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Kurume Project…

…an invitation
We invite you to learn more about our Kurume Project: a sustainable livelihood
project in the small village of Kurume, South-West Province, Cameroon…

Kurume is a small village in the Konye sub-division of Meme, South-West

province. The village is blessed with a latent wealth of forest, yet the village is
quickly deteriorating under an exodus of young people. This has crippled the
current infrastructure, social and economic wellbeing of the people, and long-
term prospects of the village.

Kurume Project is a child of NGO The Royal Commonwealth Society of

Cameroon (RCS). Its intention is to implement three specific initiatives to restore
the village to its former social, economic and environmental glories; and further
propel it into the future as a beacon of light and leader in reversing the trend of
exodus of village youths. Through three specific project initiatives the project
exists to help the people of Kurume help themselves.

Poverty has aggravated logging of Kurume’s prime forest – roughly 20% of

which has been deforested over the past forty years with little or no social return
for the people. Reckless, corrupt, and culturally and environmentally insensitive
companies have looted Kurume’s forests during times of economic desperation
leaving the people little better off than before. A lack of diversity in income due
to small-scale trade in one commodity, the coco pod, has left the village open to
exploitation from such logging companies in Kurume’s rich rainforests.

The people of Kurume have the pride, vision and spiritual capital to make a
profitable and sustainable Kurume but lack the means to this end. We share their
vision and want to be the means to this end.

In the following few pages you will learn in detail about Kurume Project and the
three key project initiatives we are working towards. We are passionate about
seeing the people of Kurume turn their fortunes around and make a sustainable
and profitable living for themselves, and hope you will share in our passion by
reading on and showing your support.

With regards,

Joel Thompson
Kurume Project Manager
Royal Commonwealth Society of Cameroon
Kurume Project Outline
Student Internship


Palm Nut
School and

Medical Centre Communal Plantation
Kurume Project…

Education Initiative

1. The aim of Kurume Project’s education initiative is to engender local

elders within the village with knowledge of the consequences of
deforestation, and specifically, why it is in the villagers’ interest to support
sustainable forestry and discourage exploitative deforestation.
2. To this effect, the initiative aims to operate workshops whereby elders and
family heads within the village may learn to recognize the vast latent
wealth of the forest that is as yet unrecognized and unfulfilled.
3. Starting with such education of village elders and leaders, the initiative
should encourage comprehensive dissemination of learned knowledge
from the elders to all levels of Kurume society.
4. Kurume Project’s education initiative sympathises with the current use of
the forest to provide the short-term day-to-day needs of its people. The
initiative should educate Kurume’s people that they need not choose
between forest conservation and their livelihoods. Rather, the
unrecognized wealth of the forest can provide short-term and long-term
needs extensively, and provide vast social and economic development if
used responsibly.
5. Thus, the education initiative recognizes the vast long-term social,
environmental and economic prosperity of Kurume through a sustainable
and knowledgeable approach to the provisions of the forest.
6. The initiative recognizes Kurume’s potential as a maverick and leader in
the field of sustainable use of the untapped wealth of the forest for the
surrounding villages in the Konye area.
7. The initiative places emphasis on Kurume’s unique freshwater supply as a
service of the rainforest that if suitably acknowledged and protected
through forest conservation can be piped in the surrounding area of Konye
8. Kurume Project’s education initiative recognizes that the prevention of
collapse of Kurume’s economic and social systems lie in the hands of
developing a sustainable livelihood which encourages long-term growth
and prosperity. Therefore, it aims at its most fundamental level to allow the
people of Kurume to avoid economic disaster and desiccation of the
village and its resources if change is not made soon.
9. The education initiative has two components: 1) the biannual workshop
and 2) the provision of student interns from state universities to provide
environmental education and activities for the people of Kurume.
Kurume Project…

Education Initiative

The workshop of the education initiative is to provide local leaders and family
heads with the needs to achieving the aims of the outline. The workshop should
be divided into two distinct learning parts:

• Consequences of the deforestation of Kurume’s forest.

• Sustainable alternatives to deforestation in harboring long-term social,
economic and environmental wealth in Kurume.

The core material to be used in this initiative exists under the two different
headings. The material is simple, unassuming and in keeping with topics most
relevant and comprehendible to the people of Kurume.

The workshop intends to engage and grow according to the concerns and
requirements of Kurume’s people. Its intention is to become part of the lives of
the local people and not an intrusive, didactic and apparently foreign programme.

Workshops are to be held by RCS members of staff and, when possible, a

determined field expert knowledgeable of the sustainable forestry products of

After the initial workshop commences in September 2007, the workshop is again
to be held bianually in the future, during the rainy and dry seasons, so local
elders are given an opportunity to refresh their knowledge of the programme and
voice their feedback on the impact of the programme’s implementation in

Between workshops, the progress of the workshop is to be communicated

between Chief Sona Mboe Epie, who represents Kurume’s people, and the
appropriate RCS affiliates in Kumba. All project updates and reports are to be
provided for Chief Mboe in order that his full support and awareness of the
programme’s status are maintained at all times. Chief Mboe’s involvement is to
be encouraged throughout the long-term duration of the programme.

Detailed reports should be produced with content specific to the outcomes of

each workshop, as and when they are held biannually.
Kurume Project…

Education Initiative


The second part of the education initiative, as mentioned in point 9 of the outline,
is the provision of student interns from universities in the locality of Kumba –
principally Dschang University of Western Province and Buéa University of
South-West Province.

