The "Africa Work Group" is a Work Group within the Roman Catholic parish St. John the Evangelist in Nuertingen. It was established 2004 to promote and realise a school project in Cameroon. It now has 9 active members.
Our vision is one world-wide Church. Our goal is to closely support small manageable projects. We work together directly with our partners to realise these projects and this ensures that each project is sustainable after completion. From the modest beginning of a Cameroon school project more projects have been successfully completed over the years.
Focal points so far have been school projects and a training centre for women in Mamfe diocese, Cameroon and the construction of a borehole and restoration of a school in Imo State, Nigeria.
Thanks to the donations, 2500 children in Mamfe are now at school and receiving a warm meal a day. During his visit to Nürtingen, the Bishop of Mamfe reported on the successful project that the Catholic Parish St Johannes, Nürtingen had submitted to Light of Hope, a fundraising campaign run by the Nürtinger and Wendlinger Zeitung newspapers.
Further information in a report in the Nürtinger Zeitung on 04.10.2023
Detailed report: Visit from Bishop Aloysius Fondong Abangolo, Mamfe Diocese
After almost seven years, civil war continues in Anglophone Cameroon
A teacher reports:
"Most schools in South West Cameroon have been closed almost continuously since the end of 2016. Because of this, we are in danger of losing an entire generation. Children who don't go to school, who don't get an education, are particularly at risk of becoming fundamentalists, they can be brainwashed much more easily than educated youth. The crisis in Cameroon cannot be solved if no attention is paid to this generation."
That is why the AKA is working to provide primary education for 10 children through a small scholarship.
The Mamfe diocese has fought very hard to keep its schools in operation. The Africa Work Group is first trying to put 10 vulnerable children through school. For ? 60 per year (? 80 including school material) you can sponsor a child.
In the picture on the right the first day of school of a happy child sponsored by the Africa Work Group
Thanks to funding from Light of Hope, missio and Die Sternsinger, the children of three church primary schools are now receiving a hot meal three days a week . and are very happy! (more pictures)
ordained bishop of Mamfe in May 2022
thanks to the generous donations of the readers of the Nürtingen newspaper the Feeding Programme can begin.
In Mamfe and the whole of West Cameroon, a civil war has been raging for almost five years, yet it is hardly noticed by the world public. Entire villages are burnt down, people are murdered, kidnapped. According to the United Nations, 700,000 people are now on the run. School closures are being forced, but the diocese of Mamfe is fighting hard to keep the schools in operation. Currently, rampant poverty leads to child labour. A feeding programme is now to start in the schools. In addition to alleviating hunger and malnutrition, this feeding programme will increase the value of education and encourage parents to send their children back to school where they will receive a nutritious meal (initially only) 3 days a week. (more info)
Ivy Hope Foundation is promoting and financially supporting small projects initiated by women of the village who are reliant on some small additional income to support their families. This initiative stems from the Women’s Association who study and approve the projects for receipt of an interest-free microcredit of €100 (converted). The first repayment installment is due after 6 months. From the 420 applicants this year, only 30 could be financed. E.g. Gladys (photo) grinds the egusi seeds (rich in protein and fat and essential for the Igbo dish egusi soup) and sells them at the market. Please help more initiatives with your donation.
A joint project between the Africa Work Group and the Diocese of Mamfe has brought solar power to the borehole at St John's College. The technology was purchased in Germany and shipped to Cameroon. Now water flows without expensive and polluting diesel - much to the joy of the pupils!
Since January Mamfe has a new bishop: Andrew Nkea Fuanya. On his way back from Rome he took time out to visit us. In an ecumenical service we celebrated harvest thanksgiving in Oberensingen. The confirmation candidates were very keen to ask Bishop Andrew how life is in Mamfe and how harvest thanksgiving is celebrated there.
Bishop Francis Lysinge made his last official visit to Nürtingen, accompanied by Father Kennedy.
Work continues on the much needed renovation of the school. Funds from the carol singers campaign (Sternsinger) 2013 are being invested in a further school building in Abajah. This time a science laboratory for physics, chemistry and biology is being made fit for use.
Latest photos can be seen under Abajah School.
From September 2012 to June 2013 Sophia Wolters lived and worked in a Girls‘ Catholic Boarding School in Okoyong, Mamfe. There she taught computer studies.
Now she is back. Here you can read a short account of her experiences here.
