Strengthening Community Organizations
Poverty has narrowed poor households’ focus to individual survival strategies. Few people work in community groups where they can ably pool their knowledge, skills, and labour and share risks. Few villages have community based organizations (CBOs). Yet, the few existing CBOs exhibit purely opportunistic tendencies as many were formed to receive donor or government projects rather than pursue self-help development. These groups have weak leadership and are mainly dormant until external hand-outs come by. They are therefore unsustainable and are unable to champion local development.
AFARD, therefore, works with community organizations (old and new and special social categories of people) using a 3-prong approach, which entails:
- Member-based envisioning and mindset change process that gives ownership to members not just in governance but also in their aspired life goals. Group members set the directions of their collective actions;
- Strengthening group functionalities through training of members and committees in participatory best management practices and technical skills aligned to their goals; and
- Capacity building for financial sustainability through local resource mobilization and business development. Community groups need not wait for donor funds or government handouts in order to be active. On their own, these groups need financial resources with which to transform their collective plans into reality.