Ndzerem Stephen Njodzeka
A jurist, development analyst/manager, organizational development advisor and an environmental manager.
I spent my first 15 years( 1970s) of my life in the poor rural setting in Kumbo where acute and inhumane poverty was the order of the day: - less than 3% of the population could meet the medical care resulting to rampant deaths; -less than 10% of population had dresses to wear; - more than 90% of people lived in jigger/ fleas infested dusty floors and thatched roofs and which most often than not leaked in the rainy seasons in majority of homes; -more than 85% of children moved barefooted and most often than not with feet flanked side wards due to too much jigger/ fleas, had shoes to wear, famine was yearly and enmeshed the entire community in less than four months after harvest; -95% of farming was poor peasant farming etc). This is the bleak and sad picture that, I grew up with and it was hard to be erased from my mind. But I was lucky my mum fully involved me as from the age of 4 whenever she was going out for her church groups that catered for the poor and sick.
This background of mine equally opened my mind to the reality that extreme poverty was domitable. Notwithstanding the many prestigious and lucrative opportunities I had in my late 20s, I decided to help set SHUMAS- Cameroon in June 1996 to enable me reach many people in the poorest of the poor brackets, rather than thinking of self and lucrative jobs to benefit my immediate family. After setting, I have worked for SHUMAS for the last 23 years. In addition, I am a consultant to many local councils, church organizations and others. I have participated in many national and international conferences, workshops, and seminars as a participant, guest speaker and facilitator in many countries around the world. Before establishing SHUMAS, I worked as a teacher and as a legal advisor to many companies. I studied at numerous institutions in Cameroon (University of Yde) and the United States (State university of Colorado, State university of Illinois, University of California Berkeley).
Have got two major objectives at the moment:
(1) Put in place a full scale sustainability strategy for SHUMAS, so that by 2025 SHUMAS can self- fund 40% of its budget;
(2) Strengthen the Board of Trustees(BOT) and mechanism to enhance entry and exit strategy of all BOT members and senior staff members to guarantee continuity.