“We have Transformed women and youth with sustainable livelihoods & Development” through the following;
The Creativity Development Fund (CDF) works in the area of community development particularly in rural areas with a direct focus on building women’s capacities to become economically self-reliant. The initiatives was was adopted through continued re-focusing to remain relevant to its members and the operating environment.
CDF is a capacity building institute with vast experience, expertise and capacity to assist persons of diverse backgrounds in very wide ranging subjects namely, strategic management for businesses, business management for farmers and small enterprises, financial mobilization for small enterprises, internal savings and lending, vocational skills development, and advisory services for agribusinesses. The institution provides various business development services to a varied target group, these include small and medium scale farmers, farmer associations, commodity associations, women’s clubs and associations, leaders of community projects, agro-dealers and communities at large. CDF has a pool of highly qualified officers who are spread out throughout the country thereby allowing us to conduct several activities simultaneously.
We are working in nearly all the regions of Cameroon and we have field officers working from each regions. The regions that we are working in are; South West, North West, Litoral, West, East, South, Centre etc.
We have a very strong gender focus with a fully-fledged gender program and have mainstreamed issues around the gender, environment and natural resources management in all our activities.
As an organization we work hands on for the development of women and communities through the promotion of self-reliance. 80% of our members are in the rural areas, with 20% in the urban areas. Of the 20 000 club members, 97% are female.
Currently, our focus is on improving the viability of agriculture sector as a whole with a particular focus on increasing incomes from agriculture. To this end we are providing capacity building to various actors along different agricultural value chains, such as mentoring of agro-dealers, assisting agro-dealers in financial mobilization, training farmers in farming as a business, providing horticultural marketers with business management skills, securing business loans for farmers, promotion of food processing, output marketing, exposing processors of dried vegetables and fruits to regional export markets.
Capacity Building Areas
The Organizational Development (OD) process led by Creativity Development Fund (CDF) will lead to improve any organization’s; farmers groups or associations/unions; women’s groups; agribusiness associations; capacity to handle its internal and external functioning and relationships. This would include such things as improved interpersonal and group processes, more effective communication, enhanced ability to cope with organizational problems of all kinds, more effective decision processes, more appropriate leadership style, improved skill in dealing with destructive conflict, and higher levels of trust and cooperation among organizational members.
Over the years CDF has established well-rooted grassroots structures from village to national level that are now being used by other organizations to penetrate communities.
These structures continuously undergo programs on leadership as the ability to influence other to work towards achieving a shared vision. The process involves inspiring leaders to work together as a team that collectively makes decision on how things should happen in order to achieve a shared vision. The leadership program develops the analytical and advocacy capacity of leaders for effective pro-active advocacy. The leadership program covers aspects of leadership styles; structures; roles of leaders; how to elect leaders; succession planning; team building; constitution drafting; conflict resolution and peace building.
CDF also has a program on gender and gender mainstreaming to address the environment in which gender policies and programs are developed and implemented. The program focuses on how to integrate gender concerns into programming and is accompanied by developing a strategy to ensure that the operating environment is gender-sensitive, guaranteeing equal opportunities and treatment to both men and women. The Gender program covers, what is gender; gender building blocks; gender division of labor; socialization; access and control; introducing gender; gender analysis; effective gender mainstreaming.
CDF offers a wide range of vocational skills which are meant to provide women with the requisite expertise for production of various goods. The program covers (a) Textiles technology including making menstrual hygiene pads (b) Detergents manufacturing; (c) Handicrafts and fine arts; and (d) Agro-processing; among others.
Women organized in savings clubs have a representative leadership structure that gives them the platform to participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of activities in CDF. The leaders are represented at Ward, District, Provincial and National level. The National level leaders also seat in all CDF Board meetings and participate in making decisions regarding the governance of the organization. These women are targeted by this program to equip them to ably represent the concerns of their constituencies. A 3-day learning program in women’s rights, democracy, gender, advocacy and lobbying aimed at equipping women knowledge and skills is offered. Aspects of elections, constitution drafting are also part of the program. At the end of each an advocacy plan is developed and followed through so that women practically lobby and advocate for a particular issue affecting them.
The elections were successfully conducted in the South west Region. The 126 elected women leaders underwent training in leadership and induction in their terms of reerence and scope of work.
The range of Business Develpment (BD) provided includes demand driven tailor-made programs, to suit needs of beneficiaries. The programs currently available are Credit Management, Farming as a Family Business, Marketing of Horticultural Produce, Contract Farming, Agro-dealer Business Management, Entrepreneurship for the Manufacturing Industry, and Business Management. Participatory approaches and facilitation techniques are used to enhance processes.
In addition, coaching and mentoring is also used for enhanced capacity to build the entrepreneurs to become astute business people. This service is provided at enterprise level with assistance being given on the business premise from basics such as business planning, marketing, record keeping, customer care to issues such as drafting business plans, strategic planning for businesses, marketing analysis.
Advisory services for entrepreneurs on financial mobilization, micro-finance management, market linkages, drafting business plans are also available.
CDF has in the past 2 years (2019 – 2022) built the capacity of 16, 897 entrepreneurs in our operational regions in business management, enterprise development, financial literacy, adoption of appropriate technology , mobilization of savings. In addition over 12 commodity associations and savings credit associations were organized. The program has improved the way CDF members run their enterprises.