exploring livelihoods issues through photovoice

Last month, four of us volunteers (Aysha, Rosy, Greg and Caroline) facilitated a two-part photovoice project with MUSAB as part of VSO’s Inclusion Enhanced country-wide focus on participatory monitoring and evaluation which Greg has been managing. Through the use of participatory photography, MUSAB’s beneficiaries and volunteers examined the impacts of previous projects and explored possible new avenues for interventions in livelihoods support.  VSO Cameroon has partnered with MUSAB on many of these projects.

There were 5 participants – some beneficiaries, some volunteers, some who were a little bit of both.  In the week and a half period that the project ran, they took 189 photos and covered the gamut of intervention ideas:  microfinance, agricultural enhancements, training for orphans and vulnerable children, income-generating opportunities, business support, etc.

Many of the pictures and stories they shared really stood out.  Here are a selected few of those that illustrate their thoughts and ideas.

photo by MUSAB 1244

The woman standing in this picture is my wife she is a business woman. She is a dress making. She make a business. She sells thread, needle. She makes patterns. So the woman is selling to her customers. According to her life was so difficult for her  when she was not working, but now as she is working she is able to feed herself, pay her rent, take care of her family. She is happy. She is saying that if she has enough capital she thinks she will make it better than this.

Photo by MUSAB 1238

Photo by MUSAB 1238

[In the first picture] you can see that’s him before.  Before he was using a truck to transport people’s goods from one place to another and they usually give him something.  With that thing he can help himself since he’s an orphan. After when MUSAB came in they helped him through his mother. His mother is a widow.  So they gave her a loan. With that loan she saw that the child was somehow push full, so she helped the child by giving the child capital. He decided to keep fowls. As you can see those are his fowls there. Now they are grown up. He can now sell some. When he sells he can go to evening classes. So he has gone back to school. He uses his manure in the farm.  He has been raising chickens for 2 years. He feels very happy because now at least he can pay his own school fees. He also helps the family.  He learned how to raise the fowl from talking to people. The mother is also helping him. When the mother learns from educational talks she takes it back to the house and explains it to him.

Photo by MUSAB 1233

This picture shows your girls who go to the market and learn plaiting.  MUSAB can also involve their girl OVCs (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) in this plaiting.  Train them for plaiting and they can go out and manage themselves, employ themselves, feed themselves and their family and also take good care of the community by plaiting the women so that the women should look fine.  Also [they earn income to] educate their own children and families.

Photo by MUSAB 1236

Photo by MUSAB 1236

Photo by MUSAB 1236

I am a widow with eight children in a two bedroom house.  Out of my income-generating activity, I am able to do many things like pop-pop, akra beans, pancakes and what we call in Hausa language masa.  [The impact of MUSAB] is that I am able to help myself and my children to feed, clothes and even send some to a vocational training for tailoring.  It’s important to others because when my children are out for selling [the food products] and it got finished before reaching others, they get very angry at them.  That’s what makes me feel I’m important to others.

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~ by Caroline Spira on October 3, 2011.

One Response to “exploring livelihoods issues through photovoice”

  1. Great project, especially the descriptions written by those involved – a real insight into the tangible effects of the work being done. Congrats!

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