Marie Nomo Messina, winner of the Women’s Forum participants award

The Orange Foundation has selected and honoured five women from Senegal, Madagascar, Mauritius and Tunisia through the Women for Change awards.

Marie Nomo Messina was awarded the special Women for Change prize by participants at the Women’s Forum in Deauville on 16 October 2013. The prize was co-founded by the Orange Foundation, the Women’s Forum and Marie-Claire magazine in support of women’s humanitarian projects in Africa.
Marie received € 25,000 from the Orange Foundation to carry out her project.
She tells us about the lives of women in Cameroon, what inspired her to put together and present her project, and how it will become a reality thanks to the Orange Foundation’s financial support.
The Orange Foundation, which believes that women are central to making sustainable social changes, is supporting and following this project as it does many other healthcare and education programmes in Africa.

the project: Main dans la Main in Cameroon

Main dans la Main (Hand in Hand) is an organisation founded in 1988 by a group of volunteers who organised a Christmas party for orphans and impoverished children in Douala.

The event was so well received that the group decided to continue its work.
Since then, the organisation has founded a school, set up a training workshop in Douala’s central prison, and opened a refuge for abandoned children.
The Romulus & Remus centre helps children who are in trouble and were abandoned when very young to rejoin society.
The organisation protects the children of Cameroon from all forms of violence and exploitation, provides suitable care so they can grow and develop both physically and psychologically, and encourages them to continue their studies.
It offers older youths support for social and professional integration in the form of training in sewing and hospitality services.
The organisation will use the Orange Foundation’s donation to continue its activities in better conditions by rehabilitating the building (water damage, non-compliant electrical wiring, etc.) and increasing its capacities – there are currently 71 children for just 50 beds.
Main dans la Main also plans to partner with professionals to develop a prevention programme for local girls facing sexual or drug problems.



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