“Going To School” & Amom Charity
Be! Schools for Cameroon Schools
Teaching entrepreneurial skills to children by using books
Program title: Be! Schools for Cameroon Government Schools
Brief overview of the program:
20 Be! skills books, each teach an entrepreneurial skill from building relationships to making a business plan. These books will encourage Cameroon’s poorest children to stay in school to learn skills that will help them get a job, or ‘create a job’ once they complete their education.
Going to School and Amom Foundation will train 570 government school teachers (2 teachers from each school) from 285 government schools in North West Region of Cameroon to use Be! skills stories and complete an activity with 28500 children in grade 8. ( Report North West Delegation of Education, 2010)
Children in grade 8 will read one Be! skill story once a week for 31 weeks (1 year) and complete a skills activity that allow us to track their progress.
Children will be first reading a book (which will promote literacy and skills education) and then they will conduct skill activity at home, which will show the practical use of the skill learned in school.
The program teaches entrepreneurial skills to the poorest children in school through beautiful content.
What is the current scenario in Cameroon?
School education in Cameroon is currently not relevant to getting a job or creating a job. About 84.6% enroll in secondary school, 64.3% of children who enrolled in grade 8 will likely complete secondary school, indicating that 35.7% of children enrolled in school are dropping out of school early (Cameroon National Institute of Statistics, 2010).
Most programs focus on primary education and early childhood care, the missing middle is ‘youth’ and interventions in High School. Further, skills are usually taught at age 18+ when kids have already dropped out of school. We believe teaching skills earlier to kids while they are in school through dynamic content can keep kids in school to learn more.
Employability skills are not yet taught at scale to young people age 10-16 in school. Young people drop out of school, unskilled.
While the economy is growing, it cannot create enough jobs for everyone – statistics point to 30% unemployment rate (2001 est.), 75.8% under-employment and 48% of population below poverty line (2000 est). 85.6% of the population about 16,847,486 million young people under the age of 30 by the year 2020 that will be in search of jobs or under employed (Cameroon National Institute of Statistics, 2010).
At the same time, Cameroon faces pressing problems of water, waste, energy, housing and sanitation, further exacerbated by a growing population. One solution to unemployment and solving local problems is mass entrepreneurship. Young people need to be taught employability skills in school to be able to get a job or create a job once they have completed their education.
Be! is designed as an intervention to reach young people in schools with employability/entrepreneurial skills content, to encourage them to stay in school. A link has been made between education and employability, and therefore increases value for the education they receive.
How is Be! Books for Cameroon Schools going to address the above these learning opportunities?
An estimated 28,500 children in Grade 8 in 285 government schools in North-West Region in Cameroon will read one Be! story once a week, learn an entrepreneurial skill. They would apply this theoretical knowledge in practice by completing the activity in their community – getting 28,500 children to learn skills, as well as stay in school to learn content relevant to employment.
North West Region is an interesting region
The North West Region geographically is in the north of Western Cameroon. It has about 2.7 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Bamenda. It is one of the two English speaking regions in Cameroon The Northwest Region (since 2008 known as the Northwest Region) is the third most populated province
in Cameroon. It has one major metropolitan city: Bamenda with several other smaller towns such as Wum, Kumbo, Mbengwi, Ndop, Nkambé, Batibo, Bambui and Oshie. The province saw an increase in its population from about 1.2 million in 1987, to an estimated 1.8 million people in 2001.
The population density, at 99.9 people per square kilometer, is higher than the national average of 22.6 people per square kilometre. The provincial urban growth rate is 7.95% (compared to the national average of 5.6%), whiles the rural growth rate, at 1.16%, is equal to the national rate. According to the Statistical Provincial Services of North-West Province in 2001, the population of the province is largely a young one, with over 62% of its residents aged less than 20 years.
The dependency rate is therefore high in the province, particularly in the rural areas. There is, as in other states, a disconnect between what children learn in school and the skills they need to get a job or create a job once they complete their education. Be! bridges this gap and delivers stunning offline content to teach skills and dually get kids online to learn more.
Cameroon has a population of over 20 million people. Over 43.6% of the population is below the age of 25 – a key target group for the Be! Skills program (Cameroon National Institute of Statistics, 2010).
