ONG-CASA VOLUNTEER INFORMATION

Masé ma gwé me (Thank you) for joining the construction of CASA’s new eco-center! The children and staff of CASA are excited to welcome YOU to Edea, Cameroon, from January 1st 2016 and offer you some useful and necessary information for planning your trip.


WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW!

Fundraising is a big priority right now both in terms of both funds and material supplies! We’re counting on your help to make it happen:

1. A crowdfunding campaign will be launched soon!  Please help share the campaign through your social media networks and directly with family, friends and even colleagues! Once it’s finished people will still be able to make donations on our website: orphelinatcasa.org

2. We need many material supplies. If you find an entity that is willing to donate any necessary tools or materials to the project that would be a huge help! See below for a basic list of items you could travel with. If you think you can find even more please contact us directly.

3. We have all the necessary materials for you to launch an exhibition, presentation, concert or any other promotional event in your area to help spread the word and raise donations of money and materials. Just contact us and we will forward you everything you need!

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 Project background

Since its foundation in 2002, CASA has cared for more than 50 orphans and 20 elderly people at the Chiefdom of Ekite III, in Cameroon. The organization’s main mission is to provide nutrition, health and education to all of its children. The recent death of Chief NJEWEL, the host and main financial contributor to the orphanage, has left the organization in a dire situation and in need of a sustainable solution in order to continue its noble work.

Objectives

CASA’s new sustainable center will be based on principles of Permaculture and Earthship Biotecture, including:

  • image1Construction using natural and recycled materials
  • Bioclimatic design suited for a tropical region
  • Rainwater harvesting and treatment of waste waters on site
  • Renewable energy and self-sustaining technologies
  • Symbiotic food production systems
  • Training and health facilities

All volunteers will join our team and take part in the construction of CASA’s new eco-center.  We also encourage you to help with fundraising beforehand and carry out your own activity once on site.

See the volunteering section below for more details!


LOCATION: CAMEROON

“Africa in miniature” is how people often refer to Cameroon. In addition to its diverse range of landscapes and climates, the country is also home to approximately 250 different tribes. French and English are the two official languages but there are also numerous local African dialects. Social and economic divisions are profound and the country also struggles with environmental issues, notably deforestation and pollution.

Edea

Edea is a small town situated between Yaounde (the capital) and Douala (the country’s economic center). CASA is located on the outskirts of the city in a village called Ekite III. The surrounding area is agricultural and faces bleak economic prospects and gender inequality

Climate

Edea has a tropical climate image6

averaging around 30ºC

with 82% humidity.

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Flights

We recommend booking your flight into Douala as it is the closest to Edea. Try booking your flight through Europe (cheaper if you are coming from another continent). To find good fares we recommend the site www.kayak.com or directly with the following airlines:

–  Turkish airlines     –     Royal Air Maroc    

–     Brussels Airlines     –    Air France   –


WHAT YOU NEED TO GET INTO CAMEROON

  1. Visa:  You will need an invitation letter from CASA to get it!          
  2. A Yellow fever Vaccination 

Visa Requirements 

Check the web site of the Cameroon Consulate to see what is required to obtain your visa. We suggest you get the visa for 90 days (3 months) which can then be extended once you are in Cameroon. On top of a valid passport, make sure you have already:

  • Booked your flights
  • Received our invitation letter
  • Been vaccinated against Yellow fever (need certificate)

Invitation letter

ONG-CASA has created an Invitation Letter (required to obtain a visa) for the 6-month period from January 1st, 2016, that will be personalized and sent to every individual participating in the project. In order to receive your letter, please send the following information to orphelinatcasa@gmail.com

  • Full name (as shown on passport)
  • Nationality
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport number

Vaccinations and Medications

Please look into the vaccines that are recommended for Cameroon (only yellow fever mandatory) and any other countries that you may be traveling through. This is important for your health and safety. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/cameroon

  • A YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION is required and will be necessary to get your visa so please have it done well in advance. You must bring proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination for immigration into Cameroon (please make copies) and it is important to carry it with you when traveling within the country as you might be asked for it at police checkpoints.
  • There is a risk of Malaria in Cameroon. You are advised to bring ANTI-MALARIA TABLETS (as prescribed by your physician). In the event of contracting Malaria in Cameroon, health facilities and medication will be available.

Money

  • image7Bring at least the equivalent to 400 Euros in cash
  • You will be able to exchange cash at the airport. Check the rate for exchanging your currency to Central African CFA Francs before you leave (Exchange rate against the € ≈ 656; variable $ rate ≈ 576).  Instead of going to a bank or official exchange desk, you will find individuals at the airport offering better exchange rates.

Remember that most people in Cameroon have very little money so be discrete in displaying your cash and keep good watch over your valuables.


WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN CAMEROON

Getting to the chiefdom of Ekite III

Always travel with your passport, vaccination certificate and a copy of your invitation letter. 

We will try to arrange pick up in Douala or Yaounde airport (from the flight details you sent us) but in case this is not possible, or you have other travel plans, information on transportation options and useful contacts is provided below.

Firstly you will need to change your cash, having checked the official rates beforehand.

If you don’t see your name on a sign post on arrival, I would suggest you call me (Rohan) or Maurice straight away to see if the person who was supposed to pick you up is simply late. This can be done from little stands which are called “call box” with MTN and ORANGE signs on them. They allow you to make calls for a small fee (shouldn’t exceed 100 fr CFA for a brief call).

To get to Edea it will take you about 2 hours from Douala airport and 4 hours from Yaounde airport, considering taxi and bus journeys. Therefore if you arrive in the morning or early afternoon we suggest you travel straight to Edea. Otherwise we can arrange to host you in either city or indicate an appropriate hotel to stay in overnight (see below) and set off for Edea the following day.

