AFREIN’s spotlight for October 2018: Atem Arabella Tambe.
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This October 2018, Afro Real Initiative (AFREIN) spotlights Atem Arabella Tambe from Cameroon, a glowing trailbreaker whose heart is deeply engraved in social entrepreneurship —— clearly portrayed by her soft-spot for underprivileged women and girls in her community.
Be inspired to aspire, as you go through the amazing profile of Arabella.
Who is Atem Arabella Tambe?
Arabella is a youth activist, philanthropist, and mother. She is a secondary school teacher by training whose passion for humanity inclined her to found the Civil Society Organization, Education and Health for All Foundation, affectionately known by its acronym EHAF. Arabella graduated from the Higher Teachers’ Training College (ENS) of Yaoundé I University in 2012 (where she read English Modern Letters). Since then, she’s been teaching English Language in different secondary schools in Cameroon. She presently teaches same at Government High School Batoke, Limbe, South West Region, Cameroon. She is CEO of the Clothing Line, Joshybelle Lifestyle Designs; and has been president of EHAF since its creation in 2014. She has done several other customized professional courses which make her more balanced and rounded.
Acknowledging that successful wealth creation is only sustainable in a healthy mind, EHAF combines subsidized health outreach services, to accomplish its mission of empowering female business leaders through vocational training offers.
‘I’m very much passionate about…skills-development’, she confessed.
Arabella believes that every girl child should have skills —— be they formal or informal —— that can keep her going. For that reason, Arabella set the empowerment centre, EHAF, where she trains young girls in fashion designing —— an initiative well-carved out in specialized units. For instance, the Beaded-Jewelry Department uses senami and local Afrikture materials to produce footwears, hats, and bags. The Make-Up Arts Department drills young female beauticians on professional make-ups for different occasions like parties. Likewise, EHAF runs a Salon Department for hair-styling. In existence is also a Cake-Making Department.
Rekindling hope in young girls (previously victimized by life’s unfairness….)
Arabella’s innate conviction is that giving-back to the community as an entrepreneur is indispensable. Thus, through EHAF, she has mentored circa 1,500 girls, established businesses for about 30 of them, and reached out to over 7,000 students through various empowerment clubs in schools (in the SW and Centre Regions). She has equally empowered over 500 women and girls since the creation of EHAF.
The ardent philanthropist she is, urges her to regularly lead the EHAF team into several in-kind donations in schools. The left-overs from fashion designing are used to design accessories like dusters, pillows, etc. —— which are offered to schools and hospitals as a social reach-out gesture.
Beaded-jewelry unit at work.
With increased displacement due to socio-political upheavals in the 2 Anglophone Regions (NW and SW), EHAF embarked on providing free trainings to internally-displaced and orphaned girls. In April 2018, EHAF offered a 75% waiver of tuition (estimated at F.CFA 15,000,000 (fifteen million)) as scholarships to 25 young girls victimized by the crisis. This largesse was labelled ‘EHAF 2018 Young Leaders’, with the maiden batch named ‘The Pace-setters.’
Challenges, prospects, and way forward
‘Most of the less-privileged whom we train have difficulty to afford the basic materials needed’, Arabella disclosed. ‘The married women who come for skills-development sometimes find it difficult to manage the exigencies of their homes and the trainings concurrently’, she revealed. To solve this problem, EHAF intends to build a day-care unit for kids at its different centres.
Some beneficiaries brandishing gifts in one of EHAF’s outings.
Arabella hopes to expand EHAF’s activities to other Regions in Cameroon, within the next 05 years. ‘But EHAF cannot achieve these single-handedly’, she confirmed. However, different envisioned projects are limited by inadequate funds, especially given the crisis rocking that part of the country where EHAF is based. This has constrained the institution from being sufficiently-equipped to meet up with demand —— a daunting task which can only be overcome by partnering with others. ‘…We trust at the end…to source for some donors…to enable these youths acquire equipment, like industrial machines for their budding businesses, and be conveniently integrated into society’, she pointed out. Hence, EHAF has already liaised with different titular ministries like those of Women’s Empowerment, Youth Affairs, Vocational Training; and other entrepreneurs like Thinkfast Business Consulting, and more.
School empowerment club members after an impactful session….
EHAF is upbeat that the fringe benefits of her interventions would be reduction of unemployment. ‘…By training entrepreneurs, we are training independents who can create jobs not only for themselves, but for others.…’, she stated.
Her advice to aspiring youths
‘I’ll like to advice every youth to…hold onto their dreams. Many youths have great dreams, but don’t know how to go about accomplishing those dreams’, Arabella asserted.
‘[They should] learn how to volunteer with related organizations. This will help them have a foretaste of what it will look like running their own organizations’, she added.
‘Also, I’ll talk on resilience and persistent. Falling or failing is normal to any entrepreneur but falling without rising again to me is a big problem’, she emphasized.
‘Denzel Washington will tell us about failing big. Yes, when u fail big and can identify the reason for failing, you will rise big’, Arabella concluded.
Arabella is a well-celebrated figure who has featured in different professional fellowships across borders. She is an alumna of much-coveted leadership programmes like: YALI RLC (Cohort 2) Lagos Nigeria, Haggai International, and TEA Fulbright.
Facebook. Education and Health for all Foundation or follow the link: https://www.facebook.com/ehafcameroon/
Twitter: @atem_arabella, or https://twitter.com/atem_arabella?s=08