Throughout our many years of experience we came to realize that technology and hardware are important, but not as important as community capacity building. Then we learned capacity building on its turn is not sufficient. People come and go and take their acquired knowledge with them. Moreover, competent people need an adequate environment to thrive. So we started to support communities to build up institutions to enable proper resource management.
Based on an analysis of common failures in water projects in Cameroon, we developed a community owned, social enterprise model (COSE) to facilitate communities step-by-step to create a management organization, checks and balances, working methods and revenues to sustain.
And while enhancing technologies, training of community members and building up institutions, we found out again and again that the way we perceive community members – their customs, their way of doing things – and how we keep supporting them – relentless and with an open and patient mind – paves the way for us to carry out proper project implementation with a incredible amount of community commitment.
Therefore, over the course of time we have established close relations with local leaders and authorities. We consider the different interests of gender. We unite different generations within communities and build confidence amongst community members to work collectively towards their future.
We are proud of the impact we have made so far in the lives of so many people. And we will continue to do so for many more to come.