LWF President commends strength of Cameroon communities served by livelihood programs

LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa with LWF Vice-President for Africa Rev. Dr Jeanette Ada Maina, Bishop Theophilus Shadrach of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, and LWF staff and students in the Gado camp. The students held signs and recited a poem on the importance of education. All photos: LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein
LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa with LWF Vice-President for Africa Rev. Dr Jeanette Ada Maina, Bishop Theophilus Shadrach of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, and LWF staff and students in the Gado camp. The students held signs and recited a poem on the importance of education. All photos: LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

Responding to crisis with community centered sustainable livelihoods

(LWI) - On his visit to the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Country Program in Cameroon, the LWF President, Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa, applauded the strength and resilience of the communities served by LWF in Gado where refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) have migrated to find a safe haven and rebuild their lives.

The LWF President traveled to Cameroon to preside at the consecration ceremony of the newly elected national Bishop Dr Jean Baiguele, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon (ELCC), an LWF member church. The LWF President was accompanied by LWF Vice-President for Africa Rev Dr Jeanette Ada Maina, LWF Regional Secretary for Africa Rev. Dr Elieshi Mungure, LWF Country Representative to Cameroon Mr. Philbert Habonimana, LWF Council member Ms. Florence Keza Dawai, and church leaders from The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central Africa Republic, Church of the Lutheran Brethren of Cameroon as well as Lutheran Communion in Central and West Africa (LUCCWA). The LWF delegation expressed their joy in seeing a member church growing in various capacities, including electing and consecrating its national leadership and reiterated LWF’s commitment to continue its accompaniment to strengthen local capacities.

"You represent that [LWF] vision of reaching out to people in very harsh realities regardless of their faith or tribe or creed and where they come from."
Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa, LWF President

The visit to Cameroon offered the opportunity for a solidarity visit to the LWF Country Program. LWF President Musa acknowledged the resilience of the communities stating that the LWF was founded on the decision to respond to the devastated people all over Europe after the second world war. He added “you represent that [LWF] vision of reaching out to people in very harsh realities regardless of their faith or tribe or creed and where they come from.”

“People who were deeply affected by the conflict have smiles returning to their faces in our project zones. We place project participants at the center of our work and they have taken the activities to heart to make their hopes come true” said Country Representative Habonimana. He added that “the projects for livelihood, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), education, and peace and social cohesion have been a source of relief for many community members who are survivors of hunger, violence and abuse. The programs are also creating substantial income to enable them meet their household’s daily needs.

The Gado refugee camp is home to over 28,000 refugees from CAR and was established in 2014.

 LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

A student shares a message of gratitude while LWF President Archbishop Dr Musa and the delegation listen attentively in the primary school yard.

 LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

The LWF delegation learned about livelihoods work in the camp. Necklaces are placed on display from a  jewelry making project. Participants are trained to craft jewelry and entrepreneurial skills to create individually driven sustainable sources of income.

Women proudly display the final product of their hard work. The bio charcoal has been dried in the sun and is ready for the market.

Women proudly display the final product of their hard work. The bio charcoal has been dried in the sun and is ready for the market.

 LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

A sign posted at the entrance door lets students and passersbys know that this is a public primary school. The children are eager to attend school and build their future.

 LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

Students stand in an organized line in the school yard anticipating the arrival of their special visitors from the LWF.

 LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

A woman program participant explains the soap making process and showcases the latest soap production ready to go the local market.

 LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

The colorful variety of soaps are on display. Soaps are usually sold at the local market. Participants have used their skills to build a livelihood.

 LWF/Lucie Alalu Grinstein

The LWF delegation with staff in the main office of the Cameroon Country Program in Yaoundé. 

 

By LWF/L. Alalu Grinstein and LWF/T. Rakoto. Photos by LWF/L. Alau Grinstein.