- Community Development: Poor rural and urban communities remain in high rates of poverty and under-development. DMF’s community development projects seek to empower the people and their communities and give them access to some necessities for their empowerment and advancement. DMF is dedicated to providing poor communities with the tools to create bright futures for themselves. Our community programs provide resources to further economic opportunities and advance human rights, creating space for individuals to pave personal paths out of poverty. DMF mobilizes community members of the communities they work with, to come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. The aim is to get community wellbeing (economic, social, health, education, environmental and cultural) at the grassroots level following the Human Development Index. Through inclusive development DMF aims to average achievements on income and non-income dimensions of wellbeing to improve and inequalities in these achievements to fall. DMF moves from just growth to inclusive development and this involves two steps –a move to evaluate the distribution as well as the average level of wellbeing along any dimension considered, and a move to include dimensions other than income in the assessment of performance. Looking at a particular policy instrument (e.g. investing in infrastructure) from an inclusive development perspective means paying attention to the outcomes beyond income and the distribution of these outcomes.
- Charity: The care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and widows is a tool of individual and community development by DMF. With DMF’s visits and charity sessions to these groups, they are educated, trained and taught on ways to become leaders of tomorrow, change makers and come out of poverty and gain economic empowerment. They are also provided job and volunteer opportunities with DMF in priority and are given all of our capacity building and included in our wealth-creation programs.
- Education: Education is a tool for Sustainable Development. It is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world. Education is a powerful tool for development; Educated men and women are a force of change in their communities, countries and to the world. Education is not only achieved within the four walls of a classroom but the responsibility to educate oneself which is not limited only between the four walls of the classroom. DMF carries out educational projects by educating the general public through radio programs, putting in place Community Libraries for the possibility of every community member to have access to educational materials. These projects have as objective to create and provide educational resources for local and rural communities who have the majority of illiterate and newly learned people. This is to provide a reading space, reading and learning materials to assist the children, women and men of those communities through the learning process while forming reading groups and volunteer training sessions.
Educating on entrepreneurial development and the use of talents to build ourselves and our communities is also an axis by which DMF uses Education for Sustainable Development.
- Health: Healthcare is key to DMF’s holistic approach to help build empowered, healthy generations. Our services include primary health and preventative care, pre- and postnatal care, child immunizations, comprehensive HIV care, family planning, gender-based violence response, and nutrition program. DMF is also involved in health sensitizations and campaigns.
- Women Empowerment: Women are the change makers, they are the ones who can make an exponential difference in a community, and thus it is really compelling to empower women in the society. Women re-invest up to 90% of their income back into their families and their communities when compared to men who re-invest only 30-40%.
In poor rural communities, women and youth are often the most marginalized and vulnerable members of Society. Yet empowered women can strengthen family livelihoods, improve food and nutrition security and enhance overall resilience in the face of climate change and socio-economic instability. Enabled, poor rural and urban women can grow and sell more food, earn money and take greater control of their lives.
Recent research of Fortune 5 Companies shows that those companies with more women on their board performed more than those with a lower number by an average of 54% like in return of equity, return of capital. When you empower women with information, education or even a loan, she can lift up her entire family and even her community; and it is this multiplier effects that an empowered woman has that we believe can turn around our growing country.
- Wealth Creation: Poverty and unemployment greatly plagues Africa and Cameroon in particular. Cameroon’s most recent household survey (ECAM III), undertaken in 2007, revealed that poverty affected an estimated 39.9% of the population, compared with 40.2% in 2001, and that 55% of the country’s poor people live in rural areas. The ECAM III survey also found that poverty had grown by 3 points in rural areas and poverty continues to be a fundamental rural phenomenon. Women and children are particularly hard-hit: 52% of people in poor households are women, and half the members of poor households are under 15 years of age.
DMF through her Agriculture and Economic Empowerment projects provide financial empowerment measures, creates jobs and educates the public on economic empowerment methods.
- Youth Empowerment: The Cameroon National Youth Policy (2006) defines a youth as a person between the ages of 15 and 35. According to the general population census of Cameroon published in 2010 the population under 25 years old represented 64% of the entire population of 19,406,100 (currently 22,534,532 World Fact book, 2015). By this census the median age was 17.7 years (currently 18.4, World Fact book) and more than half of the young populations were women. In Cameroon like in most sub-Saharan African countries young people are considered as the ‘surest guarantee for the future’ and the ‘future in the present’.
But there exist an erroneous, stereotyped perception by adults. For example in politics youths confront a huge level of paternalism, are belittled, treated as apprentice and viewed as inadequate. They are seen as a group that is sensitive to anything that may cause the destabilization of the state. They are said to love an easy life, are easily manipulated and are given to excesses because of their openness to imported ideologies received through social media and new technologies. This reflects a misunderstanding of their diversity and quite often results in misdiagnosis and solutions that are not always adapted to the reality of their situation.
Youths constitute a great proportion of the Cameroonian population, with a third of this group aged 18 and 19. This makes them key players in the country’s future and securing the future of good democracy involves preserving the democratic rights of the holders of tomorrow. Their involvement at their early ages will instill in them the need for their full participation as good citizens of the country. Despite their vitality for tomorrow; high levels of unemployment, poverty, violence in politics, corruption and political malpractices have led to youth marginalization in Cameroon. Thus the main problem is the lack of knowledge by youths on their need and role to participate in developmental processes and the benefits thereof. Thus the proposed solution via our youth empowerment projects to educate youths on their role in both national and international development.