On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the African Heritage Foundation (AHF) will be hosting the first of what is intended to be a series of panel discussions with the newer political parties that will:
- Facilitate collective discourse on the challenges that face Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and how government can better engage with and empower these groups;
- Engage in plausible plans of actions that can be taken immediately to start the greater empowerment of these organisations;
- Put politicking on the back burner in the interest of the development of the people of this island;
- Formulate a position paper based on the discussion that will be submitted to the party engaging the community. This position paper should form the basis of an NGO/CBO empowerment policy.
As an NGO itself, the AHF understands the vital role of these groups and the challenges they face. The AHF notes that NGOs have a history of initiating and developing crucial social and economic infrastructure that aids in a country’s growth. Examples of this can be seen in Barbados and internationally. In Barbados, we have seen the establishment and development of The Barbados Museum and Historical Society, schools for differently abled children, such as the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre and many other organisations that promote educational development, social care, viable healthcare and lifestyle options and environmental sustainability among other forms of developmental support.
We have community based NGOs that can use information gathered about and from the people at the grass roots level to facilitate progressive policy making and help to address problems that face the government. NGOs can also be pilots for larger government projects or the building of critical infrastructure at the national level by virtue of their ability to act more quickly than the government bureaucracy.
The AHF believes that NGOs can enable communication upward from people in the community to the government about what local people are thinking, doing and feeling and downward from the government to the people - informing local people about what the government is planning and doing. NGOs are also in a unique position to share information horizontally, networking among other organisations doing similar work.
In an article I wrote some time ago, I spoke about funding being one of the main challenges of NGOs and CBOs. I quoted the words of Jennifer Lentfer who said “some of the larger international NGOs working out of a rights-based approach have begun to recognise the importance of supporting local organisations and social movements to be sovereign.” What does sovereignty mean for a NGO or CBO? The article speaks about a growing dependency on funding from international agencies and the related pitfalls; it speaks to the need for private individuals (without the agendas of the large international agencies) to support these groups. Community Conversations is another step in advancing the idea that more can be done by the people with the assistance of government and politicians to help to make these entities sovereign. You can read this article by clicking on this link: http://www.afrikanheritage.com/building-a-sovereign-grassroots-organisation-with-your-help/
It is hoped that many NGOs and CBOs will be represented at Community Conversations on Saturday at 4:00pm when Ms Lynette Eastmond and her political party, the United Progressive Party (UPP) will engage the community on what the UPP can do to better empower these organisations.
Individuals are also invited to share their thoughts. The moderator will be Mr Corey Lane of Down To Brass Tacks who also established a CBO called “Nature Fun Ranch” that does very good work in agriculture and other development areas to support young people in Barbados.
Another CBO, the Mount Pisgah Spiritual Baptist is providing the venue for this activity at their church located at 126 Plaza Central, Roebuck Street, next to Chicken Galore and up the stairs.
The AHF is in the process of creating a Homeschooling Service that is intended to commence in September 2017. We will have refreshments on sale as well as donation boxes and items made by AHF members to raise funds for this initiative. Please use this opportunity to network with other NGOs and CBOs. Persons not on the island and wishing to make a contribution to this initiative can do so through the AHF's GoFundMe Account: https://www.gofundme.com/africanheritagefund
Buy your wife, mother, sister, aunt or friend the gift of relaxation with a massage from NZURI MASSAGE STUDIO
Click the link for more information for this wonderful, thoughtful Mother's Day gift. Nzuri Flyer May2017
You are invited to click this link and download the AHF's new APP http://apps.appmakr.com/ahfbarbados246
PLEASE NOTE THE VENUE OF THE POSTER HAS BEEN CHANGED TO THE ONE GIVEN IN THE ARTICLE.
For further information email as at email@example.com or call 231 3185.
Thank you for your time and support.