The approach to this project will focus on building a cocoa study center in the vicinity of Ebolowa, Cameroon. Procurement of land and construction of the building will be accomplished with the PC grant. Installation of a 4 KW solar system together with chocolate-making machinery and plumbing will be paid from separate funding.
• Procurement of Land: Establishment of a relationship with local authorities. We will solicit commitment by officials at the national government level in Cameroon and at the village level (e.g., the chief and sub-chief).
• Construction of Building: Designed and built by local contractors with the help of Peace Corps volunteers. The building will be made of mud-brick, stucco, and bamboo. See Appendix XI for photos. Mud-bricks are longer lasting than the dominant home construction method and stucco gives them life.
• Installation of Solar Array and Hardware: solar arrays and hardware will be shipped in a container along with chocolate making machinery. An engineer will be flown to the village to supervise the installation of the photovoltaic system and the equipment.
• Plumbing of building with hot water. This is used to clean machinery and to maintain a high level of cleanliness.
• Arrangement with U.S. academic programs for students to live in the village and conduct research at the cocoa study center. In 2012, students will be recruited via Ball State’s Family and Consumer Sciences and Cal Poly’s International Extended Field Trips program.
• Development of ongoing relationships with a university in Cameroon and involvement of Cameroonian students with Peace Corps volunteers and American/European college students.
• Involvement of Peace Corps volunteers assigned to run the cocoa study center.
Procuring of land depends on buy-in by Cameroonian officials, from local chiefs who actually own the land and rent or sell it to federal officials who are interested in issues of economic development. The building will be planned and constructed by local companies and workers. A picture of the proposed structure can be found in Appendix XI.
Installation of solar system and chocolate-making equipment will be accomplished by a Cal Poly Engineering student.
The first students to conduct research at the Cocoa Study Center attend Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Dr. Deanna Pucciarelli will travel with them and will supervise the academic outcomes.
Project Hope and Fairness will oversee the budgetary and construction aspects of the project.