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Tuesday
Sep192017

The Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program: fighting for rights to identity

This year the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) celebrated its 20th birthday. As Africa’s oldest community foundation, its journey is an important example of how new ways of sustaining locally driven development initiatives are possible. While it has grown its own endowment of almost USD $8 million, it has also been liberated from the constant cycle of pursuing donor tenders and writing project proposals aligned to donor driven priorities that most non-profits must do. Instead, since its humble beginnings, the foundation has dispersed more than USD $20 million to over 2,000 local partners across the country, linked to a broad array of issues and themes. While the funding has been important, grantees have also benefited from technical support, advice, and skills that have helped them to grow and sustain their own organizations.

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Monday
Sep182017

Durable development – time to do things differently

Aid, charity and corruption often become synonymous with the failure of development in sub-Saharan Africa. The focus in many Western capitals is how to justify tax dollars being invested in what is often perceived as bottomless pits of need and helplessness. Failure to transform circumstances is often blamed on the beneficiary, and in Africa’s case, further fuels negative stereotypes of dependence and hopelessness.

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Monday
Sep182017

Forget "Global North" & "Global South:" when it comes to poverty, power and progress, it's a global conversation

As the first anniversary of the launch of the campaign to #ShiftThePower approaches, there are clear signs that people in the Global South are developing it creatively.  A prime example took place in June at the twentieth anniversary conference of the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF). Lamenting how the combination of aid, charity and corruption have become synonymous with the failure of development in sub-Saharan Africa, KCDF’s Chief Executive Janet Mawiyoo described how they use “durable development” to put poor people at the heart of their own destiny. Such an approach was universally acclaimed by delegates at the meeting.

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Monday
Sep182017

How do we "sell" #ShiftThePower & build our influence? Reflections from the GFCF “Burning Issues” convening

If I had to describe the recent GFCF “Burning Issues” convening - hosted by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland in Belfast - in a single word it would be INSPIRING. This word was used many times by participants during and after the meeting, which brought together organizations from around the world who have received a grant as part of the GFCF’s Burning Issues grants and learning programme.  It was inspiring to be with a group of colleagues, soaking up their creative energy, and building relations that allowed for the fruitful exchange of ideas and solutions to many of the challenges we face.

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