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Getting our feet under the desk

26 July 2006 - 9:43am -- Joseph

 So we've been here over a week now, and we're settling in nicely. We have our own desk-bench for two, which hev is very excited about (apparently she's never had her own desk before...) We're both trying to get our heads around exactly what we're going to be doing, and how we're going to do it. Hev's really going to have to start from scratch. HIV is apparently a pretty big problem here, but it's not a very visible problem, nor is it one which most people want to talk or think about. It's the teenagers and young adults that really seem to be in denial about the risks, the 'it won't happen to me ' factor, I suppose, but a very dangerous case of it ('the yoof don't listen' - blimey, how old do I sound? Ah, well...) This unwillingness to talk about HIV/Aids is very grave problem, because as this culture of denial persists, the epidemic multiplies. Hev needs to figure out not only how she's going to set up testing facilities, source drugs to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. IF any of this is to be of any use however, she's going to have to figure out how to get people to want to make use of these services, and that looks like it may be her biggest challenge. Sounds like a pretty tall order to me, but you know Hev, she can do anything... There are several aspects to my work, but the one I'm grappling with most at the moment is the HINT website. I'm working a redesign, spruce it up a bit, improve accessibilty, make the mark-up compliant and descriptive, etc. which should be easy enough (that's what I do, right?). What we really need though, is to be able to take online donations, and that, it turns out, is a bit tricky... It's all down to the digital divide you see... For instance, it seems it's not possible to register for a paypal account in Cameroon. There's all sorts of online payment and money transfer services, which just don't seem to be available if you're anywhere in Africa other than South Africa. So does anyone know of an online payment/donation system which will deal with Cameroon? Does anyone know of a charitable organisation that will funnel online donation funds to charities/NGO's in Africa? Seriously, if anyone has any ideas, please leave a comment or email me. I'm sure there's some way of doing it, but I reckon it's going to take a fair bit of rummaging around and bothering people, so any leads gratefully received... So that's what we've been up to work-wise - that and losing the internet connection in new and interesting ways, and figuring out how to get it back... More generally, we've been getting used to the surroundings, getting our bearings, and trying desperately to get the name of our suburb of Buea to stick in our heads: Bondemar. I've no idea if that's how it's spelt, but the important thing is that we remember how to say it to a taxi driver, so repeat after me: Bon - de - mar, BON - DE - MAR...


I know I am not an expert when it comes to spelling. I belive the name of the place we live in is spelt Bonduma.

Bonduma, yeah, that makes more sense, thank you, spelling guru.

Hi Joe,

We give money to an Indian charity (CHIT). The money is collected via a christian organisation called stewardship, who collect money for lots of organisations and handle the charitable giving side. They may be an avenue to investigate?


Organisations such as Oxfam, Action Aid or Christian Aid may be able to help. Would you like me to contact them and ask?

I thought of CAF as well. Also heard that to transfer money to banks abroad an extra sort code is required and called SWIFT. Besides Paypal there is World pay and Propyx.
Western Union is an expensive route I am told. If there are cash machines you could reach UK held funds. Hope thats of some help

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