Nakinti loves to mentor other women who want to bring positive change to their communities, and she holds workshops to do so in a structured and impactful way. As part of the training, attendees are taught how to write up project proposals and are divided into teams to present their ideas to improve life for women in Cameroon. The best ideas are chosen for small grants to get the projects off the ground. The project chosen in 2020 to receive seed money was titled “Psychosocial/material support to reduce maternal and infant mortality amongst IDP women in Bamenda, Cameroon.” (IDPs, or Internally Displaced Persons, are people who have been uprooted from their villages due to the war and have migrated to towns where they struggle to survive as “refugees”).

Maternal and infant mortality are shockingly high in remote forest communities and among the IDPs that come from those communities. With modern health facilities in Bamenda, mortalities could be reduced dramatically among the IDPs if they were able to access those services. What is stopping them? To be admitted for labor and delivery, a pregnant woman must have her “emergency bag” of items required for the delivery – like a “back-to-school” list that each school child must bring to the first day of school each year. The items range from alcohol to baby blankets, and the bag is inspected to ensure it is complete before a woman will be admitted.

Impoverished IDPs cannot afford the required items, so they must risk their lives giving birth at “home” in unsanitary conditions. This winning project identifies pregnant IDPs, counsels them, and makes sure they have the required “emergency bags” so they can receive medical help during their deliveries. These gift baskets are literally saving lives!