Community Improvement, Capacity Building

Breaking Ground

  • Portland, ME
  • www.breaking-ground.org

Mission Statement

Our Mission

Breaking Ground partners with Cameroonians to achieve lasting solutions to their self-identified needs by investing in local knowledge, empowering women, and promoting  economic development.
 
Core Values
We believe that a community project can only effectively address the needs of a population if it is conceived, planned, and implemented by the community for whom it is intended.Furthermore, we believe that a project’s long-term sustainability is reliant on the deep-seated investment of the local population. This investment cannot be fostered through the work of a foreign entity, like ourselves, but must develop organically through a collective recognition of the identified problem and a commitment to solve it. Breaking Ground sees the role for outsiders in development as providers of funding and strategic resources to assist locally initiated projects. By empowering Cameroonian communities to implement their own grassroots projects, we enable truly sustainable, bottom-up development. 
Breaking Ground takes three approaches to our work: 
Community Partnership Program(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/community-partnerships/) We provide seed funding to projects of mobilized communities to further their development.
Investing in Agriculture(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/investing-in-agriculture/) We provide training and resources to increase the ability of individuals and families to earn money through their primary income-generating activities, such as growing coffee(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/coffee/)  or cocoa(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/cocoa-palm-oil/) or processing palm oil(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/cocoa-palm-oil/) , better enabling them to invest in their own local initiatives.Women's Empowerment(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/womens-empowerment/) Our Women's Entrepreneurial Program(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/womens-entrepreneurial-program/) provides women with critical business skills and the confidence to put them to use. Breaking Ground Football(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/girls-and-young-womens-soccer/) helps girls and young women build confidence, independence, and respect for their peers of different ethnicities.

Main Programs

  1. The Women's Entrepreneurial Program (WEP)
  2. Lebialem Valley Agriculture Program

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Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Breaking Ground's office in Cameroon is in the city of Dschang, in the Western Province. In addition to the Dschang area, we are currently running programs in Ngaoundéré (in the northern province of Adamaoua) and in the Lebialem Valley (in the Southwestern province). 
We hope that our success in these regions will enable us to expand to
the Eastern province, and
eventually to different countries altogether.

ruling year

2007

Principal Officer since 2006

Self-reported

Mr. Lindsay Clarke

Keywords

Self-reported

grassroots, sustainability, community, Cameroon

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EIN

51-0628198

 Number

5701732111

Physical Address

104 Neal Street

Portland, ME 04102

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Problem:

The ability of community members to meet their basic needs is a
prerequisite for building a healthy society. In Cameroon, however,
whole communities are deprived of necessities such as clean water,
education, and health care because of the inadequacy of public
services; only 41% of rural populations have access to “improved water
sources” (WHO), only 63% of births are attended by a skilled medical
professional, and only 64% of primary school entrants succeed in
reaching 5th grade (UNICEF). The Cameroonian landscape is brimming with
communities who are mobilized to address these basic needs, but whose
solutions are hindered by a lack of financial capital.

Tangible Results:

In five years, Breaking Ground has made measurable progress in
tackling the inadequacies of social services and the barriers to
grassroots efforts in more than ten Cameroonian communities. In our first 6 years, over 39,000 individual lives have directly benefited from our projects and programs. This includes 1,650 students in primary and high school.  We provided business skills training
to more than 240 women and financed over 60 new enterprises. Upon our
further success, we will enable hundreds of communities to address
their most crucial needs – installing clean and accessible public water
sources, improving health facilities, and sending more children to
better equipped schools, among other initiatives.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

The Women's Entrepreneurial Program (WEP)

The WEP empowers women to overcome poverty through their initiative and motivation. The seven week course provides women with critical business skills and the confidence to put them to use.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Female Adults

Budget

$26,000.00

Program 2

Lebialem Valley Agriculture Program

Breaking Ground is currently conducting a pilot for a comprehensive agricultural program in the Southwest Region subdivisions of Lower Alou(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/where-we-work/) and Lower Wabane(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/where-we-work/) .
The goal of the project is to bolster two of the primary sources of income in these areas: palm oil(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/cocoa-palm-oil/) and cocoa production(http://breaking-ground.squarespace.com/cocoa-palm-oil/) . This would empower families to invest in education and healthcare. In particular, we hope to enable more girls to attend school by mechanizing the palm oil production. When done by hand, this process requires many workers, most of whom are girls who might otherwise be able to attend school.
 
The program also includes a Women's Entrepreneurial Program, which focuses on crop diversification, nutrition and income generation.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$30,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Breaking Ground's office in Cameroon is in the city of Dschang, in the Western Province. In addition to the Dschang area, we are currently running programs in Ngaoundéré (in the northern province of Adamaoua) and in the Lebialem Valley (in the Southwestern province). 
We hope that our success in these regions will enable us to expand to
the Eastern province, and
eventually to different countries altogether.

Funding Needs

Contributions;Grants

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Breaking Ground

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Mr. Lindsay Clarke

BIO

Lindsay is a graduate of Wesleyan University(http://www.wesleyan.edu/) and an alumnus of The School for International Training’s Culture and Development program in Cameroon(http://www.sit.edu/studyabroad/program_content/contents.cfm?include=cmr_index.html&progCode=ssa.cmr) .
At Wesleyan, Lindsay received her BA in Sociology and French Studies,
focusing her studies on post-colonialism, globalization, and the
impacts of imperialism in Cameroon. Upon her graduation from Wesleyan,
Lindsay was the recipient of the Christopher Brodigan Award(http://www.wesleyan.edu/africa/baward.html) for public service in Africa. In 2006(http://breakinggroundcameroon.blogspot.com/) ,
she lived in the Cameroonian city of Dschang and taught English at a
primary school in the rural village of Doumbouo. Lindsay currently
lives in Portland, Maine. When she’s not in Cameroon, she spends her
summers at Pine Island Camp(http://www.pineisland.org/) .

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Lindsay Clarke

No Affiliation

Term: Aug 2010 - Aug 2010

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?