Support to Self-promotion of the Pygmies

Support of Pygmy associations, sustainable agriculture, school building, and health care in Cameroon

  • Sectors: Development of endangered ethnic societies, Preservation and ecological use of rain forests
  • Duration: 05/1994 – 12/2000
  • Volume: 1.2 Mill. Euro
  • Persons/ Months: 21
  • Client: Austrian Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna
  • Partner: Service d-Appui aux Initiatives Locales de Développement (SAILD), Yaoundé

The nomadic lifestyle of the Pygmies has been severely affected by industrial exploitation of the tropical forest, increased commercial agriculture, and organised hunting. As they cannot make a living out of the forest, the Pygmies are forced to a more sedentary life, cultivating small fields and housing in improvised clay and bamboo huts. They also suffer from exploitation and disdain by neighbouring Bantu tribesmen.

The project-s main objective is to support Pygmies in this transition from a traditional nomadic to a semi-nomadic way of life, and to enable them to better integrate into the Bantu society. They are encouraged to decide themselves about forms and contents needed to change in the fields of education, primary health care and agricultural production.

The project contributes to strengthen the local Pygmy associations by conserving and developing local culture and knowledge, which should progressively enable them to better defend their interests in modern society. It helps to establish a sustainable agriculture by introducing appropriate seeds and tools. Children-s school attendance is supported by building boarding schools, hiring teachers and providing scholarships. Finally, health care is improved. Health workers have been trained and hygienic measures implemented in order to reduce the chronic vulnerability of the pygmy population.

Austroprojekt-s contribution consisted in project planning, monitoring and evaluation, as well as in providing short-term consultants in different fields.

Leave a Reply