Our goal is to inspire 28,500 children to stay in school to learn skills in Cameroon. We want to prove that beautiful skills stories for the poorest children can change the way things are: reduce the dropout rate, make education relevant to employment and create value for new hero role model entrepreneurs from low-income groups who use their education and skills to start a business that generates an income, creates jobs and solves local problems.
Why Going to School and Amom Foundation is most qualified to address these learning opportunities
For the last four years Going to School has worked to create Be! an Entrepreneur. Be! is based on extensive research across India, with over 1,000 children to map the entrepreneurial skills they have and use in their lives, and extensive review of over 150 sustainable enterprise models that young people can start themselves.
The Going to School team includes qualified researchers, with Masters in Psychology, Social Development, and Mass Communication. The team has a collective work experience of over 50 years in backgrounds including development, gender, education, mass media, film, art, graphic design, housing, livelihood, journalism, business administration, finance and social venture.
Going to School has created stunning epic movies that have gone on air reaching over 100 million people. From the movies airing on STAR we received over 68,000 calls from young people who live in poverty and want to start businesses that solve local problems. Over 200 young entrepreneurs are currently in the pipeline for investment from the Be! Fund. Going to School founded, seeded and launched Be! Fund, India’s first non-profit risk capital fund for young people who live in poverty.
Going to School has already signed MoU with the Department of Education, Government of Bihar to carry out a Be! skills campaign in 1,000 secondary schools in Bihar reaching over 100,000 children – beginning August 2012 – mainstreaming our dynamic skills content and approach.
We learned lessons from our previous education projects. Going to School in India reached 65 million children through TV networks, 500,000 mini books reached 5 million children and the stories were incorporated in national curriculum reaching 10 million children every year.
Amom Foundation’s (AC) is an international non-profit organization, a US registered non-profit organization with a US 501(c) (3) status and a Cameroon registered nongovernmental organization with Reg No: 40/ E29/111/VOL8/APPB. It was founded and established in 2006 by Afowiri Fondzenyuy.
Amom Foundation is a registered non-profit organization with a US 501(c) (3) status with Reg No: 40/E29/111/ VOL8/APPB. It was founded and established in 2006 by Afowiri Kizito Fondzenyuy, a native of Cameroon and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States of America. He was encouraged to help the poor and society in general through his childhood experience, the misery and destitution of village life thus encouraging him to try and make a difference thus
“Leading the way……. to a Better, Brighter Future”.
The main goal of Amom Foundation is to improve and provide accessibility to basic primary education for children around the world especially rural Cameroon thus economically empowering the people to meet with their daily challenges that require urgent intervention provide solutions and establish measurable results through its education programs. The organization today comprises of a diverse management team and board members who presently volunteer their services to make sure Amom has a successful start.
The board also comprises of about 70 years of work experience in a wide range of roles and positions in society i.e. academic scholars, investment bankers and statisticians, sustainable developers, health care and information technology professionals. The efforts and works of Amom are currently invested in spreading her goal to the ten administrative regions in Cameroon through which evaluation of long term feasibility can be done before expansion to other African countries.
Amom Foundation aims at providing and facilitating access to education for the rural poor and under-privileged children in Cameroon in collaboration with existing school systems and communities to help evaluate, plan and implement solutions to problems which increase school dropout rates and accessibility to basic
education of children from poor backgrounds. This focus on education is aimed at striving to complement and not replace government efforts. The programs carried out are focused on providing:
Services that support remedial reading and encouragement,
Youth development, recreation and sports,
Need-based scholarship programs, financial assistance,
Management and technical assistance to educational institutions in rural Cameroon.
To be able to realize and carry out all the projects, Amom Foundation has been in partnership with the Catholic mission for a couple of years now so as to utilize her vast network of rural educational missions to execute low-cost projects that impact thousands of school-aged children. The creation of partnerships with the government and other private sector organs helps in the identification and of the challenges and for feasible solutions to be proposed.
In the 6years of operation of Amom, the projects have impacted the lives of over 20,000 school children and with such encouraging figures our outreach will grow geometrically in the subsequent years to come. Providing education to young generations is an indispensable part of poverty alleviation in
Sub-Saharan-Africa. In order to therefore advance in the missions of the organization, various programs were developed alongside partnerships based on the following principles:
- Providing low-cost sustainable projects with a wide impact.
