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SURUDEV Through COSMUF  Farms Trains over 25 Vulnerable Youths in  Organic Mushroom Cultivation

Sustainable Run for Development collaborates with ‘The Pollination Project’ to improve lives of young people in Bamenda through provision of training in mushroom farming as an alternative income generating activity.

This project is aimed at curbing the high rate of youth unemployment and its related ills in the city by providing life skills training to vulnerable youths in Mushroom production as a sustainable means of improving their income levels and boosting the nutrition of community members. These 25 selected vulnerable poor youths involved in deviant activities in the slumps of Bamenda metropolis will be trained and supported to begin a group farm to sustain their livelihoods.

The training designed to go on for a period of Four months involves two phases. The first phase includes workshop modules that seeks to educate beneficiaries in entrepreneurship, financial planning, self-management, basic business/project management and techniques in mushroom farming. The second phase of the project include an intense hands-on training in mushroom farming, which will take place in the SURUDEV-Community Sustainable Mushroom Farm (COSMUF) at mile four Bamenda.

According to the project principal coordinator, Bazil Tume, this project was developed with a lot of compassion and attachment to one of SURUDEV’s objectives, which is aimed at improving lives of young people especially girls across the country. He further explains that the project comes at a period when many young people in Bamenda need it the most. The project is expected to produce some 250Kg of Mushroom, which will generate over $700. This income will be re-invested in the project to create a larger farm for the beneficiaries such that the main capital will create a revolving fund for the project. We therefore envisage a steady increase in the number of beneficiaries beyond the funding period of the Pollination project, Tume continues.

The Executive director of SURUDEV, Kari Jackson also mentioned that the organization would stop at nothing to continue seeking measures and creating connects that seek to improve livelihoods of vulnerable youths in Cameroon.

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Four Students from the department of Geography of the University of Bamenda express full satisfaction from lessons learned and skilled gained during a one-month hands-on internship period at SURUDEV.

One of Sustainable run for development’s objectives is to provide hands-on experience and act as catalyst of Knowledge exchange with likeminded institutions, academic interns, volunteers and individual researchers. Since the creation of the organization back in 2007, an appreciable number of academic interns and volunteers from both national and international professional and academic backgrounds have benefited from the very rich package of internship and volunteering opportunities offered by the organization. A good number of these beneficiaries have testified and expressed satisfaction from the knowledge and skills gained during their internship or volunteering periods at SURUDEV.  

On August 16, 2017, another batch of enthusiastic interns from the University of Bamenda stormed SURUDEV head office with recomended internship letters from various academic supervisors to benefit from SURUDEV’s rich package. The internship program designed in two parts-workshops and fieldwork lasted for a period of 31 days. The interns had access to a variety of courses and guidance in aspects of biodiversity conservation, water resource management, basic project design and management, public speaking and waste management. Alongside these specific internship objectives, SURUDEV also designs special lessons with purpose to enlighten interns and give them an environmental sensitive mindset with a vision to build sustainable agri-business projects that seek to conserve and protect the environment.

Speaking to one of the interns, Kelvine she expresses her satisfaction with the knowledge and skills she has gained during the time spent at SURUDEV in the following words; ‘It has been an incredible experience here and I must say, I wish it never ended. I had a great time with my fellow interns and we all feel satisfied and impressed with the entire scheme of work prepared and given to us during this one month. Sometimes it was challenging though but the staffs kept motivating us and at the end I belief it was worth it.’

Mukum Haris, a final year student also confessed his love for the program saying; it has all been good and so far, besides the knowledge gained in waste management, water resource management, and biodiversity conservation that I am familiar with, the project writing/management lessons with the public speaking lessons has helped me a lot. I am happy I now understand what a project is, how to come up with a good proposal and how to manage a project successfully too.

The executive director of SURUDEV Kari Jackson on behalf of the organization assures that the SURUDEV team will continue to create more opportunities and platforms to receive more interns and volunteers to enhance and promote more field experience and diverse knowledge to continue protecting and conserving the environment.   21640138 1557760100952180 347766233556320256 n1

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Sustainable Run for Development (SURUDEV)a local Non Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Bamenda Cameroon recently launched her activities for the year 2017. The launching which took place at her head office in Bamenda April 18th indicated its run for sustainable initiatives to the communities. The launching in Bamenda came after that of funding in 2016. SURUDEV for close to 9 years has executed many projects with much interest on fight against climate change, poverty reduction, conservation and other environmental issues. The organization has so many objectives which amongst others include promotion of agro-ecology to improve food, nutrition and income security for rural poor farmers and emphasis on women’s needs and gender inclusion in conservation management.

