Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) has called on international organisations and donors to find ways of leveraging local expertise to drive change at the grassroots of African communities.
Development Diaries reports that the founder of the non-governmental organisation (NGO), Kennedy Odede, made the call during International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) leadership forum in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to Odede, international donors and agencies must shift their mindset from being just donors to being partners as local entities provide local expertise and networks that are crucial to the success of campaigns and interventions.
‘For far too long, donors have become imperialists. But Covid-19 thought us that we cannot do without local leaders and organisations’, Capital FM quoted him as saying.
‘Covid-19 opened the eyes of high-end NGOs who are controlled from the West that they cannot do without the locals.
‘We must decolonise aid funds and trust the local leaders to spearhead change at the grassroots level’.
While donor organisations bring resources to local communities, they must appreciate local and lived experiences.
‘We have worked very well with IRC because they came in as partners. They brought in resources and we used our deep grassroots network to locate refugees who were in need within and outside the slums’, Odede added.
‘Through IRC’s RE-Build program, we have 226 both refugees and locals who have received job placements after training since 2021’.
For his part, the IRC President, David Miliband, who was also at the event, lauded SHOFCO’s approach to solving the challenges faced by slums and rural communities.
Shining Hope for Communities is a non-government organisation working to empower urban communities to tackle poverty.
Photo source: Capital FM