he Development Secretariat of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon is headed by a Development Secretary. This Department is historically one of the earliest departments of the PCC dating back to the early days of the Missionaries when the office was referred to as the Secretary for Special Duties. The present Health Services Department, the Presbyterian Employee Self Help Scheme, the Scholarship Programme of the PCC and Prestech owe their foundation to the Development Department. This Department is responsible for the realization of the last key element of the mission of the PCC, which is to liberate the people of God. This liberation involves transforming lives socially, economically and mentally; involving the use of what is available to improve lives and livelihoods or conceiving plans that will improve the welfare and living conditions of people.
The Department oversees landed property, partnerships, emigration matters, legal matters and conceives programmes and projects. It also manages these units: WEEP, IT Centre, Synod Office Guesthouse, Preshostel, Tellco-Preswood, Prescraft and PRTC Fonta.
- Women's Education and Empowerment Programme (WEEP) is a gender project to improve gender relations in communities around the South West Region. Presently, its activities are centred in Meme Division. This unit reports once a year to its Board.
- 1.IT Centre Buea: The IT Centre is the product of the Youth and Unemployment Programme conceived to provide opportunities for employment to youths. It carries out trainings on computer knowledge in computer maintenance and computer accounting courses and is particularly famous for the International Computer Driving License program.
- 1.The Synod Office Guesthouse: The 11 rooms Guesthouse is run by a Manager. The room rates are very affordable and the restoration services are provided to the PCC and the general public. The Synod Office Hall is affiliated to this unit for the provision of supplementary services (cutlery hire and catering services) to renters.
Preshostel, Buea: This is a 120 room facility of the PCC situated in the student vicinity of Molyko, Buea. It is headed by a Warden with a Management Committee in place. Built with the intention to mitigate the high rents in Molyko and make accommodation in this environment affordable to the poor, the rents are very reasonable.
- Presbyterian Rural Training Centre Fonta: This is the rural development arm of the PCC, which strives to improve the agricultural potentials of peasant farmers. It carries out agro activities like cattle, fisheries and cash crop production. It also carries out agricultural training and to this effect partners with the “Programme D’Appui a la Rénovation et du Développement De la Formation Professionnelle Dans les secteurs de L’Agriculture et de L’Elevage et des Peches’’ (AFOP). This program is the initiative of the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry. The Centre also operates a stone quarry. The activities of the Centre are reported to the Agric Board.
- Tellco-Preswood Ombe: This is a wood work unit which produces prestigious furniture with seasoned wood. It runs an informal training program as a contribution in the fight against youth unemployment. Its activities are reported to its Board twice a year.
- Prescraft, a member of the Fair Trade Organization promotes traditional arts and crafts in the grass-field Region of Cameroon and trains youth in arts and crafts for gainful/self employment and equally generates employment for the local people. In so doing, Prescraft has been able to reduce rural-urban migration, preserve the heritage of the people and contribute to national economic development.
Overseas Partnership: The Department in collaboration with the Moderator of the PCC maintains regular communication with overseas partners. Our partners include but are not limited to:
- Mission 21
- The Methodist Church in England
- Bread for the World
- PC USA
- Trainings: The Development Secretariat organizes training workshops and in this vein workshops were organized for "Project Managers" in the PCC-mission 21 Cooperation Programme. These workshops were on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Project Cycle Management, Results-Based Management and Baseline Study. Mission 21 financed all of these trainings.
Presently, data are being collected for a Baseline study of all the Projects in the PCC-mission 21 Cooperation Programme.
- Immigration Matters: Immigration matters are handled by the Development Secretariat. For Ecumenical Co-Workers, Residence and Work Permits are equally handled by this Secretariat. The Department also gives orientation about life in Cameroon to the ECWs.
- Legal Matters: The Church has Lawyers on retainership in the major towns of its activities; Buea, Kumba and Bamenda and the Development Secretariat follows up their work to keep track of litigation issues.
- Project Conception: This is a regular activity in the Department as project proposals are constantly written to old partners and to create avenues for new partnerships. Project proposals have been written recently for computer recycling, biomedical equipments, pharmaceuticals, vocational training and museums.