The success stories of SURUDEV despite challenges has caused the organization to declare 2017 a year of expansion as other areas of interest like health, hygiene and sanitation, gender equality and waste management have been incorporated.

The Executive Director of SURUDEV, Kari Bongda Jackson in an interview with the website reporter April 20th said he is quite satisfied with success stories in the field about his office. Harping on the mission of SURUDEV which is that of bringing sustainable initiatives to communities through local projects, the executive director boasted that the mission of his organization is being accomplished. The initiative which started in North West has been extended to the West region and South West Regions with on-going projects.

Stakeholders to the organization who attended the launching ceremony included amongst others MBOSCUDA, CIRMAD and NEST-CAM and a battery of press men and women of cameroon like the Guardian Post newspaper, the web site news paper, the chronicle newspaper, the Sun , The Independnet observer, Canal 2 International, HiTV amongst otherslunch1. Some business people supported the organization in the tree planting mission in many areas. It should be noted that apart from local partnerships, SURUDEV also works in partnership with New England BioLab Foundation-NEBF, The Pollination project, the Global Green Grants, the Arcus Foundation, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, the Sacramento Zoo, Trees for the future amongst others

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The Co-founder of Community Sustainable Mushroom Farm (COSMUF) says the business is lucrative and he is currently smiling out of it.

Cultivating plants for food and breeding animals for milk and meat has existed from time in memorial. However, the type and variety has often been a source of astonishment. A Bamenda-based mushroom farmer and founder of COSMUF, Kari Jackson Bongnda says mushroom cultivation is one of the agricultural ventures with least trouble “I can proudly say with certainty that it is lucrative and I am currently smiling out of it”. The 33-year old expert, an environmentalist by profession, attests calling on others to join him in cultivating mushroom which is now a delicacy; don’t take Kari for granted. The professional Masters of Science candidate in Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Bamenda owns COSMUF which produces over 40kg of fresh mushroom per month and over 2,000 mushroom Seeds monthly; a farm barely opened just a year back. Kari told Cameroon Tribune that since 2008, he had a dream of venturing into sustainable agriculture for his livelihood and that of others in his community. “Growing from a humble background where I spent the whole of my leisure time on the farm with my grandmother while others were either playing football or busy watching movies in video clubs around the village, I lived with a growing quest to make meaning out of agriculture”, Kari noted. We observed that Kari, alongside some 11youths trained by him, are already generating a lot of income from mushroom and they are comfortable with it.mush1

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The 2017 edition of the world environment day celebrated on the 5th of June under the theme “Connecting People to Nature” amidst a lot of pump and pageantry. Celebrated under the auspices of the Governor of the North West Region, activities were coordinated by the regional delegate of Environment, protection of nature and sustainable development (MINEPDED) for the North West. With active participation of Sustainable Run for Development (SURUDEV), weeklong activities took the team comprising other active NGOs in the North West Region to the Abongphen Forest in the Tubah highlands where some over 500 trees were planted on some five threatened water catchments. Trees planted included Newtonia cameroonensis and Prunus africana. The second activity included a football tournament jointly organized by SURUDEV, The Regional delegation of MINEPDED for the North West region and other active organizations in the North West region of Cameroon. The tournament dubbed “Football for nature” with four teams in participation. Among these teams was the Chimpanzee FC of the forest comprising of the “Mbororo” pastoralists and other forest dwellers of Abongphen. The trophy was won by the Chimpanzee team composed of organizations from the Bamenda metropolis while the chimpanzee FC was the first runner up.

Prizes offered by SURUDEV comprised of a trophy and a cash prize of 10,000Frs CFA, Environmental books, Environmental leaflets, posters, T-Shits and other environmental valuables to the first best teams , the best player, the best goal score and the most disciplined player. These prizes were handed in the presence of the Governor of the North West Region, The Regional Delegate of MINEPDED, and other stakeholders

Many other activities which took place in the conference room of the delegation of MINEPDED for the North West included talks on the radio (CRTV Bamenda, Radio Hot Cocoa and Radio Sky Spots), an environmental quiz for pupils, students and students of universities around the North West Region. Six of over some 25 participants carried the day and went home with cash prizes. As usual SURUDEV stood tall during exhibition on the D-Day as she exhibited the best stand. SURUDEV exhibited Mushroom products from the COSMUF farms, Posters and activities of SURUDEV to the general public.pic 1