Q. What does the word RHFC stands for?A. RHFC stands for Rising Hope Foundation for Change.
Q. What will I be doing as a volunteer?A. Generally RHFC’s activities involves:· Educating the less privileged by extending scholarship programs to help those who have no hope of attaining education· .Talent hunt through music, creative art, beauty and sport (especially football) competitions· Organize seminars and conference on social ills in our society.· Visits and supports orphanages. With the use and help from health experts, give health talks in schools with concentration on sexual transmitted diseases (STD’S) and HIV/ AIDS. Aid pupils/ students through guidance and Counselling on academic choices, career opportunities and ethics.· Career objectives programmes with role models and celebrities as guest speakers·.Environmental friendly activities such as the planting of trees and food gardens·.To contribute to greening, climate change action, sustainable natural resource management, food security and organic farming·.To create awareness of the benefits of environmental improvement activities amongst all communities of Cameroon.· To contribute to local economic enterprise, sustainable development, enhanced environments, capacity building and skills development.· Igniting the passion for academic excellence amongst least privilege students Thus Volunteers spend their time teaching and sensitizing communities on the mentioned programmes.
Q. Which is the nearest airport to your town?What travel documents do I need to bring with me? A. You fly into Douala International airport, Cameroon. The airport is 1h30 minutes drive from the headquaters, and we can arrange transport for you from the Douala airport. We will meet you at the airport ourselves. Besides your official travelling passport, you’ll need a visitor’s visas which are available upon arrival at the Douala International airport. The visa can also be obtained in advance at any Cameroonian Embassy nearest to you. Don’t forget to carry your immunization card showing that you have been inoculated against Yellow fever.
Q. Do I need to take any shots?
A. Check with the CDC website (www.cdc.gov/travel) for Cameroon recommendations and for a Travel Health Clinic in your area – there you will be told what immunizations you need. Yellow fever is the only requirement for entering Cameroon, but it is recommended that you are updated on current requirements.Cameroon like most other African countries is infested by mosquitoes that spread the malarial parasites. Thus it is of great concern that you take preventive measures while in the country. These are to avoid mosquito bites by using repellent based body jellies or lotions, constantly sleeping under an insecticide treated mosquito bed net. Mosquito nets are readily available once you arrive in Cameroon. Other preventive measures are taking anti malarial drugs like Doxycycline (cheap) or Malarone (expensive). But kindly consult your physician for any update. That notwithstanding, most doctors no longer recommend Larium (Mefloquine) because of the side effects.
Q. What about meals while I am at RHFC?A. Limbe town is saturated with many supermarkets that offer essentials, such as rice, bread, milk, cheese, ice cream, spices, sodas, etc. Most communities and some schools, where our volunteers work offers authentic Cameroonian lunch to volunteers free of charge. There are also a variety of restaurants around town. If there is packaged food you cannot live without from home, bring it with you, as you probably can’t get it here. Safe Bottled drinkable water is readily available for purchase, or tap water boiled for 3 minutes is safe for drinking. Fresh fruits and vegetables here are wonderful and readily available at fresh markets around town. Fresh produce that will be eaten without cooking should be washed and soaked in a very weak bleach solution before eating to destroy any micro organisms that can make unfamiliar stomachs upsets.
Q. What should I know about money while I am there?A. Kindly visit www.xe.com to abreast with the latest strengths of currencies. Few International credit cards are accepted in Cameroon, but majority like MASTER AND VISA CARDS can be acceptable in some banks like BICEC, AFRILAND FIRST BANK, STANDARD CHATERED BANK etc. Most people prefer this than to bringing a large amount of cash with them. Do not bring traveller’s cheques as they are not widely accepted here, and it’s difficult to find a place to cashash.
Q. Where will I live? How much will it cost?A. In respect to clothing, carry clothes suitable for relatively hot and cold climates. We do not however experience extreme hot or cold temperatures; temperatures are within the range of 12-35 degrees centigrade. You possibly will need a light jacket at some stage in the rainy season; if you are enthusiastic in swimming or rafting then do not forget to bring along a swimsuit. Cameroonians customarily dress very modestly. In the villages, women still only put on skirts and dresses reaching well below the knee. Outfits by some young people, especially in the larger cities are becoming more westernized. But due to the fact that you are to work in the community we advice you to dress smartly and respectfully whenever you go out, whether you are at work or not, as people will judge and respect you on the basis of your appearance. Females should wear long non-transparent skirts, and avoid low-cut or very tight tops. Current summer wear in western societies is not appropriate here (spaghetti straps, low cut or showing stomach). For men and young men, shorts are ok for around your area of residence or for sports, but you will not be respected doing any business in town in them, and you will see very few if any Cameroonian men in shorts.Most westernized items are available here but at an extra cost, so you can carry your own cosmetics and sun protection lotions. Other essentials like basic toiletries, insect repellent, mosquito net, rain gear, can be obtained locally.Electrical current is 240 volts; Electric/electronic appliances that only work on 110v will need a converter. Many electronics, computers, etc run on either voltage in which case only a plug adapter is needed. Multi-plug power strips are available here which accommodate any type of plug from around the world.USD $10 inclusive of a tip. While at other places you can get meals at cheaper rates as low as USD $5 a plate.There are fresh produce throughout the year in the markets, so you can always have fresh fruits of your choice whenever you visit the markets. Thus if you can have an extra USD $200 for your other personal expenses and meals it will do you good. In case you will need to go sight seeing and having extra outings then carry extra cash.
