All We Can has worked with local organisations in Cameroon for 15 years. Now, as its local partners in the country graduate, All We Can’s Programmes and Partnerships Officer reflects on the impact that working together in partnership has had.
‘All We Can is exceptional in their approach and way they work with partners; in their humility and valuing differences among different partners. Without All We Can, I am not sure we would have lasted to today.’
These are the words from Francis, the director of a local organisation in Cameroon that All We Can shared partnership with for 15 years, when he was recently asked about the experience of graduating from All We Can’s support. All We Can’s partnership approach is committed to supporting local organisations long-term, which enables us to responsibly exit from them – leaving them in a stronger position than before, and equipped to continue well beyond All We Can’s support. It is incumbent on us to ensure that the graduation process is discussed with our local partners right from the beginning of the partnership. This enables our partners to utilise All We Can’s support over the course of the 10-15 year partnership, and develop a growth plan to ascertain what it will take for them to become sustainable within their specific contest.
All We Can has been working alongside a number of local organisations in Cameroon for the last 15 years – and this year we are able to celebrate the fact that they have now all graduated from All We Can’s support. The local organisation that Francis leads is located in the North West Province of Cameroon. It started as a small organisation – but over the course of our 15-year partnership, this local organisation has grown both the depth and scope of its work in supporting and advocating for the rights of elderly people, and other vulnerable communities. As a result of their work, there are now more than 300 elderly social groups established to combat loneliness among older people. They have also increased the visibility of their work with other national organisations in Cameroon, and like-minded international bodies. Incredibly, they have indirectly benefited the lives of 27.7 million elderly people by playing an instrumental role in drafting the National Policy on Ageing in Cameroon.
‘These are difficult times on our country; particularly with the ongoing civil strife since 2016. With All We Can’s support we have remained resilient and are equipped for graduation. With the capacity that we have acquired over time, the experience, and the profile that we have built we are confident that we can continue our development work.’
This quote is from Vincent – Chief Executive of another local organisation in Cameroon that has graduated from All We Can’s support this year. All We Can first partnered with this local organisation back in 2006. In the first few years of partnership, their mission to improve the socio-economic status of thousands of community members, particularly women and youth, was focused in the South West region of Cameroon. Since then they have been able to scale up their community assistance work to expand into other two additional regions as well.
‘It has been a wonderful relationship with All We Can, it is never easy to say goodbye but we know that All We Can is always there to reach out to and tell them what we are doing’ said Vincent. The relationships developed with every local organisation that All We Can partners with around the world does not end after the graduation process. All We Can remains in close contact with all of our partners and continues to monitor and encourage them, as the friendships built and lessons learned over the 15-year partnerships are an essential part of the All We Can movement.