OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Transforming Lives

To rehabilitate, restore, and economically empower those affected by the crises in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon

Photo of Highfavour Abegitue
1 2

Written by

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

The situation in the North West and south west regions of Cameroon, which started as a peaceful strike of teachers and lawyers in 2016 has degenerated to an arm conflict, with pro-independence fighters fighting for the independence of southern Cameroon (i.e. the English speaking part of Cameroon). This arm struggle which started in 2017, has led to the death of many from both sides. The destruction of properties, and the high level of insecurity in these two regions have led to the displacement of many. Some have sought refuge in neighboring Nigeria, others have moved to the French speaking areas where there is relative peace, while others still have sought refuge in the bushes where they live in small communities. Details can be gotten from human rights reports. (Visit: The crises have greatly affected the socio-political and economic atmosphere of the whole country, but the situation is worse in these two English speaking regions. The problems of the displaced are particular to where they find themselves now.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

This idea targets Cameroonians in general, and the anglophones in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon in particular. These two regions has been in a crises since 2016. The crises which has degenerated into an arm conflict, has led to the destruction of properties, displacement of persons, within and without the country, insecurity, poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation, poor health, etc. The situation which is degenerating everyday, warrants a quick interventions.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

The destruction of lives and properties, coupled with the displacement of persons have led to serious health and economic challenges. Many have resolved to unorthodox means of survival. Young girls and mothers have resolved to prostitution, young men have resolved to robbery, swindling, drugs, etc. Empowering the people economically can lead to a peaceful coexistence while a lasting solution for the crises is being sort.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

My idea is to empower the people economically by providing for them some basic capital to start at least a small business. Some, especially the youths can be sent to learn some basic skills in hairdressing, carpentry, etc. Once this is done, it will boost the financial status of these affected persons, this arresting most of the challenges and consequences of the crises. the people need to start again because most of them have lost everything. Of course this will need a lot of follow up and supervision for effective results. My organization shall provide the necessary personnel

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

Once the people have something that can generate income, it will greatly reduce their suffering and desperation. They can now provide for their basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter, and even education without demanding from others. This will help restore their dignity. In a long run, it can even help to reduce if not solve the crises, because many youths who are joining the separatist forces are doing so too out of desperation.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

We are a faith based group operating in Bamenda, headquarters of the Northwest region of Cameroon. Every day there is an influx of persons running from the villages where the conflict is intense to Bamenda which is a bit secured due to the high presence of government forces. Every day we are looking for shelter for these persons, collecting used dresses from some persons of good will and sharing to these persons. Everyday we are sharing food and other basic needs to these persons. My worry was that for how long shall we be providing for these persons whose population is increasing daily. So we that thinking of ways to partially if not totally stabilize these person financially. Due to our limited resources we cannot handle this by ourselves. This is what motivated us to start a faith based organization in order to canvas for the necessary financial resources to help these persons.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Returning home

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Systems design: Solutions that target changing larger system

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

"Talitha Koumi" (Little Girl arise) Mark 5:41

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

“Talitha koum” is a Hebrew phrase which means, “Little girl I say get up”. “Talitha” here, the little girl who was dead represents every community, institution or people who are weak, vulnerable, helpless, hopeless, torn down, displaced, sick, and in desperation. “Koum” meaning get up or arise denotes an awakening, rebuilding, rehabilitation, resurrection, restoration, lifting up, empowerment and reestablishment, revival. Many of our people, communities, villages, women are plagued by these situations, either due to crises, or because of their locations or who they are. “Talitha Koum” a faith based organization, seeks to identify these peoples, and stretch a helping hand to them following the example of Jesus who, let by the Holy Spirit and power, went about doing good, and healing all (cf. Acts 10:38).The head office of the association is in Bamenda II sub-division of Mezam division in the NorthWest region of Cameroon. Our vision to transform the lives for the better.

Type of submitter

  • We are not yet a registered organization but plan to register in future

Organization Headquarters: Country

Republic of Cameroon

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Bamenda, Northwest region

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Temba Vicent

Hello there,


Thank you very much. How your idea empower the displaced people or Wellcome community to support refugees?

Thank you Temba