Nobody chooses to live in extreme poverty
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I live in Cameroon. Some friends and I went to the village of Koumenke, that I know well, to commemorate October 17. We toured the village and met young people and parents. The aim was to understand the situation that the population was experiencing as this was the first October 17 event here.

We learned that few children were able to complete primary school. Various conversations with people revealed that one of the reasons for this was a lack of money. This is due to their reliance on subsistence agriculture, which only allows people to feed themselves, barely surviving.

In addition, there is a lack of drinking water as the village does not have a regular water supply. The population relies on an old water source which is maintained by the local people, and the same water is used for all household tasks.

With this in mind, we discussed some ideas with a number of women’s groups, as follows:
• To become a ‘Joint Initiative Group’ to set up an agricultural project that makes it possible
to improve production by using sustainable approaches;
• To organize periodic water conservation and treatment seminars;
• To raise awareness of the importance of schooling for children; and
• To support the village health centre.

Gbetnkom A, Koumenke, Cameroon