FCS bids farewell to its outgoing Board Members

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has bid some fond farewell to its outgoing Board Members in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the growth and image of the organisation, and the civil society sector in general.

Held on 15 April soon after conducting the extraordinary Annual General Meeting (AGM), the FCS President Dr. Stigmata Tenga, said it was a great honour and privilege to have benefited from the service of devoted members of the board, who will be hugely missed.

The outgoing members of the Board include the former chairperson, Ms. Olive Luena; Ms. Rehema Tukai (vice chair); Mr. Casmir Makoye; and Mr. Adam Simbeye who have served in the Board since year 2009.

As per Memorandum and Articles of Association of the FCS, the Board of Directors is the second principle organ of the FCS after the Members who are rather chaired by the President. The Board thus is a Governing Board providing regular oversight of the activities of the Foundation.

The Board’s role include: approving any changes to the structure of the FCS, approving higher level policy and changes or additions to high level rules, regulations and procedures of the FCS, providing final approval of annual plans and budgets for endorsement at the AGM, review and discussion of the financial report with the auditors and presenting audited financial statements for approval by the AGM, and also, the recruitment and performance management of the Executive Director.  






CSO called upon to engage with EU and member states in Tanzania

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) Executive Director, Mr. Francis Kiwanga has teamed up with the Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) Ambassador Roeland van de Geer in the launch of a new brochure on EU engagement with Civil Society in Tanzania, detailing the latter’s aspirations to engage with the sector.

During the event held in early April in Dar es Salaam, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer said: “Civil society is a crucial actor that can effectively become even more vocal in terms of democracy and governance, both at national and local level.”

Traditionally, the European Union supports civil society in Europe itself and in many countries throughout the world. Over the period between 2014 and 2020, the EU together with its Member States directly fund civil society initiatives and local authorities with more than EUR 2 billion (about 50 trillion TZS) worldwide. 

During the event also attended by representatives from EU Member States, civil society organizations as well as public and private stakeholders, it was reiterated that civil society has always been a major focus of attention and recipient of EU aid in Tanzania. 

Over the years, the EU Delegation and EU Member States has interacted regularly with civil society actors, and to the admission of both parties, an active civil society represents and supports pluralism and helps to develop and monitor policies for sustainable development and inclusive growth. 

The launched brochure, which is available in English and Kiswahili, informs a broader public but specifically CSOs in Tanzania about opportunities available from the EU and its Member States for their engagement.

Support from the EU encourages actors in the civil society to work towards better governance and more participatory development. To facilitate its relationship with civil society and local authorities, the EU has thus established a space for dialogue and tools tailored to their specific requirements.

For her part, the Head of Unit for Civil Society and Local Authorities at the European Commission, Mrs Rosario Bento Pais said, “Civil society and local authorities need to be considered as actors of governance. All development is ultimately local, as underlined by the new sustainable development goals.” 



CSOs called upon to reposition themselves to attract resources

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Tanzania have been urged to strongly reposition themselves starting from their internal management systems so as to command public sympathy enough to attract resources from local philanthropists and other donors.

The remarks was made in mid April by a local consultant in the area of philanthropy, Mr. Benjamin Mtesigwa when presenting a paper on ‘Mobilizing Private Local Resources for Development’ at a workshop coordinated by The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) and the East African Association of Grant-makers (EAAG) in Dar es Salaam. 

He said, the core attribute so much needed in strengthening the internal capacity of CSOs so as to attract resources is through a well-defined strategic intent of the organization, which clearly states the goals, values, mission and vision enough to hold themselves accountable for.

“Having a well-defined strategic plan is key in determining resource mobilization. It clearly helps to outline resource needs and how much is needed, as well as what strategy is ideal in the resource mobilization,” he said.

He also urged CSOs to repackage their value propositions, detailing their linkages with the existing community needs. He also said organisations’ key messages and success stories are key in targeting the right audience and media.

For her part, Ms. Philomena Modu from the Women’s Fund Tanzania urged CSOs not to be so much carried away with resources mobilization at the expense of their own organizational strategic plans and the communities whom they are accountable for.








CSOs urged to diversify resource mobilization by tapping into local sources

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been advised to diversify their means of resource mobilisation by turning to local funders so as to keep them continue running their development projects in the event of decreasing traditional foreign aid.

Speaking at a one day workshop held in Dar es Salaam on ‘Mobilizing Private Local Resources for Development’ coordinated by The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) and the East African Association of Grant-makers (EAAG), Mr. Evans Okinyi, the Chief Executive Officer of EAAG said it is key for organisations to go for the diversification strategy when it comes to resource mobilization, and hence ensure their sustainability of projects.

“Going forward both CSOs and facilitating organisations should diversify their resource base and use local philanthropy to mobilise resources for their sustainability of programmes,” he added.   

For his part, Mr. Francis Kiwanga, the FCS Executive Director said, “The present funding situation to local CSOs in Tanzania has decreased due to subsequent fall of the traditional foreign aid. Thus, CSOs should go an extra mile and attract local philanthropists as a backup to their programmes’ sustainability”.

Testifying that local philanthropy really works in Tanzania, Mr. Mwadhini Myanza from Morogoro Municipal Foundation says their organisation was able to mobilize resources from local community and citizens to provide for the flood victims in Kilosa district, Morogoro region. He said they were able to solicit donations worth TZS 50 million, including cash money, clothing, household items and other goods.”

The workshop aimed at sharing experiences and see how CSOs can find a way to make the sector moving and successful by mobilizing resources through local giving/philanthropy.

Gender training inspires CSO to counter ‘Unyago’ rituals among girls

With the aid of gender mainstreaming training offered by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) towards end of 2015, for its part, Chama cha Kupambana na Virusi vya UKIMWI Shuleni (CHAKUMUMA) based in Tandahimba district, Mtwara region has gone the extra mile – aspiring to use the education to counter the prominent ‘Unyango’ rituals which subsequently tends to push girl children out of school.

Speaking in Tandahimba during a post-training assessment visit conducted by the FCS in mid March, CHAKUMUMA chairman, Mr. Rafael Munanka said the CSO feels inspired and wants to advocate for girls’ equal rights to education by eliminating ‘unyago’, since the rituals are increasingly becoming out of hand and contribute significantly in denying girl children’s rights to complete formal education. 

The unyago rituals usually take place to celebrate the coming of age of girls or during weddings. In those rituals, it is alleged that older women would teach the young ones about sexual and conjugal life. These rituals would last for several days and be accompanied by dances and music.

Mr. Munanka says: “We have therefore shared the knowledge acquired from the FCS training with other CSOs in Mtwara region so that we can all join forces and hence tail off the traditional practices of Unyago that undermine the girl child’s right to education upon reaching puberty age.”

However, Munanka concluded that the gender mainstreaming knowledge has also given them a new dimension on how to run affairs in their organisation - by respecting gender issues through giving equal opportunities to women so that they too can offer their contributions, as well as occupy leadership positions.


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