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How CAWI have empowered over 100 women in Cameroon with soap production

Today, on International Women’s Day, CRGP are celebrating the work of our partners at the Centre for the Advancement of Women’s Initiatives (CAWI) in Cameroon.

Celebrated on 8th March each year, International Women’s Day is a global day in celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and a call to action for the acceleration for gender parity. To learn more, click here.

Day by day individuals across the world are faced with challenges. Some may face them alone, some may face them with support and some may not be able to face them at all. Today we are all reminded to turn the tables and #ChallengeToChange the world ourselves.

“A challenged world is an alert world”

In this blog we highlight just one of CAWI’s many projects working to change the lives of women and girls in Cameroon.


CAWI is a specialised unit of our partner organisation in Cameroon, The Environment and Rural Development Foundation. Led by director Lucia Nkembi, the team support women’s initiatives, address issues affecting women and girls and throughout all ‘empower women and girls for a brighter future’.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes throughout the current Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon. It can be said that among these people, women and girls are the most vulnerable and affected.

With an aim to empower internally displaced persons economically, CAWI set out to develop a scheme where these women could sustainably support themselves and their family, to mitigate the impact of crisis on their lives.

The Economic Revolving Fund

The Revolving Fund scheme was set up in October 2019 to provide interest-free start up loans to launch small business ventures varying from soap production to restaurant business. When an individual is able to repay the loan, it is then used again to benefit another woman and so on.

CRGP have funded loans enabling women to produce and sell soap, helping them become self-reliant despite having left their homes behind. Over 200 women have trained on tablet soap making in Beau, Dschang and Menoua Division.

Here’s how CAWI support the production of soap as a venture of the Revolving Fund:

  • CAWI staff are trained on the production of soap in order to relay the knowledge onto internally displaced persons in South West and North West Cameroon

  • Individuals involved in the scheme receive items to help set up their business and start producing soap

  • Individuals are trained in the production process and management of resources, in some cases at two-day workshops

  • Regular monitoring and evaluation visits from CAWI assess the success and impact of the business

  • With enough profit to continue their business, the beneficiary repays the interest-free loan

CAWI have reported the tremendous improvement of the livelihoods of these women and girls.They are able to confidently provide food, shelter and other basic necessities for their families from the profits of their business. Not only do they sell what they’ve made, being in soap production means they can improve their wellbeing by using their own products for laundry.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. CAWI will continue to challenge gender equality, human welfare and children’s education. CRGP are committed to supporting them.

If you’d like to help us continue to support our partners at CAWI please consider donating to the CRGP #NotJustAGift campaign. Many children in these communities have been out of school for years. Starting at £10, donations to the #NotJustAGift campaign (here) are used to support children’s education.

Registrations for our Gorilla Trail, fitness fundraiser (running 3rd March – 3rd April 2021) close on Wednesday 10th March. Click here to read the Trail Guide and find out more. Launched in aid of our Ranger Appeal, we are appealing to you to help us raise funds to go towards the costs of biomonitoring equipment as well as support for their children’s education.

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