Alone in Cameroon EBM INTERNATIONAL supports four training centers of the Baptist partner convention Union des Églises Baptistes du Cameroun (UEBC). One of those facilities is the girls school Saare Tabitha. Saare means “house” or “homestead”, and Tabitha is the name of the woman in the Bible (Acts 9:36) who was always doing good and helping the poor. In the training center Saare Tabitha girls ages 16-21 can get a two to three year training. In the first two years they are learning the basics of tailoring. In order for them to hold their grounds in the working world the training is very practice oriented. This takes about two thirds of the lesson time. Current trends are being taken into account like the printing and coloring of fabric. The other third is being completed by general and career guided subjects like maths, French, health care, or housekeeping.
The educational offer also includes basics in business like accounting, customer service, or leading a small company. For many graduates the way into independence later means the possibility of an autonomous life. In an optional third year of training the young women can learn in a studio within the school how to acquire customers and they can gain first experiences as tailors. During the entire training the girls do internships in workshops. They are being offered round tables as “examples” from the working world.
Most of the students live in residential groups on the campus and they organize their own lives. Only a small number of girls are external students that are still staying with their families.
The girls school was started in 2001 by the congregational youth work of the convention of the free evangelical churches in Germany (BEFG) partnering with the UEBC and with the support of “Brot für die Welt”. The school has won many national prizes and has become a model project in the whole region. Since 2016 the project has been completely under the umbrella of EBM INTERNATIONAL. The director of the school is the Cameroonian Cathérine Kolyang.