Kamerun: Marie Béatrice Kenfack Tolevi

Il faut toujours avoir du cœur pour les autres – one must always have a heart for others.

— Marie Béatrice Kenfack Tolevi

Marie Béatrice Kenfack Tolevi, a Cameroonian, founded a NGO in 1992 that focuses on reproductive health, food and nutrition, human rights and equity. The Center listens and counsels the youth and teenagers. It also has a clinic for adults to seek reproductive health advice. Marie Béatrice reaches the community through educators.

Marie Béatrice Kenfack (54), realizing the misery of the populations living around her, decided to open the Organisation for Health, Food Security and Development (Ofsad). She sustains a polygamous household of 10 children with meager revenue from her work and numerous other activities. She has worked as a midwife for 29 years. The United Nations Population Fund trained her on gender, development and management process, projects and program coordination, youth reproductive health as well as clinical family planning. She reaches the community through educators. Unfortunately, the economic crisis that inspired the need for her services also hampers her from realizing her objectives. This is also compounded by other socio-cultural considerations and financial problems. She is convinced that helping others is her destiny, given the persistent poverty. She derives joy and encouragement in providing services to improve people's lives. Tolevi does not operate on a formal network, but collaborates with any person or organization sharing her vision to help others. Several women have followed her example by launching other human development programs, such as schools and agricultural enterprises to alleviate poverty. She has hope, despite the wars, group or individual egoism and catastrophes that plague her work. “In any individual exists a fiber of humanity that never dies; it survives wars, egoism and catastrophes," she says. Peace is apparently threatened everywhere. Many people do not have access to health and nutrition and freedom of expression, and human rights are violated. The hope is in expecting change.

Organisation for Health, Food Security and Development (Ofsad)