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KCDF and partners support local development programmes

The Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF), in collaboration with other partners, is currently implementing the Giving for Change (GFC) programme, modelled to enhance inclusive and citizen-centred development.

The initiative spearheaded by partners from Kenya, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Ethiopia, Palestine, Mozambique and Ghana seeks to promote community-led development by harnessing domestic resources, to increase local project ownership and strengthen the capacities of communities.

During a stakeholders meeting in Kisumu County, the KCDF Executive Director, Grace Maingi, said that the GFC programme has already yielded remarkable outcomes in Lakeside County since its launch in 2021.

Through the programme, she observed, KCDF has successfully implemented various projects in Lakeside County in partnership with various civil society organisations and social movements that have helped the locals actively participate in community development processes.

“KCDF invests in enhancing organised community-led initiatives to create a firm basis for sustainable development and social justice. We believe that systemic and lasting change is possible when communities initiate and drive their development agenda,” Maingi stated.

She pointed out that the initiative supports the communities ability to work with governments and other non-state actors to harness and grow local resources and access basic needs and services with little external support.

One of the GFC programme’s major milestones includes the establishment of Okuto Community Library in West Seme Ward, Kisumu County, through a local fundraising initiative organised by Aniga Women Initiative Community-Based Organisation.

“The Okuto community presented a pressing need for a library, as the school had recorded below-average performances, which they felt could be improved with the instillation of a reading culture among the pupils,” Maingi explained.

The community fundraiser, she revealed, raised Sh. 1 million both in cash and in kind, while KCDF donated an additional Sh. 1 million to build and equip the Okuto Community Library, which also serves as a modern Community Resource Centre.

In addition, KCDF has partnered with Nyalenda Young Turks to implement the End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Initiative in the informal settlements to ensure a safe community that enables girls and women to realise their potential.

The drive also targets amplifying community voices in governance through capacity building of girls, women, commercial sex workers, teachers, men, civil society organisations, women’s rights organisations, and grassroots youth organisations to promote positive social norms and advocate for duty bearers and other stakeholders to address factors that promote SGBV and for the provision of quality health services for survivors.

Stigmata Tenga from the Africa Philanthropy Network in Tanzania, said that the GFC programme is designed to disrupt the way development is done by enabling communities to be at the centre of their development.

“It is designed to bring people to their core as key actors in their own

Development: use resources around them to drive the change they want to see in their localities,” Tenga stated.

The Executive Director at the Global Fund for Community Foundations in South Africa, Jenny Hodgson, highlighted some of the misgivings in the current aid system, saying: “The decades of international development aid that has been going to countries in the global south have had little impact, with as little as 2% of the total aid going directly to the local organisations. More than 97% goes through intermediary NGOs.”

Giving for Change, she asserted, seeks to change the narrative and illustrate that there is adequate local capacity and expertise to manage resources and implement solutions for communities’ prosperity.

By Robert Ojwang’

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