Our story goes back to 1996 where we were created as a response to the HIV outbreak. Started as a small initiative, we have grown into a non-profit organisation with three departments and various projects throughout Cameroon, North-Eastern Nigeria and Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Started in 1996, the organisation became legalized in 2000. Reach Out was founded by a group of medical doctors, gender specialists, social workers, nurses, community relay agents and agronomists who were concerned with the plight of the rural people, especially those in hard-to-reach areas and those rendered vulnerable. These include, but are not limited to minority groupssuch as widows, displaced women and their families, school drop-outs, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) as well as HIV and AIDS infected and affected persons who are all main beneficiaries of Reach Out’s programs.
The organisation was born in response to the wide-spread HIV epidemic in Fako district, particularly among rural communities which were left unattended. The pioneer group of social workers, agricultural experts, doctors and nurses and other well-wishers decided to focus on serving the rural populations with information about the virus and on how to build up immune systems with natural recipes.
We quickly became interested on not only serving those rendered vulnerable, but advocating for them and raised our voice to denounce the injustices people living with HIV were suffering in our Country. We’ve never stopped advocating since then. Experiencing the HIV pandemic was unevenly targeting women, with other specific challenges such as gender based violence, inequality, property expropriation and little access to leadership positions, the organisation broadened its focus and included aspects of Gender, human rights and training. This saw the birth of the second department within the organisation – Gender and Capacity Building. In the course of carrying out activities in the Gender and Capacity Building Department, we realised that our sensitisation and capacity building efforts required a third leg. Thus, the Wealth Creation Department was born to take care of the economic empowerment of women and underprivileged groups. Today these three departments have separated focuses on interconnected issues, and work closely to bring the best impact to communities all over Cameroon, Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and North-Eastern Nigeria.
Reach Out NGO in Cameroon supports underprivileged groups within the communities on health issues, wealth creation, human rights and governance. It provides capacity building for improved livelihood using a community centered approach and advocacy.
Underprivileged groups are socio-economically and politically empowered in a supportive policy environment.
Accountable to our partners, communities and ourselves
Our work gives us strength
Commitment to improving standards in our country
What we do is meant to last
The journey for peace may not happen overnight but with persistence we can achieve it.
Esther Omam, Executive Director
Esther Omam has been at the forefront of development and humanitarian response in the South-West Region within Reach Out Cameroon since 1996. Her focus has been on empowering vulnerable & marginalised populations for improved livelihoods. She has empowered more than 20000 women and youths in various capacities; establishment of micro projects, management of groups and leadership, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, business planning etc. More than 200 micro projects established. She pioneered the fight against HIV/AIDS with focus on improved Home Based Care and Psychosocial Assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS & OVCs. She has been advocating for the rights of minority groups such as the Mbororo women, women and youth in the hinterlands - Bakassi areas. She has been promoting the rights of women in conflict torn areas of the SWR ,recently the North West and littoral regions.. She set up a credit scheme called the DROMBAYA Micro Loan Scheme for young girls dropped out from schools, widows and other single mothers. Furthermore, she had structured and strengthened approximately 429 civil society organisations in the SWR under the EU sub-programs: PASOC and PASC in areas of management of NGOs, advocacy, structuring and strengthening & humanitarian response.
With the ongoing Anglophone crisis since 2016, Reach Out Cameroon through the efforts of Esther pioneered the humanitarian response in the SWR in February 2018 and later on expanded to the North West and Littoral regions.So far, supported at least 200,000 IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in areas of Nutrition, WASH, Health, Protection, Economic Empowerment and Psychosocial.
With support of her organisation, she created the South West and North West Women's Task Force (SNWOT) in May 2018 to address the current crisis. The women did lamentations campaigns, Press Conferences , Advocacy campaigns at national and international level, meetings with key stakeholders. Broad-based media campaigns carried out, leading women to the pre- consultative talks prior to the Major National Dialogue with the PM and ensuring the participation of women in the Major National. Reinforced the capacities of members of SNWOT on peace building and on mediation. Esther Testified at the UNSC Arria-formula meeting of May 2019 about the Humanitarian Crisis in Cameroon.