounded by the Kilum-Ijim rainforest and is around 5 hours of ...
    Posted Mar 1, 2010, 7:47 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The water must flow... Back in late 2009, RUDEC Sent a third stage Field Navigator to Fuli to demand details from the Quarterhead. The water must flow... A beginning is a very delicate time ...
    Posted Mar 1, 2010, 7:06 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Life's a ball (game) Here in Cameroon, the life of the average schoolkids seem to gravitate around the (soccer) ball. Any spare time they can find will be used to play soccer on a ...
    Posted Mar 1, 2010, 6:22 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • A home for 2,400,000 bees With the Computerlab project almost finished, I've started working with Joshua to see if we can do one more project before I leave: Setting up a RUDEC apiary that ...
    Posted Feb 24, 2010, 8:43 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The RUDEC Computerlab: Now open! :) So yesterday was the big day, the culmination of a lot of my efforts in Cameroon combined with the many monetary and hardware donations from friends and family: The RUDEC ...
    Posted Feb 24, 2010, 8:10 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The rainy season started early, but not a day too soon! In Cameroon the dry season generally lasts until the end of March. But last week suddenly clouds started to appear, humidity levels skyrocketed, and before long the rain was pouring ...
    Posted Feb 24, 2010, 6:39 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Meanwhile in Cameroon... Power outageElectricity was out for almost the entire last 3 days.. I guess something got seriously broken. Incidentally the power outage happened roughly at the same time as the ...
    Posted Feb 24, 2010, 5:55 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Accessing the Web in Cameroon Access to the internet in Cameroon is like trying to eat soup with only a knife; It is possible but you need a lot of patience and it might hurt ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2010, 8:57 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Cameroon Computerlab Update! Thanks to some new donations (Thanks Sven, Pedro & Oxana! ) the computerlab is coming along really nicely now. With the new donations are now also able to put a ceiling into ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2010, 10:25 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The Fundong Orphanage During the drum circle BBQ two weeks ago, I met Justin Colvard, an American from Texas & Oklahoma that has been helping to run an Orphanage in Fundong for the last ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2010, 7:31 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Cute Animals of Cameroon If you subscribe to cuteoverload you know what I mean :)tiny puppy.Piggy..Kittehs~!!  \(^o^)/chicklet: 1 unit (XS)littl'goats.Human: Cute Edition...More to come! :)
    Posted Mar 3, 2010, 4:57 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Honey by-products: Beeswax Now that I went through the full training starting with hive construction and ending with pure honey, there are a few more skills I needed to master to become a ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2010, 7:43 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Those Darn Jiggers! I knew there were jiggers in Cameroon, but I figured I would be lucky enough not to walk into them. (that always happens to other people right? ;)). So I was ...
    Posted Feb 11, 2010, 4:25 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The Belo Solar Survey Last Tuesday I did a small survey for a solar power project with Engineers without borders that might provide a large school and 10 households with energy. The pre-feasibility ...
    Posted Feb 11, 2010, 5:22 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Henrietta, the BBQ Chicken. Last Saturday, Andy (a Scottish volunteer from Berudep) organized a drum circle and BBQ night. For dinner he managed to get a (live) chicken (or fowl) with the charming name ...
    Posted Mar 13, 2010, 3:29 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Visiting Pastor Francis Last friday, Brynne and I visited the compound of pastor Teh Francis. Since 2004 he is running a school in Jinkfuin village for destitute children covering all primary school grades ...
    Posted Feb 8, 2010, 7:54 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Close shave It is still the dry season here in Cameroon, and so far it has not rained a single drop. In the mean time my x-mas winter hairdo kept growing ...
    Posted Feb 8, 2010, 7:43 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Belo: Inside and Out In the greater "Belo area" there live around 80.000 people. The town however seems much smaller and most of the action happens around the main crossways called "three corners ...
    Posted Feb 8, 2010, 7:32 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The AdSpecs have arrived! One of the projects I'm running in Cameroon is the AdSpecs project to distribute adaptive eyewear to people that don't have access to an optician and/or lack ...
    Posted Feb 4, 2010, 8:18 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The ComputerLab is a go-go! Thanks to the donations of Florian, Alex and Oxana as well as the laptop donations from Florian, Alex, Elena, Manuel, Tilek and others we now have enough resources to make ...
    Posted Feb 4, 2010, 7:55 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The Ndawara Tea Tycoon This weekend my fellow volunteers were out climbing Mt. Cameroon (the largest mountain in Cameroon and West-Africa), so this was a good opportunity for me to trek to the ...
    Posted Feb 1, 2010, 6:49 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Raising Chickens After the completion of the water pipeline extension project Brynne has been working on in Fuli the last couple of weeks, she was given a pair of chickens. (Chickens are ...
    Posted Feb 1, 2010, 6:16 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • The (Honey) Harvest After learning beehive construction skills last week, it was time to finally don my beekeeping suit and get up close and personal with the African bees by harvesting some honey ...
    Posted Jan 31, 2010, 9:21 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Got Pets? Scamming in Cameroon Cameroon is on the blacklist of many credit card companies and money transfer companies such as Western Union because of the amount of scams and fraud originating from this country ...
    Posted Jan 31, 2010, 9:02 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • Adaptive Eyecare for Cameroon Before I left for Cameroon, I got a 5000$ grant from Google to set up an eye-vision correction project for Cameroon in collaboration with Adaptive Eyecare and the Center ...
    Posted Jan 25, 2010, 9:41 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
  • It's Guinness, but not as we know it. Coming from Dublin, the last thing I would expect to find in a small village in Cameroon is Guinness.. but guess what? Guinness is huge here! There are in fact ...
    Posted Feb 11, 2010, 3:40 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager
Showing posts 1 - 30 of 37. View more »

Project Plan

What

Google Leave for Volunteering Purposes.




