Hope International for Tikar People
"I know people who are wasting a lot of resources and money every day... And I know people who need that help. I've seen kids who need books and toys to be happy... How can I go to sleep without doing anything?! I don't want to make people feel guilty, I just want to connect the two worlds.”—Issa Nypahaga, Founder of HITIP Hope International for Tikar People was founded in 2002 in direct response to the needs of community members with immediate and critical health care needs. After meeting Ibrahim, a young survivor of polio who needed a custom bicycle wheelchair, Issa Nyaphaga decided to take action. Issa returned to France where he was a social worker facilitating community-based art projects. As a community organizer, Issa realized that he could not solve Ibrahim’s problem on his own. He shared Ibrahim’s story and photos with his students so they could learn more about the challenges facing the Tikar people and get involved. In the beginning, the majority of people who wanted to get involved and help Ibrahim were the school children. The children were interested in making a difference and they shared the information with their parents. By partnering with communities and non-profit organizations in Cameroon, the United States and France, HITIP was able to raise the funds to provide two new wheelchairs---one for Ibrahim and one for a young woman named Alima. Now, Ibrahim didn’t have to be taken everywhere by his brother in a market cart. He didn’t have to rely on anyone other than himself to make the 3km trip to school every morning. His brother is also enjoying a newfound sense of independence and self-reliance. This first success inspired a series of other projects for marginalized Tikar and Pygmy populations. Since 2002, HITIP has provided medicine, emergency medical supplies, shoes, books, school supplies, school bags, clothes and toys to seven villages in the Tikar region. All of these supplies were recycled and HITIP only had to cover the cost of shipping and transporting them.
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