Bringing Solar Lights to East Cameroon

August 2017

By: Tae-Hyung Kim

The east region of Cameroon is perhaps its most underdeveloped, least industrialized and ignored part of the country. The geography of the east region is by and large forest with all kinds of trees of all kinds of size and would surely be described as a ‘jungle’. The majority of the inhabitants from the east region are farmers. Furthermore, there are numerous tribal dialects and language, such as bimo, bangantu, or pumpong, spoken in this region.

On the 9th of July, the mission team from Montreal Hosanna Church took off from Montreal to Cameroon and partnered with MEEC (Mission of the Evangelical Church in Cameroon) to visit the east region of Cameroon. We have been building this partnership since 2007 and every year we have held children camps and made efforts to help communities in the east regions. This year, we have visited three areas of the east: Kentzou, Yokadouma, and Moloundou. The 240 solar lights have been distributed into two halves. One half, which was 120 lights were given to the All Nation School, a dormitory elementary and high school located outside of Yaounde. The principle of the school has shared about the difficulties of access to electricity and how often it gets cut off. And the other half of were distributed to the three villages mentioned above.

Kentzou is a small village located near the border of Central African Republic and is where many refugees escape to. Moreover, inhabitants of Kentzou have little to no access to electricity and are often reliant on cheap flashlights from China. The sun sets very early in the evening, and so the women who cook for dinner often use wood fire as the only source of light. Hence, the solar lights were an invaluable source of help and also a source brightness for the activities done in darkness. We have distributed 40 lights to the church leader of Kentzou and the lights were distributed throughout the families in the village.

We have also distributed 40 solar lights in Yokadouma, which is comparatively bigger than other towns surrounding it in the east. We have distributed the lights to the steward and manager of the MEEC Centre Montreal, which is a mission center for the local church leaders throughout the east. Furthermore, 5 solar lights were distributed to Philemon and his family, who was the first person to have received a solar light 2 years ago and it was through him and his family that the donation web page for Cameroon has been established. Because most of the people in the east rely on farming as a source of income and living, they travel on average 5-10 km from their homes to their fields and they have to sleep and stay at the field throughout the working days because it is impossible for them to walk back and forth from their fields to their homes. Hence, the solar lights are a great source of help for farmers who travel in the jungle to work and sleep at their working fields. It will furthermore, benefit the children who need to read and do homework in the evening, since the sun sets very early in the evening.

And lastly, the solar lights were distributed in Moloundou, which is at the end border of south east of Cameroon right across Congo. The solar lights were distributed to the MEEC church leader in Moloundou and was in turn distributed to the families in the Moloundou community.