Where

RUDEC (Rural Development Center),Belo region, Cameroon, Africa





Who

Reinoud Vaandrager (reinoud[nospam]@google.com)



When

Q1/2010 (05/01/2010-24/03/2010)



Why

During my Google leave I'm planning to engage in a number of projects in Cameroon aimed at improving the ability and means for Cameroonians of the Belo-region to self-educate themselves. The main aims are:

  • Digital Library Project: Set up a digital library at the local school: This will include:
    • Installing a HDD pre-loaded with local copies of Wikipedia for Schools, the CIA world factbook, 70.000+ public domain ebooks (Project Gutenberg and others), NASA World WindOpen Streetmap, selected MIT open courseware courses.
    • Setting up a local wireless network (in the school) with a link-up between the school and the RUDEC office for free access to the "digital library" services (based on a 15km range nanostation2 and using locally created cantenna's)
    • Collecting 2nd hand mobile phones, ubs sticks and laptops for use at the school in combination with the digital libary. (made a request for 2nd hand equipment with friends, family and Googlers @ misclist)
    • Setting up a simple (2.4W/h) solar-powered energy solution based on 2nd hand lead-acid car batteries with a 12V regulator and 220V inverter for use in charging phones and laptops.
  • Self-education Course: Teach a self-education course at the local school (english speaking community) and perhaps a small number of basic 101 courses depending on the need/level.
  • GPS Street Mapping: Do a GPS survey of the Belo and Bamenda environments for Open SteetMap (roads and POIs). Better maps should facilitate tourism to some extend. Btw I'm also willing to donate this data to Google Maps if there is any interest.
  • Website Development: I'll help Rudec develop and promote their website to improve their ability to attract volunteers and project funding.
  • Adaptive Eyewear Project: Provide adaptive eye-wear to the local eye-clinic at the berudep center (belo rural development project) in collaboration with Prof. Joshua Silver from the Centre for Vision in the Developing World
  • Natural Beekeeping Project: Learn natural-beekeeping skills from the local community and apply these skills in enabling surrounding communities to become more self-sufficient in this area (hive construction and management)


        

How

  • Hardware Collection: I can take care of collecting redundant laptops, routers, usb sticks from friends, family and googlers myself. Of course it would be nice if Google is able to provide some redundant hardware in the form of laptops but this is optional.
  • Data Collection: I can take care of setting up the digital library services, however when it comes to ebooks it would be great to obtain a collection of out of copyright books from Google books in PDF format that can be freely distributed (1M+ are available)
  • GPS Street Mapping: I can take care of the GPS survey and street/POI mapping for the Belo/Bamenda area, but would be happy to donate this data to the Google Maps team also.
  • Adaptive Eyewear Collection: I would like to further the goals of the Global Vision 2020 project by bringing ~200 pieces of adaptive eye-wear to the eye-clinic in berudep. Google has been kind enough to sponsor this project with a $5000 grant :)



Background


  • RUDEC: The mission of the rural development center in Belo is to promote diverse community efforts focused towards the generation of income, social wellbeing, improved nutritional status, and enhanced livelihood for all. 5% of the population has AIDS and as a result there are a large number of orphans that have to be taken care of by the community. $30 pays for a full year of tuition for a child. See http://www.rudec.org

  • Berudep: The vision of Berudep is to eradicate poverty and raise the living standards of the rural population of Cameroon’s North West province.  Berudep is a grass roots organisation whose initiatives stem from local and traditional knowledge, ensuring environmentally and economically sustainable programs. Berudep programs include eco-tourism, agriculture, education and health. See http://www.berudep.org

  • Global Vision 2020: Global Vision 2020 works to bring corrective eyeglasses to the more than one billion people in the developing world who would benefit from them through a combination of methods - using self-adjustable eyeglasses that allow users to correct their own vision and using established distribution networks available through the world's aid and development organizations by providing glasses and training at little or no cost to them. See also: http://www.ted.com/talks/josh_silver_demos_adjustable_liquid_filled_eyeglasses.html





Donate

If you like to donate, we will put your donation to good work:
  • 10 Euro pays for the material and construction cost of a bee-hive to support rural farmers.
  • 14 Euro buys a set of adaptive glasses to those in need of eyecare.
  • 23 Euro buys a goat for an elderly person or orphan family
  • 30 Euro pays for a child's schooling for an entire year
  • 50 Euro enables an entrepeneur set up a small business.
  • 90 Euro pays for a simple 30W solar station to power a small home.