Kids in Africa: Their future is in our hands
Since 2007, the non-profit TEAM organisation has been able to support 18 schools and orphanages, and over three thousand schoolchildren in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal. A new crowd-funding campaign aims to raise 18,000 euros to finance school supplies and build toilets, water towers and classrooms.
Majirus Fansi was born in a remote village in Cameroon. He grew up thinking it was normal not to have school books, running water and so on. But then he discovered how different life was in France and elsewhere, and now he wants to give something back.
Majirus heard about the non-profit organization TEAM (Touche d'Espoir pour un Avenir Meilleur) from a friend who described exactly what he had experienced as a child.
“We didn't even think about it. No running water, no toilets, and 100 kids to a classroom, it was normal.”
Majirus Fansi is now one of TEAM's volunteer project coordinators.
He and fellow volunteer Célia Fomani, are especially enthusiastic about the efforts undertaken by TEAM.
“We go outside the villages where other organisations don't go, we can touch people who are really in need,” says Majirus.
Tears of joy
This despite the difficulties in logistics, which can involve their local volunteers spending hours travelling along pot-holed roads, explains Célia.
Majirus describes how happy people are that the whole village profits from a water tank installed in a school.
“When we get to the inauguration, we see people crying.
“Seeing people's joy like that, it's a successs story,” he says proudly.
“If I can give to others so they can have better conditions than the ones I had myself, it would be great.”
TEAM prides itself on the fact that 87 percent of donations is spent directly on projects.
Some of their recent efforts have focused on places such as Hanyigba Duga school in Togo, Djigbé school in Côte d'Ivoire, and Melan school in Cameroon.
No money is used for travel or other expenses of the volunteers. They fork out their own airfares to travel to the villages for inauguration day.
The main source of income is crowd-funding campaigns and donations from companies like the oil producer Total which last year donated over two thousand euros.
They also organise football matches in France where teams pay a lump sum to compete.
Each year, they open bidding for schools to get in touch with them and describe a project that TEAM could help with.
Three schools selected, 53 others turned down
It's hard making the choice, but when they do, the results are well worth the effort.
Their new crowd-funding campaign will be accessible on the Ulule platform on 25 April.This year they hope to raise 18,000 euros.
Don't hesitate to follow TEAM on instagram or facebook and read testimonies coming from everywhere.
The TEAM website address is www.touchedespoir.org