"I have been with RUDEC for just over two weeks now, with two and a half months still remaining, and want to share my first impressions.
RUDEC is active in many fields, with current active projects varying from the 57 orphans RUDEC is overseeing and supporting to the pig project, the beehive project, the future fish project and the community empowerment club which gives out microloans to entrepreneurs, mostly single mothers and widows. They are also active in ecotourism, health education (inc HIV prevention and screening) and do short-term projects like fundraising the money to buy new tables for the local elementary school. All is run by Joshua Chiamba, who oversees all of the projects and is always thinking of new ones.
I am one of the volunteers working on women's microfinance project. So far, 33 individual participants have taken out 71 loans, with a 100% sucess rate when it comes to paying back the loans. The participants are like woman warriors, taking care of business, their households, their children and everything life might throw their way. I have been keeping busy on all days, spending the days off in the mountainous fairy-tale like surroundings of Belo, which is bursting with good walks and friendly locals who want to show you around.
Belo is different from the bigger cities as the people are all so friendly, they seem to have decided to show every foreigner who comes their way what Cameroon is really about (to sum it up: football, religion and food).
The conditions of the volunteer house are amazing, with the cook Sam doing his best to fatten up anyone staying there 6 days a week. As I brought a smart phone which I keep refilling with credit, I always have access to interent. The water, electricity and connectivity comes and goes at times like everywhere in Cameroon, but the breaks are short and give you the perfect excuse to leave the house and go wander.
If you're thinking about coming, just write to Joshua and exchange thoughts. He is fast on his feet and is so good with helping with visa proceedings like the invitation letter etc, this won't be a trip you will have to plan one year ahead. Just come and put your ideas to work. "