Kurume’s Education Initiative should provide internships for students of

environmental and related studies. The interns will be given an opportunity to
work amongst the people of Kurume within the framework of the outlines
mentioned. They should be free to prepare educational activities and materials to
be used during their visits to Kurume, and will have the opportunity to use their
experiences to the benefit of their studies and/or related school reports.

Kurume Project interns should be given permission from Chief Mboe to visit
Kurume a determined number of times and should be specifically provided by
RCS with a framework for the interns own devised educational programme.

The aim of the student internship is primarily in place to allow applied knowledge
towards the conservation of Kurume’s rainforests and the maintenance of the
Palm Nut Tree initiative.
Kurume Project…

Palm Nut Tree Initiative


1. The aim of Kurume Project’s palm nut tree initiative is to clear suitable
scrubland and turn it into harvestable agricultural land – which has kindly
been provided by Chief Sona Mboe Epie on behalf of the village
community. This land is to be dedicated to a communal palm nut tree
2. The palm nut tree plantation is to be a dedicated source of income for the
people of Kurume, who currently only use private family plantations of
palm nut for private consumption.
3. The principle market crop of the people of Kurume is the coco pod. The
purpose then of the palm nut tree plantation is to provide a sustainable
addition to help diversify the commercial income of Kurume’s people.
4. Additional income from the plantation is to be guided by RCS in order that
funds are suitably allocated to provide future maintenance and provision of
school materials and hospital medical facilities once the school and
medical centre initiative has been funded.
5. The palm nut tree plantation should initially provide 500 palm nut seeds
and polythene bags to plant the palm nut, under the voluntary guidance of
a field expert. The initiative then provides an undefined future provision of
palm nut seed planting from external funding and local labour available for
the commercial and agriculture maintenance of the plantation.
6. The employment opportunities provided by the plantation should
appropriate the village with a long-term opportunity to attract young people
back to the village and support the economic and social development of
7. To this end, we wish the palm nut tree plantation to become exemplary in
the Konye sub-division for local villages towards diversifying their
commercial commodities.
8. The initiative works in conjunction with the Kurume Project’s education
initiative towards building a sustainable and diverse range of natural
products from the palm nut trees and the local forest for income.
9. The first plantation day of 500 seeds should be followed up with visits from
RCS and an affiliated expert to monitor palm nut yields. During each
plantation day and follow up visit, villagers are encouraged to learn the
techniques used to plant the palm nut seeds and incorporate them into the
upkeep of their plantation.
10. To this end, RCS should monitor the plantation at all levels; from initial
plantation to harvesting sales and guidance in financial profit
Kurume Project…

Palm Nut Tree Initiative


The plantation aspect of the initiative is comprised of two core elements. Firstly,
the initial planting of 500 palm nut seeds in the land appropriated for use from
Chief Mboe. This is to take place in September 2007 marking the beginning of
the Kurume Project. Subsequent extensions of the plantation are to follow as and
when external funding becomes available for further seeds to be planted.

The initial plantation should accommodate an agricultural expert who has

experience in palm nut planting, so both RCS volunteers and villages can learn
the best techniques to maximize yield. A pamphlet on agricultural technique in
growing palm nut should be produced by the expert for use during the initial and
subsequent plantations by RCS and the villagers.

Subsequent plantations should take place in the future, and buttress the existing
palm nut trees, as a certain percentage of this crop is expected to fail. Growth in
the plantation should be wisely implemented in consideration of available and
trained labour. The availability of an experienced field expert should be
encouraged when possible.


Kurume Project should engage RCS staff with planned visits to Kurume. The
palm nut initiative specifically should allow RCS to provide guidance and
monitoring of the plantation. Any issues that need to be addressed should be
noted and then discussed properly with those in charge of the plantation –
principally Chief Sona Mboe Epie.
Kurume Project…

School and Medical Centre Initiative


The aim of the school and medical centre initiative is principally to fund the repair
of the dilapidated school buildings, equip the medical centre and provide a
designated fund for the future support of healthcare and educational systems.
This fund is to be financed by the people of Kurume from the increased diversity
of revenue supported by the palm nut tree and education initiatives.


1. The initiative recognizes the importance of quality education and medical

facilities as the foundation of a developing Kurume society.
2. To this end, the complete renovation of the school is required to bring it
from a state of dilapidation, to a modern and safe form.
3. The school should then bring competent teachers to provide a high
standard of education to the children of Kurume.
4. The school’s restoration is to be funded by donors approached by RCS.
This should include school facilities such as blackboards, furniture,
educational materials etc.
5. A biannual report should be kept from construction on the progress and
current school needs and operations.

Medical Centre

1. The medical centre is severely under-resourced and under-staffed.

Therefore the primary aim is to place and sustain the medical centre with
trained staff, a fund for drugs and the appropriate medical equipment.
2. The medical centre is to be structurally restored where needed and
determined individuals from the village should be involved in its continual
3. Certain villagers should be educated in basic medical practices with the
drugs and equipment provided. To this end, nurses in South-West
province willing to volunteer in the training and application of medicinal
practices should be provided with the opportunity through RCS to work in
Kurume when possible.
4. A biannual report should be kept from initial facility funding on the
progress and current needs and operations of the medical centre.