RUDEC needs the services of all volunteers from any country, with no barriers to age, sex or colour, who can help in rural development either with the continuation of existing projects (such as the orphan project, the afterschool project, community health outreach, women empowerment clubs or the eco-tourism project),or in the creation of new viable and sustainable progammes. Smaller, more feasible projects are preferred, with a focus on sustainability.
Is volunteering at RUDEC for me?
Volunteering in a developing country for a grassroots organisation is a tremendous experience, though one that requires certain adjustments and characteristics. It’s important to consider certain things so that a volunteer’s exprience will allow them to adjust to the way of life and enjoy time in Cameroon.
- Are you flexible, non-judgmental, tolerant, resourceful and inquisitive?
- Do you like asking questions, learning by doing, exchanging knowledge and sharing skills?
- Are you compassionate, hard working, adventurous and willing to learn?
If you think you may be suitable fit, then you may be the kind of person RUDEC is looking for.
If you would like further information on such things as accommodation, cost and transport, please review the material on “Information for Volunteers”. 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. You may also wish to speak to former volunteers.
Types of opportunities
Volunteers serve in consultant-type roles. Volunteers are expected to participate in comprehensive needs assessments and to work alongisde the RUDEC Director and field worker to develop, implement, and evaluate sustainable programs. The Director may ask for academic or professional references or evidence of certifications upon a volunteer’s application to RUDEC.
Information for Volunteers
Below is some practical information about life in our village (Belo). If you have any questions that are not answered on this page, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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, traveling 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 will be staying in a rented volunteer houseat a cost of about 62 Euros per month. The house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Depending on the number of volunteers you may have to share a room. It also has a large living area and a kitchen for food preparation. (There is a gas cooker provided by RUDEC, but volunteers will need to buy their own gas). The house is in a secure area about 5 minutes walk from the centre of Belo and 7-10 minutes from the RUDEC office.
Most of our food is organic, as we don’t use chemical pesticides or fertilizers. We have a cook who prepares 3 meals a day, 6 days a week in our volunteer house. Each volunteer contributes to the wages and then into a food kitty. Volunteers can 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 water can be purchased at a cost of 1 euro for 1.5 liters.
Volunteer investment cost:
This cost is the donation that all volunteers contribute to RUDEC Cameroon. The money is solely used by RUDEC for investment in projects and day to day running of the charity, for example the payment of the staff that work for RUDEC, the running costs of our small office, to the orphans needs like medicine, school fees, books and emergencies. The volunteers will contribute this into RUDEC as the arrive Cameroon.You may request that a portion goes into a specific project that you are working on, or be earmarked for next year’s school fees etc. Do not feel afraid to ask what the money is being used for, RUDEC prides its self on being a transparent organisation. These donations are calculated according to time of stay in Cameroon.
From one day to three months is 275 Euros
From four months to five months is 175 Euros
From six months to nine months is 75 Euros
From ten months to infinitive is Free
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 Bamenda will take about 7 hours and from Bamenda to Belo is another hour. 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 142 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 30 Euros for you and for any other person accompanying you. More information about the journey can be found in our Volunteer Manual that you will be sent on signing upfront before arriving Cameroon.
If you have an unlocked phone it is possible to just buy a local SIM card and insert it into your own phone. Top up credit can be bought from anywhere on the streets. Texting home is relatively reasonable but calling is quite expensive. There are cheap phones available to buy. Internet is available in a couple of internet cafes but it can be slow and frustrating sometimes.
It is possible to withdraw money using an international Visa card using ATM in the neighboring town Bamenda. Please note that MasterCards are NOT accepted. Please don’t bring traveller’s cheques, as these are impossibleto change here. Euros, dollars and pounds can be easily exchanged but bring them in bigger bills. 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. Please bring ALL prescription medications needed for the duration of your stay. You may also wish to bring basic medical supplies (first aid kit etc.) with you.
Suggested things to bring:
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Comfortable and loose clothing
- Warm clothing for cool nights
- Umbrella and raincoat
- Mosquito repellent
- Extra bed sheets
- Mosquitoes net and torch
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. Here are some websites where you can get more information: WHO and CDC. If you have any disability or illness please contact us so that we can advise you on what to do before you book your flights.
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
RUDEC Cameroon is looking for a volunteer to oversee and project manage the RUDEC Sponsor a Child Programme. RUDEC currently provides for 57 orphans and destitute children. However, it has ambitious plans to enhance its sponsorship programme to encourage further sponsors and to increase fund raising. The successful volunteer will be required to live and work in Belo, Cameroon for 8 – 12 months to complete the project.
Activities / Duties
- Enhance, maintain and update the Sponsor a Child page of the RUDEC website
- Regularly visit the 54 orphans / destitute children to collect information, take photos and update profiles
- Prepare and provide regular newsletters, photos and updates to the sponsors of the children
- Prepare and update accounts to show the income and expenditure of funds donated by sponsors
- Maintain a database to record the donations and expenditure for each individual orphan / destitute child
- Publicise, advertise and market the Sponsor a Child programme to encourage further sponsors and increase fundraising.
- Coach and mentor a local employee to manage the project after year one.
RUDEC is seeking volunteers who wish to teach in rural Cameroonian communities. If you are interested, you can contribute teaching in a school and doing tutoring lessons (1 and 2), or simply doing tutoring lessons (2). Volunteers could teach in the school for varying lengths of time, between 1 month and 1 year (or more).
DURING SCHOOL PERIOD TIME
1.RUDEC SCHOOL PROGRAM
At the moment, the actual rural schools are in a situation of being understaffed, under-resourced and overcrowded. Class size oscillates between 70 and 100 children at a commonplace. There is a lack of basic equipment such as desks and chalk. They also have shortage of books, papers, textbooks and all schools supplies. Many teachers are overstretched so poor children are not supported and often get left behind.Volunteers are needed to work in schools, with children up to the age of 13, teaching in a range of subjects (Mathematics, French, English, Environmental Education, Hygiene, Sciences…). This program is addressed to all children in the school.
2. TEACHING ORPHANS AND UNDER PRIVILEGED CHILDREN
This program aims to assist children who cannot cope well under normal classroom conditions. Volunteer Teachers would work with these children to provide them with additional support. This program also caters for children of mixed ages, but they will be taught together, in a dedicated classroom environment more suitable for their particular needs. This program is organized for after school. Volunteers are needed to provide after-school tuition to children of all ages, in a variety of subjects as in the school. Those classes are only addressed to the children in RUDEC’s Orphan Project.
DURING HOLIDAYS (Summer, Christmas and Holy Week)
If you wish to volunteer during these month, RUDEC has access to some classrooms in a school, which can be used to do a Summer school (with the idea of reinforcing subjects, and also play games). This has been done before with quite a good outcome, but it has very little resources and is organized by the volunteers themselves (information about previous Summers can be provided for guidance).If you would like to help or you need further information, please use our contact form to be a volunteer online