FCS builds CSOs capacity through tailor made trainings

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has yet again enhanced the capacity of Tanzanian civil society organisations (CSOs) by offering four tailor made training modules to a total of 112 participants from its grantees based in different parts of the country.

As part of the on-going capacity building program to CSOs, the tailor made trainings took place in Dar es Salaam from 3 – 6 August 2015 and were conducted by own FCS staff, except two other co-facilitators who were invited to bring in their well-rounded gender perspective expertise.

The grantees were thus taken through four types of modules including: Organisational Development, Financial Management, Gender Mainstreaming and the concept of Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E). The choice of these modules and training participants was a result of the Training Needs Assessment and the call for training applications availed to grantees since the beginning of this year, 2015.

Out of the modules, the M&E session had sought to help the FCS grantees capture their results better while concretizing them with real examples, whereas the Financial Management module sought to sharpen grantees’ quality of financial reporting as per the FCS guidelines. The Organisational Development on the other hand sought to enable CSO participants attain a change of mindset towards their own organisational sustainability, governance, and others.

Speaking of the training, a representative from Community Development Agenda Countrywide (CDAC) based in Kibaha, Mr. Bumija M. Senkondo, spoke highly of the M&E module - saying that it has helped him and his organisation attain new skills on how to improve rephrasing more realistic project indicators that are easy to work on, and reflective of intended project results as never before.

   

CSOs rate their capacity, direction after FCS tailor made training

Some members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Tanzania have undertaken a critical analysis of their own organisational development after gaining new insights following their participation in the tailor made training conducted by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in early August 2015.

Speaking during a break after attending the Organisational Development training module in Dar es Salaam on 5 August 2015, the coordinator of Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MWIWATA) Mkuranga branch, Abraham Saleem, said as CSOs stakeholders they have seen growth in the sector in terms of execution of funded projects but deep inside their internal organisational structures, there is still a lot that needs to be fixed.

“I do not want to hide this, but it has been a tendency. Many of us CSO players are still haunted by the ‘one-man-show’ syndrome. We thank that this training module availed to us by the FCS has enabled many of us realise this anomaly. And as a way forward, we have resorted to work on this matter so that all of us as members of CSOs move together – instead of letting a few individuals steal the show,” he said.

Tanga CSO facilitates local Govt recognition of the elderly rights

Local government’s recognition on the rights of the elderly in Tanga region is said to have been stepped up following continued Civil Society’s call on implementation of the 2003 National Ageing Policy - for better welfare of the elderly and mitigation of social economic difficulties facing the senior citizens.

Attributed to the support from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), the Tanga based Civil Society Organisation, Old Nguvumali Women Centre (ONGWECE) has been able to face the local government officials and raise concerns on the welfare of older people with regards to issues of access to free medical services as well as other older people’s friendly psycho-social support.

ONGWECE Executive Director, Ms. Davina Kibaja, has said it is not long ago that the elderly were grossly neglected in the region but after the organisation had pushed for the establishment of older people’s councils, the community now discusses and comes up with resolutions on the elderly welfare as well as stimulate broader community participation in caring for the older people.

Kibaja says through ONGWECE regular visits to older people’s homes, the distance between other members of the community and the older people has been reduced, and altogether pushed the local government, including the District Commissioner, Ms. Chiku Galawa, and her team to step up recognition of former and their needs.

ONGWECE intervention has also helped older people’s access to free medical services through acquisition of Community Health Fund (CHF) cards. Over 50 Tanga district council officials have also been trained by the CSOs the 2003 National Ageing Policy and so help being good agents of change.

FCS proves successful in co-hosting 3rd African Grant-makers Network assembly in Arusha

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has proven successful in co-hosting the third biennially assembly of the African Grant-makers’ Network (AGN) in Arusha, Tanzania from 1 - 3 July 2015.

Ahead of this achievement, the FCS collaborated with the African Grantmakers Network (AGN) secretariat based in South Africa and the African Womens' Development Fund in Ghana. The trio altogether managed to host over three thousand participants from different parts of the world.

During the opening of the assembly, the guest of honour, H.E Ambassador Gertude Mongella from Tanzania reminded philanthropists not to always think of offering their surplus as a giving - but go beyond it by giving what their neighbours really need.

"The spirit of giving is primarily African, so let’s embrace it so as to be able to serve the vulnerable groups in communities," she reminded.

The assembly also witnessed some of unrivaled pieces of conversations with thought leaders in philanthropy - opening new chapter of oriented sessions on strategies to contribute to sustainable, just and peaceful development in Africa through philanthropic engagement.

This year's theme “Philanthropy in Africa 2015 – People, Policy and Practice” sought to unearth good practice through knowledge building, research, experience sharing and skills building in each of these critical areas. The program will foreground contributions to philanthropy in Africa by critical constituencies such as women, youths and other marginalised groups. This exciting action focused program has gone in history bringing together thought leaders, practitioners, academics, the media and other key actors to the table in Arusha, Tanzania for the first time.

The assembly conference also culminated in the Second AGN African Philanthropy Award Gala, which recognized and celebrated outstanding contributions to philanthropy on the Continent.

At the awards, Kagiso trust based in South Africa emerged the winner in the category of the Philanthropy Organisation of the year while Mr. Akwasi Aidoo of West Africa became the Individual Philanthropy category winner.

African Grantmakers Network (AGN) - Voice and Action for African Philanthropy is a continent-wide network of African grantmaking organizations that facilitates networking and experience-sharing among established and emerging African philanthropic institutions. AGN aims at consolidating the voice for African philanthropy to address social injustice and development issues on the continent.

FCS conducts information sessions to its grantees, CSO sector

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has conducted countrywide information sessions to its grantees and other members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in different parts of Tanzania - with the aim of keeping the latter abreast of developments within the FCS, and forge ahead together.

The information sessions begun on 8 July and effectively ended on 17 July after having reached CSO participants from hundreds of civil society organisations in different parts of the country.

Key issues raised during the information sessions included: the recitation of the FCS leadership transition - such that after a competitive process in March 2015, Mr. Francis Kiwanga succeeded the retired FCS Executive Director who had successfully completed his tenure of office. 

Also, an account was given on the new FCS Strategic Plan alongside its new thematic areas. The last issue communicated was the apparent FCS Board of Directors’ decision to terminate all the on-going projects that were deemed as long overdue – with an exception of all CSO capacity strengthening interventions, and all other special projects conducted through funds from the ILO, IRC (Wekeza), and EQIPP. Projects on People with Disability (PwDs) engagement in the 2015 elections will also remain intact.

Apparently, during the info sessions, a new call for grants applications was also announced – seeking to work with CSOs on peace maintenance drive, as well as inspiring the youths, women and other special groups to engage effectively in the upcoming general elections.

 

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