- Providing a platform for identifying problems and formulating solutions with educational providers in
- Implementing means to evaluate the efficiency of projects in terms of improved literacy rates, examination
- scores and graduating numbers.
Amom has in the past 6 years realized projects with respect to her goals such as providing text books and other related school equipment to 60 nursery schools, 115 primary schools and 15 secondary schools. The programs impacted the lives of 2,554 kids in nursery schools, 14,109 pupils in the primary and 3,249 students in the secondary schools. The administration of the projects was done on collaboration with 600 nursery and primary school teachers and 233 secondary school teachers.
Through the contributions (financial, morally or spiritually), of various people and donors, Amom Foundation has been able to impact the lives of many children in the rural areas and help improve on the educational facilities in various schools in Cameroon.
How is this going to work?
Government of Cameroon has to sign an MOU with Going to School and Amom Foundation to work in 285 schools in North West Region in Cameroon. This would require no funding from the Government of Cameroon.
Impact of the program and how is the change going to get monitored?
Our goal is that 60% of children in the program complete all the skills activities. 60% of 28,500 children in the Be! Schools program is 17,100 children.
Currently 21.6 % of children in schools in Cameroon dropout before Grade 10. Our aim in one year is to reduce the drop-out rate by 5%.
Monitoring of the program
We will measure this change by entering in all the details of children school wise, like- Child name, Age, Grade, Gender, Activities completed every month
Through these indicators we will be able to track each child’s activities completed monthly through our central monitoring system, ibe!. Activities of 28,500 children will be monitored monthly, for 12 months.
Overall impact of the programAt the end of 12 months we want to prove this intervention will-
- Reduces the dropout rate of children studying in Std 9
- 60% of the children, those who complete ALL activities will recognize the 31 entrepreneurial skills and are able to tell us when they use them in their lives
What is the project plan including timeline?
1) Oct 2012 – Dec 2012
Building Partnership & Signing of MOU with Education Department, Government of Cameroon
Going to School will work to build a partnership and sign an MOU with the Government of Cameroon to work in 285 schools in North West Region of Cameroon.
Writing Be! Books in French
Be! books are currently available in English, the content of the story and skills activity will be written in French, tested with kids, and print ready files of 31 Be! stories in French will also be created.
2) Jan 2013 – March 2013
Printing of Be! Skills Books
A team of 12 full time employees will be hired to run the skills campaign in North West region, coordinating with the school system, teachers, to visit schools once a week to run the skills activity with kids.
2850 sets of 31 Be! books (88350 books) will be printed and distributed to 285 schools in Cameroon. Selection of Teachers and Schools for Skills Training
In consultation with the Cameroon Education Department, the most capable and skilled teachers will be selected for training on how to use the Be! books with children.
GTS and Amom Foundation will develop a teacher training manual to facilitate teacher training in Cameroon The Be! teacher’s manual will include – a description of each book and the skill taught, instructions on how to complete each skills’ activity
Training of 570 Teachers by GTS and Amom Foundation
GTS team from India and Amom Foundation team in North West Region will directly train and inspire 570 teachers to use Be! content with children. Teachers will be brought together in groups of 50-100 for 3-day training.
Trained teachers will leave the training with sets of books and will begin training children on return to their schools. These teachers would have 2-3 years of experience in teaching and a Government recognized teacher training degree.
3) April 2013 – April 2014
Entrepreneurial Skills Campaign in 285 Schools
570 teachers will train 100 children each. Teachers will return from the training with at least ten sets of 31 Be! books each, this would set in place the distribution plan for the books.
Each week children will read one book and complete the related skills activity. Amom Foundation team will intensively monitor the program through the ibe! IT system, taking action on non-completion of activities within
15 days by visiting the school. Eight Amom Foundation full time employees will be in the field visiting schools constantly.
Cameroon National Institute of Statistics (2010) , DEUXIEME ENQUETE SUR L’EMPLOI ET LE SECTEUR INFORMEL AU CAMEROUN (EESI 2), Rapport principal
Report North West Delegation of Education, 2010. Annual School Status Report