Taxi from airport

Whether you arrive at the airport in Douala or Yaounde, taxi fares should not exceed 5,000 francs CFA to get you into town or to the bus station. The fare is for what they call “une course” which means you will be travelling alone in the taxi (recommended). You will then be heading either to the bus station or a hotel. If you are alone I think it would be too complicated for you to get to Maurice’s house but that depends on what we arrange on the phone…

Bus to Edea

Once you’re in the taxi tell the chauffeur to go to Buca Voyage if you want to take the bus to Edea straight away. Buca Voyage is the name of the bus company so he should drop you off in front of it (make sure!). For more info the bus terminal in Douala is called “La Douche” and the one in Yaounde is called “Mvane”. Other reliable bus companies there can include Garantie Voyage, Touristique Voyage or Finex Voyage. They are the same companies whether you are travelling from Yaounde or Douala. The fare will cost you between 3000 – 6000 fr CFA.

Again call us when you know at what time you are leaving so we can try to pick you up at Edea…

Remember that Edea is on the road between Yaounde and Douala. There are no buses that go directly to Edea, they just stop there on the way. They will shout out Edea before stopping but ask the chauffeur and people around you to warn you when you get to Edea!

Motorbike in Edea to get to CASA

The bus will normally drop you off in front of the Total gas station in Edea. If no one is waiting for you there (ha ha, sorry just imagining the worst case scenario here!!!) you will see a row of guys with motorbikes who can drive you to the orphanage. Choose one and tell him you are going to “Chefferie, Ekite III”. Ekite III is the village but if he doesn’t know where the orphanage/chiefdom is, tell him it’s next to the school “école  primaire”.

If you have a lot of baggage you might need to take two. It will cost you 300 fr per motorbike – or 200 fr for the second one if you like to bargain 😉

And……….Welcome to CASA!!!


 IMPORTANT CONTACTS

  • Maurice (Project Monitoring and Evaluation Expert): (+237) 699 15 10 64 or 675 05 89 39
  • Rohan Guyot-Sutherland  (Project Coordinator): (+237) 695 10 45 09 or 672 99 09 88
  • Christine Njewel (Director of CASA): (+237) 699 52 96 42 (fr) or 696 83 79 49 (en)
  • Maurice’s mum in Douala: (+237) 675 05 89 39 (fr) or 697 48 69 41 (fr/en)

 

Hotels in Yaoundé and Douala

Yaounde: Tou’Ngou Hotel (tel: 22201025 / 22204210 / 99058745)

Douala: Maxime Hotel, quartier Deido (next to ‘hôpital de district”)


VOLUNTEERING

Once here, we consider all of CASA’s volunteers to be both teachers and students. While all volunteers will participate in the construction of the eco-center we encourage you to follow your interests and initiate a project in your area of expertise! Some examples of individual initiatives can include: teaching a class to the children and/or villagers, being in charge of a part of the eco-center’s construction, or creating an artistic or cultural event.

Send an email to orphelinatcasa@gmail.com and tell us your fields of expertise and/or interests and what you hope to get out of your volunteer experience with Eco-CASA!

Please also email us the following information to orphelinatcasa@gmail.com

  • Your flight details
  • Any allergies, dietary restrictions or existing medical conditions that we should be aware of
  • NB: Remember to first send us the information required to get your letter of invitation

Culture

As a volunteer we ask that you respect the customs and culture of Cameroon during your stay.

We will be there to provide guidance and help you discover the vibrant culture of Cameroon!

We hope that when you leave, you’ll have gained a true understanding of the country and its people with firsthand experience…

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WHAT TO PACK?

For camping

  • A tent (waterproof or with rain cover and tarpaulin)
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Mosquito net and bug spray
  • Water filter (can be purchased from most outdoors stores or online)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Flashlight
  • Solar battery charger (if you have a cell phone, etc. as electricity is unlikely to be available on site)
  • Towel
  • Sun protection
  • Raincoat
  • Comfortable camp shoes
  • Plate, cups and cutlery
  • Toilet paper and other personal hygiene products
  • Personal and/or anti-malarial medications
  • Camp stove and fuel (optional)

For the Job Site 

  • Clothes you don’t mind ruining for working on the construction site
  • Light-weight hiking boots (you do not need steel toed boots)
  • Tools (check list below)
  • Notebook and pencil (if you wish to take notes!)

Campsite 

  • We will be camping in the beautiful section of rainforest where the eco-center is to be built.
  • A dry composting toilet will be built at the beginning of construction.

If possible we will provide meals for full time volunteers.

Food and drinks in Cameroon are fairly cheap and can be purchased from local sales men and women.

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TOOLS 

Crucial personal tools

  • 4+ Pairs of heavy-duty rubber gloves
  • Leather Work Gloves
  • Eye Protection
  • Tool Belt/Apron
  • Measuring Tape (in + cm)
  • Utility Knife
  • Metal Snips
  • Lineman’s Pliers
  • Grout Sponges
  • Pool Trowel (10”, 12” or 14”)
  • Hammer
  • Carpenter Pencil
  • Black Permanent Marker

Additional Tools needed for construction (please bring if you can!)

We encourage seeking out donations of these tools

  • Drill (battery powered)
  • Saw (power and hand)
  • Disk Grinder
  • Level
  • Roll up solar panel (with battery)
  • Nails and Screws
  • Shovels/pickaxes/sledge hammers

Any other tools and supplies that will be useful in the construction (contact us if you have questions).



orphelinatcasa.org  | orphelinatcasa@gmail.com

Thank you for being a part of this effort to enable self-reliance and sustainability in Cameroon and beyond!  We are so excited to welcome your working with us to make this dream come true!