STAR Ghana Foundation holds validation workshop on local philanthropy strategy

The STAR Ghana Foundation (SGF), a non-governmental organization (NGO), has organized a validation workshop to collate stakeholders’ input to fine-tune its local philanthropy strategy.

The strategy, when finalized, would help to strengthen coordination and collaboration among philanthropic actors in Ghana to achieve measurable improvements in social change, community development and sustainable outcomes.

It is a five-year medium-term action plan that is anchored on four pillars; namely, promoting local philanthropy, SGF infrastructure for local philanthropy, partnership and coordination, and ecosystem-enhancing, knowledge and enabling environment.

Held in Takoradi, the workshop brought together about 50 representatives of NGOs and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating in the Western and Central regions to sought their views and recommendations to help complete the strategy.

Madam Eunice Agbenyadzi, the Head of Programmes at the SGF, speaking during the event, said as an organization that is a nati
onal centre for the promotion of active citizenship and local philanthropy, the strategy sought to reposition the SGF as a strategic ecosystem builder that would foster collaborations to promote local philanthropy in Ghana.

She said: ‘We have met here today with organizations that work closest with communities, and we believe that they would bring onboard experiences that would shape and enrich our strategy.’

She said CSOs and NGOs had over the years relied mainly on international donors for their various projects, and that it was time to adopt some strategies to whip up local people’s interests in philanthropic work for the common good of all.

Madam Agbenyadzi noted that: ‘Historically, CSOs and NGOs went into communities with money as a form of incentive to increase citizens participation, so the communities are used to receiving but now we are saying that they can be more than just recipients, and become contributors too.’

She indicated that the strategy was, therefore, developed to create an enabling
platform where local people could share their resources towards philanthropy and contribute to augmenting government’s efforts for national development.

Dr Emmanuel Kumi, Lead Consultant on the Local Philanthropy Strategy, explaining why the local people did not donate to CSOs and NGOs, said some people believed that such organizations misappropriated resources meant for specific projects.

He urged CSOs and NGOs to prioritize their organizational accountability and ensure they effectively used resources for the purpose for which they were donated to help attract local people to contribute to philanthropic work.

Dr Kumi also called on authorities to institute robust legal and regulatory framework to check how CSOs and NGOs worked in terms of accountability to ensure judicious use of donations.

Mr Agyapah Buah, a participant and Team Leader Support for Community Mobilization Project/Programme (SCMPP), a CSO, speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the side-lines, commended the STAR Ghana Foundation for formula
ting the strategy, and said the document would guide and boost local philanthropy in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency