About Building Schools for Africa (BSFA)
Marianne is a retired teacher and is the Secretary of Building Schools for Africa. She was also a trustee of AidCamps International, the charity from which Building Schools for Africa evolved, for 10 years. Through her work with AidCamps International, Marianne has taken numerous groups of volunteers to work on rural village school building projects in India, Nepal and Cameroon.
Ian is a retired doctor who has also led groups of AidCamps International volunteers on projects in India. He has undertaken several medical electives in hospitals and rural clinics in South Africa, Malawi, Kenya and Cameroon and has recently been awarded a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He is Chair of Building Schools for Africa
Nick Hayward retired having successfully run a business with his wife Nicky for 25 years.
Nick worked with a number of schools and training companies to enable young students, particularly those with special needs, to take part in Modern Apprenticeship schemes. He has also been a trustee of the Isle of Wight Youth Trust and was appointed High Sherrif of the Isle of Wight for 2012/13. Nick is our Treasurer, and is supported in his work for BSFA by Nicky Hayward, who was also one of the founding trustees.
Judith has been a GP on the Isle of Wight for 25 years. She has been a supporter of Building Schools for Africa since its beginning and, now that her workload is reducing, hopes to travel to Cameroon to see the work of SHUMAS at first hand.
Judith has served on numerous committees and has been a trustee of the Youth Trust on the Isle of Wight.
Steven is the director of a design agency with over 10 years experience of working in product development and new manufacturing techniques. Steven is helping to improve access to IT and other tools for learning within our schools. He became involved in BSFA having travelled to Cameroon to document and promote the work and progress of Building Schools for Africa.
Stuart has lived on the Isle of Wight for 10 years and, having originally studied Marine Biology, he has subsequently worked on a number of international sailing projects, including the 2012 Olympics. He is currently employed at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Stuart says that BSFA’s effective sustainable development model, its significant positive impact on the communities it helps and the fact that every penny donated goes to the construction of new classrooms is what motivated him to get involved.
About Our Partner SHUMAS
Since our first visit to Cameroon in 2006, we have developed a very strong relationship with our partner, SHUMAS, which has enabled the school building programme to develop extremely quickly. It has also enabled us to modify our projects from time to time and incorporate strategies that have facilitated easier monitoring and greater sustainability. In 2010 we were able to meet with several Government ministers and forge greater links between SHUMAS, the Cameroon Government and the British High Commission. In 2011 an agreement was signed between the Minister of Secondary Education and SHUMAS, ensuring that the Government would provide additional teachers at any secondary school helped by SHUMAS/BSFA and a similar agreement is currently being drawn up for additional primary school teachers.
Stephen Ndzerem is the Managing Director and founder of Strategic Humanitarian Services, Cameroon (SHUMAS).
Stephen was one of five children, only two of whom survived childhood. Extreme poverty in his family meant that his parents could not afford basic medicines when their children fell ill. In common with the majority of poor families in Cameroon, Stephen’s parents did not earn enough to be able to pay school fees on a regular basis, so his schooling was often interrupted. Nonetheless, Stephen eventually studied Law at the University of Yaounde, Cameroon – subsidising his studies with a part-time job as a photographer.
Having practised Law, very successfully, for three years, he set about achieving his long-held ambition of helping the poorest communities in his country. He established SHUMAS – a Non Governmental Organisation which specialises in a wide range of sustainable development activities which help to build the capacity of the extremely deprived and marginalised sectors of the communities in Cameroon. The work of SHUMAS has recently been recognised by the Cameroonian Government and it has been appointed as the only non-governmental organisation to monitor the country’s progress towards achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. Stephen also acts as adviser to some Government ministries and has recently forged a partnership between SHUMAS and the Ministry of Secondary Education, which ensures that, when SHUMAS constructs classrooms at secondary schools, the ministry will provide the additional teachers required.
Billian is the Programme Co-ordinator at SHUMAS. She is responsible for statistical, problem and stakeholder analysis and for formulating project proposals.
Formerly a banker, Billian realised that although the financial rewards were good, she did not have much job satisfaction. “Working with SHUMAS gives me full job satisfaction as I can see the clear impact of our work on rural poor people.”
Billian has now been working with SHUMAS for 15 years: she is an expert in organic farming and community mobilisation and in 2010 she was invited to speak at an International Conference on Food Security in the Hague.
Beri is the Deputy Programme Co-ordinator for SHUMAS. As such, she is involved in all aspects of SHUMAS’ work but she also has special areas of responsibility. She is the Head of Personnel, the Head of the Health Programme and the Head of the Networking Department.
Reynard is the manager for all the school projects that we help to fund. He and his staff undertake the feasibility reports needed for each school and they oversee the progress of the projects. The reports his team produce are vital to the success of our charity because they keep our funders well informed and they can be reassured that their money is being used to great effect.
Bruno has been with SHUMAS right from the beginning. He is an essential staff member who can turn his hand to anything, knows all the projects very well and ensures that there is always a vehicle ready to tackle the challenging state of the roads in the rural areas.
One or two of the volunteer BSFA trustees travel out to Cameroon each year, at our own expense / through giftaid, to visit the schools and take part in the monitoring process. In this way we are able to give excellent feedback to all our funders and guarantee that every penny donated goes towards the construction of new schools.
There are still hundreds of schools that need our help and we hope that we will be able to continue to provide the small assistance that makes such a difference to the lives of so many deserving children in Africa
Building Schools for Africa became a registered charity in 2009 (1127661)