For many years Xavier Project has been partnering with refugee-led organisations to strengthen their capacities and support their operations. Out of these learnings and in collaboration with our partners we have compiled this knowledge and developed it into a Capacity Strengthening and Sharing course that we deliver with community-based organisations (CBOs) across East Africa.
The course aims to support these organisations as they implement their own projects and run business activities. It supports the CBO teams as they work to become sustainable and extend the services that they can offer their communities. These lessons are built over a series of modules that include training on financial management and resource management, amongst others.
I have been working through the course with refugee-led organisation, Bondeko Refugee Livelihoods Centre, in Kampala. It has been a learning experience for us all as we discuss and consider opportunities for their growth in the future and as they apply the lessons to their own management systems. Our experience has taught us so much about why community-led initiatives are the best way to respond to the needs of vulnerable populations, especially in emergencies like COVID-19. During lockdowns in Uganda last year, Bondeko could identify where their community was struggling most and used donations to deliver food supplies and charcoal stoves to those who needed the extra support. It is now their ambition to build on this experience.
We have just concluded with Strategic Planning after covering three other modules focused on understanding your community, analysing communication problems and communicating their vision. This training also encourages peer-to-peer learning – exchanging ideas and sharing networks. I have worked for Xavier Project in Uganda for seven years and it is so powerful to work with these organisations that are driving change and delivering suitable solutions. I am grateful of how we are learning and growing together.