Q. What language is spoken in Cameroon?
A. Owing to the fact it is a bilingual country, we speak English and French. These are the two official languages spoken in Cameroon by anyone who has been to school, and by most Cameroonians who live in the cities.
Q. How available is international communication?
A. Mobile phones are very common here. You can get a mobile phone here for under $100 or bring an international one from home (be sure it is really international compatible with a SIM card).Emailing is available at Internet cafes. It is usually reliable, but the connections are very slow and also there is the availabilty of internet modems from the various mobile service providers.
Q. Can I come at any time of the year?
A. Yes, you can come at anytime of the year.
Q. What happens in case of an emergency?
A. In case of an emergency you can be reached through the Program Director or the chief executive officer. Telephones and Email are very accessible in Cameroon and regular contact with your friends and family can also take place through postal mail. In addition, Cameroon has adequate medical care, including international hospitals to address most illnesses that you might face while you are abroadr.
Q. Can I fund-raise for my trip?
A. Yes, you can certainly fund raise on your own!We are a registered Cameroon non-governmental organization and you can use this fact when fundraising. Please let us know if you would like to receive fundraising ideas, and we will email you further information. Fundraising can often be quite a challenging task but Remember that with effort and dedication, you can be a successful fundraiser.
Q. Will I be able to join the program with a friend or family member?
A. Yes. There are no restrictions; a volunteer may come with other volunteers’ whether they are friends or family members as long as they can meet their expenses while in Cameroon. Participants are encouraged to come with a friend or spouse if possible.
Q. Is it safe to volunteer in Cameroon, Africa, particularly as a woman?
A. The safety of any volunteer be it a woman or a man is paramount to our foundation. Cameroon as any other developing African country has the combination of spreading poverty and the ever rising crime. Thus the presence of wealthy travellers attracts the thieves to these travellers. But, as long as one follow the guidelines given to you while under our organization then we assure you of total safety. For obvious reasons, women do have to be more cautious. Cameroonians have a different sense of personal space. As a result, you may at times feel uncomfortable with the amount and type of attention you are getting. Coping with this type of discomfort will certainly be one of the challenges of your intercultural experience. However, in the vast majority of such cases, there is no threat to your person or possessions. If you take appropriate caution, it is unlikely that you will ever be in a situation that is unsafe.
Q. What about safety with respect to the current political situation?
A. Cameroon is peaceful and very safe, though there are highway robbers in the Northern part of Cameroon. Much of RHFC’s work is in rural areas away from the cities. Villages in Cameroon are safer than your own home area and the pace of life is peaceful, with seldom experience political violence or general unrest.As an organization we have developed a regular National Risk Assessments, by consulting a variety of sources within the country (e.g. government Security agencies, Private Security Agencies and National Medias). These National Risk Assessments objectively assist us to update our volunteers of the safety and security within Cameroon during their stay.Most news that you hear pertaining to Cameroon typically involves rebel movement in the north, and do not have an effect on us. We take the same precautions, of course, as you would go anywhere about being alone at night, etc.
Q. Can it be possible for one to extend his/her time of working with RHFC?
A. Yes, this is possible. However, you will need to discuss this with the RHFC’s chief executive officer before you can change your flight schedules.
Q. How best can I be of help to the community?
A. RHFC is presently focused in activities within the rural and Urban communities of Cameroon. Is to expose under privileged youths to education, sports, socio-cultural and environmental upliftment opportunities so they can apply their experiences for the betterment of their families, communities, nation and the world at large, we also focus on establishing a process that enables those in need to build a self sufficient and self sustaining lifestyle as a community through capacity building programmes. Hence our development programmes strive to permanently break the bonds and cycle of poverty of individuals, families and their communities that is to say we strive to bridge the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged. So one can be actively involved, through prior preparations of the subject in the area of interest from the programmes within our organization.
Q. Who organises my flights?
A. You do.