Dare 2 help orphans in Cameroon, Africa

Dare Care March
Dare 2 Care International has taken on the mission of helping kids in Cameroon, Africa.

By Laura Briedis

I sat down to chat with Nicole Parker and Lori Caszatt, co-founder and board member of Dare 2 Care International, to find out more about their recent trip to Cameroon, Africa.

Based in Lake County, the ambitious grassroots nonprofit has already touched countless lives on both sides of the ocean since being founded nine months ago.

As field faculty advisor at Case Western’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Nicole has traveled the world. She says the nine-day trip was both a fact-finding mission to pinpoint the needs of at-risk children, as well as an endeavor to establish partnerships with local charities and governmental agencies.

“Above all, we were there to listen and understand,” Nicole says.

“There are a host of economic, political, health care and environmental issues that present a barrier to going to school. We want to best understand those, so we can improve the children’s quality of life.”

With just one housemother doing the best she can for 29 orphans, the conditions are less than ideal. The children sleep on flimsy stacked beds in a home without running water. Maybe even worse are the insurmountable challenges to them getting an education. Based on their trip, the Dare 2 Care Board came up with three ways people here can help:

  1. Shoes - A $25 donation will supply a pair of shoes designed to expand to fit many sizes of an orphan’s growing feet. Lori explains that most children do not wear shoes, and that they have to walk miles along muddy roads to get to school, which exposes them to deadly water-borne illnesses.
  2. Beds - A $175 donation will buy a new bunk bed for a child. “They are now sleeping on bug-infested mattresses connected by peeling lead pipes,” says Nicole.
  3. Education Empowerment Grant - A $1,500 donation will underwrite tuition and supplies for one child to attend school for one year.

“The kids have to apply for these grants, so there is accountability,” says Lori.

Surrounded by the beautiful landscape of Cameroon, the ladies say the children are positive, outgoing and cheerful despite the challenges in their lives.

Dare 2 Care International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on how you can help support their efforts to aid orphans in Cameroon, Africa, whether by donating or volunteering, visit Dare2Care.org.

Categories: Smart Living