Our History

President and Co-Founder’s Story

My name is Sonia Buma, and I was born in the North West region of Cameroon.

As a child, my father’s words were the guiding beacon in my life: “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” Guided by this belief, I dreamt not only of uplifting myself but also my community and nation. This dream found wings when I was awarded the prestigious MasterCard Foundation scholarship, becoming the first recipient from Cameroon. The scholarship was my gateway to McGill University, where I pursued International Development and Management.

During my academic journey, my commitment to my homeland remained unwavering. I spearheaded a community-building initiative back in Cameroon. Together with a group of 10 students from McGill University, we built a water reservoir to provide potable drinking water to the community, established a biogas digester, and most importantly, empowered a group of passionate women to manage their ginger farm and initiate a retail venture. Some of these endeavors flourished and brought hope to many in the Bafut ecovillage until the crisis that began in 2016 in Cameroon cast a dark shadow. The turmoil not only impacted the projects but also dealt a personal blow to me. I lost relatives and close friends in the upheaval.

Sonia Buma - Cofounder & President of Hope for Cameroon.
HfC team at one of the giveaway sessions, distributing basic humanitarian relief supplies to IDPs. © 2020 HfC images.
HfC team distributing humanitarian relief materials to the IDP community of Bonaberi Douala

I am forever indebted to the MasterCard Foundation. Their faith in me allowed me to immerse myself in unparalleled education at one of the world’s premier institutions. This invaluable experience instilled in me the belief that education can truly transform destinies. With a heart filled with gratitude and a mission in my mind, I am dedicated to paying this generosity forward. This is why I have assembled a team of passionate and action-driven individuals from diverse backgrounds to join efforts and work towards improving the livelihoods of people in marginalized communities, especially those internally displaced in Cameroon, as we firmly believe in refugee empowerment as a means of sustainable development. Our dedication extends to providing access to quality transformative education and equipping these displaced peoples with entrepreneurial skills, ensuring they are empowered, self-sufficient, and resilient in the face of adversity.

Watch this video of our pilot campaign to learn how we started: