The Best Way to Support Sustainable Growth for Communities

Direct from one of our partners in Zimbabwe, we love that this blog post shows how one investment leads to another. Timothy Manyemba recently sent us this story about how MACOBAO was able to access additional funding after using Firelight support to strengthen its financial policies. We also love that it shows the key role that our Country Consultants play in strengthening organizations. An African woman stands before a group pointing at something in the distance. Flip charts are one the wall behind her.

Why Firelight Foundation’s Capacity Building Strategy is important for the sustainable growth of grassroots organizations

MACOBAO is Firelight partner since 2008. The organization was formed by seven concerned members who realized the need to assist orphaned and other vulnerable children. The partnership with Firelight has drawn a long history of the growth and learning experience of our organization. Without Firelight, MACOBAO would not be where it is now. Though we receive small grants from several funding partners including Firelight, we have managed to see a lot of impact of these resources to vulnerable children and their communities.

As an upcoming organization with five years of existence, we enjoyed the capacity building and mentorship we received through Firelight’s Country Consultant Tomaida Banda. It was MACOBAO’s wish to have a Financial Management and Administration Policy, which is standard and operational among others. We were assisted to go through the process of formulating and coming up with our own Financial Policies and Procedures Manual by Firelight’s Zimbabwe Country Consultant Tomaida Banda.

When MACOBAO was invited to attend a meeting on Self Help Approach, which targets the poorest women and especially those caring for orphans and vulnerable children. This initiative is funded by Kinder North life (KNH) through The Institute of Cultural Affairs International in Zimbabwe. After the meeting we were invited to complete the commitment forms to implement the approach. The approach will ensure that the poorest women gain the capacity to make their own savings and loan facilities in groups and in turn be able to assist their siblings and other household members.

However, for us to be eligible for the funding, MACOBAO was supposed to submit its statutes and Financial Policies and Procedures. We were very courageous since all these documents were in place. We submitted and we were picked among the first group of 12 organizations to implement the approach in Zimbabwe and we will start to receive our small grants as of June this year, 2013.

If it was not for Firelight, who would capacitate us to create these important policies, which are required by some funders prior to funding?

Many thanks to Firelight and its Country Consultant Ms. Tomaida Banda for continuously helping MACOBAO realize its dreams.

This blog was written by Timothy Manyemba, Executive Director of Masvingo Community Based HIV/AIDS and Vulnerable Children Organization (MACOBAO) in Zimbabwe.