Monday 13 September 2010

So What Do You Do Exactly?

After hearing adventures of daily moto rides and frequent marriage proposals, folks from home always pose this question as the development work of a Peace Corps Volunteer can vary dramatically. In Cameroon, there are four projects: Education, Community Health, Agroforestry, and Small Enterprise Development (a fifth Girl's Empowerment-ish program is currently planned for late 2011).

As for me, I am a Business Advisor in the Small Enterprise Development program. The primary goals of the project are to: 
-Promote the development and sharing of resources available to businesses and entrepreneurs
-Strengthen community members’ management and business skills through training and consulting

My host institution is MC2, a popular microfinance institution that can be found all over Cameroon. MC2's mission is to "provide local populations with a development tool that will help them achieve self-reliance both at individual and community levels". The name derives from the formula:
VP = M x C x C = MC2

Victory over Poverty (VP) can be achieved provided that the Means (M) and Competences (C) of the Community (C) are pooled together.

This is my primary project in which I serve as a technical advisor. I will spend the first two to three months observing and learning the operations of the organization and will then proceed with implementing recommendations.
*As of July 2012, MC2 has organized a targeted promotion increasing its women's savings accounts by 16%, strengthened its community outreach, trained all of its employees in information technology, and evaluated its due diligence procedures to decrease loan disbursement meeting times by 15%.

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