Etuge Sumbede Elvis, The Economic Empowerment of Widows Through Cassava Processing and Marketing

Etuge Sumbede Elvis is the founder and Executive Director of Community Relief and Development (COREDA), a Cameroon-based non-profit organization that empowers widows, children, vulnerable youth, and disadvantaged rural communities by improving their living conditions.

Traditional beliefs in Elambeng hold that women are the inferior sex whose predominant role is in the household. These beliefs largely prevent women from owning or participating in profitable businesses growing cocoa. This is especially detrimental to widows because it fosters economic dependence on men in the community, and consequently increases their vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases.

With their newest initiative, The Economic Empowerment of Widows Through Cassava Processing and Marketing, Etuge is teaching 20 widows in Elambeng Village how to become economically self-sufficient by processing and selling cassava products. He will provide them with training on movable cassava processing machines and frying pans, as well as instruction on how to maximize profits of cassava sales by processing the raw product. Through Etuge’s program, these women will be able to provide for their families, as well as challenge structures embedded in gender inequality.

GRANT AWARD DATE: July 30, 2015