Search Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground Photo Gallery


Recent News and Events


Breaking Ground on Facebook Breaking Ground on Twitter Breaking Ground on Vimeo Breaking Ground on Youtube Breaking Ground on Flickr


BG Football and BG Intern - A Great Match

I joined Breaking Ground just over a month ago as a Communications and Fundraising Intern. Initially, my interest in Breaking Ground’s work stemmed from an experience I had abroad in Zwelenqaba, South Africa in 2010. I spent a month living in this remote village on the Eastern Cape assessing the community impact of a solar television installation and organizing and running a soccer camp for local youth. The project reinforced to me both the incredible potential for positive impact of development projects and the immense difficulties of imposing change from outside a community. Breaking Ground’s commitment to investing in local knowledge and self-identified needs seemed like the perfect, carefully nuanced approach to addressing development solutions. 

So, when Kierstyn offered me the internship, I was excited to accept. During my first month I’ve been focused almost exclusively on the Breaking Ground Football Program. Making use of my previous experience running a soccer camp in Zwelenqaba, my own extensive soccer background, and Kierstyn’s abounding energy, support, and knowledge, we’ve already made great strides towards re-launching this program with renewed vigor. With 160 female players in the past, four committed coaches, and a tremendous amount of community interest, the stage is set for BGF to develop into an increasingly productive means of empowering young women in Ngaoundéré

It’s been a fantastic learning experience working to structure and organize this program, arranging equipment donations and transport, codifying project goals, developing potential partnership relationships, and generally building the Breaking Ground Football Program infrastructure. So far, I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of this organization working to achieve positive change for Cameroonians. I’m excited to keep working and learning at Breaking Ground and can’t wait to watch BGF continue to grow and prosper. 


-- Micah Rose


Six Years On


Clean, fresh water

The quality of drinking-water is a powerful environmental determinant of health. Assurance of drinking-water safety is a foundation for the prevention and control of waterborne diseases (WHO).

Undoubtedly you’ve heard about what Breaking Ground and the Baleveng community have been up to this past year. And surely you’ve seen the project updates since last January when the One Day’s Wages matching campaign was successfully completed. On top of that, I bet you needn’t be reminded about the need for clean water in so many parts of the world and of what these women were saying about Baleveng’s water problems. 


So, while the community had begun this project independently long ago, we are very excited to have reached this point today at which we can officially say toghether that Baleveng residents have gathered to share in and celebrate their first sips of water from their five new community taps.

The situation with water around the world looks different depending on how you peer into the problem. Globally, the water crisis includes desertification and political strife over water sources. This is compounded by the commodification of a vital resource, which takes the rights to water away from individuals and places them in the contracts of big business. At the local level, the water crisis today is often more to do with sanitation and access. The Baleveng Water Project has transformed the water available within this village. Far from the original contaminated collection point, the current water distribution design has dramatically reduced the distance anyone now needs to travel to get water from approximately 5km to just a mere 500m. Other outcomes include a dedicated spigot at the primary school; an option for individual households to have a private tap; maintenance fees collected and managed by the community; and an accompanying education program to support the hygiene and sanitation practices that are necessary to keep water clean from tap to mouth.

Join us as we celebrate this exciting time in Baleveng. As something that is taken for granted in so many of our lives, take a moment today to imagine the feeling in households around this village that now know there is little to worry about while collecting, cooking, farming, drinking, bathing, and cleaning - all those things, all day long that take something so simple: water.

Clean, fresh water.   



Learning from the field

Supporting the work and learning from neighboring communities is an important piece of building a strong field-based organization. As Program Director, Paul is one of Breaking Ground’s greatest resources for learning about what is happening in the field, what is working well, and which efforts are making real change in Cameroon. Breaking Ground just visited the village of Baleng and they have a lot to be proud of and some great lessons to share. In this village, the Water Management Committee is made up of all women. They are most certainly the change agents in Baleng and are credited with stabilizing the village's water system more successfully than any other past efforts.  




Reflections on Cameroon: Two sides to the same organization

I believe that some things can only be learned through experience. Undoubtedly, we each have our own ways of learning, and therefore I cannot deny the immense impact that has come out of my first experience in Cameroon with Breaking Ground. Walking through a village, seeing and hearing all the many ways of welcoming and greeting people, the smells of regional cooking, and the numerous sounds that fill the air from people to birds all still linger in my mind since returning. The feel of sitting on a train watching the Cameroonian sky change from afternoon to dusk to darkness created a connection to the land that no photo ever could. And hearing the story secondhand of how a woman’s tailoring business has prospered will never equal the experience of actually sitting in her shop listening to her describe the impact it has had on her life.   

Add to this the feeling of meeting and spending three weeks with Paul, an amazingly competent and critical Program Director, and I have a lot to be appreciative of and look forward to in my work with Breaking Ground. Alex’s presence on the trip was invaluable as well, and served to convey the history of programs and relationships with various communities and projects. It is obvious that Breaking Ground has forged many effective relationships at many levels in Cameroon. There is good and meaningful work happening on the ground and there is also effective relationship-building happening in the United States. These two efforts go hand in hand and are what I am most motivated by as I begin my work in earnest with Breaking Ground, as I know that stepping into an organization is about more than just the fieldwork. Thankfully, Paul has reinforced Breaking Ground as a competent, collaborative organization working with other NGOs and he keeps the interests of individual community members and program participants wholeheartedly at the forefront of his work. Not only was I able to see some of the need that this organization works to alleviate, but I was also able to experience the impact of our programs.

I am incredibly excited about these first memories of Cameroon and hold them closely as I dive into the US side of our work. You can get a sense of some of these memories and experiences from this first trip on both Flikr and Facebook. Thank you for the warm welcome and I look forward to your continued support and interest in Breaking Ground.

-- Kierstyn 


Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 22 Next 5 Entries »