RUDEC Is Looking For Volunteers To Take Part In Orphan Projects, Afterschool Projects, Community Health Outreach And Eco-Tourism Projects In Cameroon.
RUDEC needs the services of all volunteers from any country, with no barriers to age, sex or colour, who can help in rural development in the continuation of existing projects (such as the orphan project, the afterschool project, community health outreach or the eco-tourism project), for the wellbeing of communities.The smaller the project the better. Do not overwhelm yourself or the community with large and timely projects. Aim to complete the project within your time in country, and focus on the sustainability of it after you leave.
RUDEC is situated in the picturesque Bamenda Highlands, in a village called Belo. Belo is part of Boyo Division, in the Anglophone North-West province in Cameroon. The main village and the surrounding settlements are home to about 80,000 inhabitants. The nearest town, Bamenda itself, is situated 45km from Belo. There is a tarmac road between Belo and Bamenda, and it will cost you about 1.5 euros for 1 hour, travelling in a shared taxi.
Climate and Landscape
There are plenty of good opportunities for walking and trekking in the beautiful local areas around the village. The dry season starts in October/November and ends in March/April. During dry season, the temperature is about 30ºC to 35ºC during the day and 15ºC to 20ºC at night. The rainy season is the rest of the year, with heavy rains in July and August. At this time, temperatures fall between 25ºC and 30ºC.
You can either stay with a member’s family, where you will pay 15 euros per month, or you can stay in a Rest House at a cost of about 38 euros per month. The Rest House has 4 heated rooms, with a shared bathroom (toilet and shower). It also has one general parlour with a seating area and a kitchen for food preparation. (There is a gas cooker provided by RUDEC, but volunteers will need to buy their own gas).
Most of our food is organic, as we don’t use chemical pesticides or fertilizers. If you cater for yourself, you can expect to spend about 45 euros a month on food. If you choose to stay in the rest house you will pay 53 euros per month. Volunteers will also buy their food with their cook together. The drinking water in Belo is very good, and safe to drink. However, if you prefer, you can boil it before drinking. Bottled distilled water can be purchased at a cost of 1 euro for 1.5 liters. Volunteers would also know that they would pay for their kitchen gas and can budget about 15 Euros around end of the year.
Project Investment Fees
Project investment fees are funds that all volunteers contribute to support the orphan project which is often is need of money. This money is divided depending on the period a volunteer is working with us.
1 day - 3 months is 275 Euros
4 months - 6 months is 175 Euros
7 months .... is 50 Euros
Pick up at the Airport
RUDEC can pick you up from Douala airport and take you to the village. Traveling by bus from Douala to the village will take about 7 hours. As you will appreciate, RUDEC has very few funds, so we have to request that you pay for the pick up before you arrive in Cameroon. The total fee is 76 euros, which includes the costs of transport by bus, taxi hire from the airport, and food and water needed during the journey. If your plane arrives late, or if you don’t want to travel overnight, it is possible for someone to take you to a hotel in Douala. This will cost about 25euros for you and for any other person accompanying you.
In our village there is access to the Internet, and phones are also available to enable you to communicate with your friends and family. Volunteers can buy phone and use when they are here. They can also call from the cyber-cafe in Belo at 0.5 euros per minute.
It is possible to withdraw money using an international visa card in the neighboring town Bamenda. Please don’t bring traveller’s cheques, as these are difficult to change here. Euros, dollars and pounds can be easily exchanged. If you are staying for a long time, it may also be possible for you to open an account in an international bank in the neighboring town.
All volunteers will be taken to the Divisional Officer and the Gendarmeries, who will ensure your safety for the duration of your stay.
Should volunteers need to see a doctor during their stay, Mbingo Baptist hospital and Njinikom Catholic hospital are large medical centers close to Belo. You may also wish to bring basic medical supplies (first aid kit etc.) with you.
Suggested things to bring: - Sturdy walking shoes - Sandals - Comfortable and loose clothing - Warm clothing for cool nights - Umbrella and raincoat - Mosquito repellent-Extra bed sheets and net
Getting a Visa
Contact the Cameroonian embassy in your home country to obtain a visa. Either 3 month or 6 month visas are available, and usually you must provide proof of flights, travel insurance and an invitation letter (which RUDEC will email to you). Check if your country registers people who travel out or not. For the US and UK, please check here: US Citizen: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui UK Citizens: https://www.locate.fco.gov.uk/locateportal
Visa Issue to People who do not have a Cameroon Embassy
We would like to advise all those that are coming into Cameroon that it will not be good to leave your home country without a visa with the hope that you will have it in any Cameroon airports. You will most likely be denied entry. If you do not have a Cameroonian Embassy in your country, you will need your contacts at RUDEC in Cameroon to prepare an application for the Director General of National security in Yaounde which will take about a month. They may decide to give you a visa or not. You will need to send in your scanned passport. Volunteers / interns should know that they will be responsible for the associated costs. The other alternative is that volunteers from countries without a Cameroon embassy could cross over their borders to a close by country that has Cameroon embassy to apply for a visa.
We do not insure volunteers as we do not have liability insurance. Our association with a large Baptist hospital in the region and Catholic hospital, where some Americans work as missionaries, will aid us if there is an emergency case with one of our volunteers. We encourage volunteers to obtain their own insurance before they book a flight.
Planning for your Volunteer Work
As RUDEC is in the process of expanding to hopefully become a significant presence in the Belo and rural communities in Cameroon, there are many important resources that RUDEC does not have easy access to. It would be greatly appreciated for any volunteer to bring whatever resources they can, such as books, computers, cameras etc. that will assist with RUDEC’s development. Also, due to lack of funding to initiate new projects or for the everyday needs of the organisation, volunteers are welcome to fundraise before coming to Belo to help with their work.
Training Opportunities with RUDEC
As RUDEC thrives on exchanging knowledge, we would be more than happy to train you in beekeeping skills. There is also the possibility for you to develop projects from our broad objectives, and to be the founder of that particular project within RUDEC. Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon amongst us. Chiamba Joshua RUDEC Director.
If you wish to apply to become a RUDEC volunteer, please go to the Online Volunteer Application. We will then get in contact with you to propose volunteer work that best matches our needs with your own particular abilities and interests.
No Enquires Of A Commercial Nature, Thank You.