Are you also interested in spending voluntary time abroad ?(further info)
The Nurtingen project "Carless Mobility" contributed to the conversion of Abajah's community borehole from diesel generator to solar power operation. Thanks to the sun's energy there is now one generator less in operation and 10,000 people from 4 surrounding villages rejoice over a reliable source of clean drinking water.
The photo on the right shows the solar technology.
One of the trainees (we reported in May on the metal fabrication training programme at GARP Training Centre) will also be using the machines for youth training in Nigeria.
Our partners in Nigeria is currently visiting us in Nürtingen to discuss and reflect on the metal work training programme which took place at GARP Training Centre in May this year, and to plan for the future of the Ivy Hope youth training programme.
The photo on the right: Clifford Orjiako expresses his thanks to Dr. Waiblinger, the managing director of GARP
Since 1997 a borehole in Abajah has been providing water for 10,000 people from 4 surrounding villages. The water is provided free of charge. The pump runs on a diesel generator but the generator no longer works. The borehole is now to be converted to solar power with the help of funds from "Carless Mobility". This will cost approx € 8,000 . We are grateful for all financial support we can receive.
The photo on the right shows the villagers collecting water in 2008.
Our two Nigerian trainees were warmly welcomed in the parish of St. John's. Two days after their arrival they began their training in metal fabrication at GARP Training Centre in Plochingen.
Restoration is not restricted to infrastructure; morale is also restored. In March Abajah school proudly celebrated their Inter-House Sports Day in the presence of the Minister for Sport. One of the six houses proudly carries the name and banner of St. John's.
Visit of Bischof Francis Lysinge and his secretary Fr. Maurice in St. John's parish in March '12. The photo shows a quiet moment at the centenary cross in Tiefenbach valley.
The sanitary installations in Abajah Community Secondary School have been completed. During our 10-day visit we duly celebrated the opening of the sanitation block for 600 pupils (see photo album). We provided the teaching staff with learning material on hygiene and the transmission of diseases which we had brought with us.
We were also able to commence preparation of our next enterprise: Matthew and Joseph from Owerri had to be prepared for their stay in Germany. In May they will come to Nuertingen and begin training in metal fabrication at GARP Training Centre in Plochingen. Valiantly they began their language lessons in German.
But not only the larger projects received our attention. It was a special and rewarding experience to visit the children who received your and our help in the past year: for example in financing schooling for young children, assuring safe deliveries of new births and providing medical care. Their smiles greet you on the right!
To mark the end of the initiative My world. Your world. One world., which took place across the whole of Baden Württemberg, over 170 active persons, the majority voluntary workers, came to Stuttgart to take part in the Day of Activity organised by the Foundation for Development Programmes. Under the patronage of Peter Friedrich, Minister for International Matters, the day focused on the various ideas and projects for One World. Anne O'Callaghan, Father Martin Schwer (Parish Priest) and Erhard Baier (3rd, 4th and 5th from the left) also took part.
Our partner in Nigeria, Clifford Orjiako from the Ivy Hope Foundation, on his visit to Nuertingen. Clifford took the opportunity to visit the Friedrich-Glueck primary school and the Hoelderlin Grammar School to talk to pupils about life in Nigeria and tell them how the funds raised in Nuertingen are being put to use.
In February 2011. The training centre for women in Mamfe, Kamerun, began with a tailoring course. Further information about the opening with Bishop Francis to be found under Women Centre.
The visit in February 2011 to be found under report.
Before our visit to Nigeria in February 2011 many spectacles were donated. These were measured locally in Abajah. Within the framework of the distribution of these glasses, Clifford Orjiako organised a whole day medical care. This included further medical services and information on welfare and prevention of disease. This event was a great success. It is to be repeated at regular intervals. Further information under medical care.
In February we were also honoured to attend the commissioning of the renovated Abajah Community School and library. Now we are in need of further financial support for the construction of a sanitary installation. Further information under Abajah School.
Visit from Bishop Francis Lysinge from the Diocese of Mamfe, Cameroon in January 2011.
The photo on the left shows the bishop celebrating Mass in Nürtingen, Oberensingen.
The photo on the right was taken at Mass in Wolfschlugen.
Thanks to the support of “Light of Hope 2010/2011”, a campaign by the local newspaper (Nuertinger Zeitung), we can support the Women’s Empowerment Centre in the diocese Mamfe.
Meeting of bishops Gebhard Fuerst and Francis Lysinge, diocese Mamfe, in Stella Maris in Stuttgart (photo with Ms O'Callaghan from the Africa Work Group).