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Community Organizations benefit from capacity building Print E-mail
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Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

Capacity building is now taking place for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Belize. With the participation of some 80 people, a workshop entitled ‘Organizational Capacity Building for CSOs and NGOs’ was recently held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan.

The workshop was funded by the U.S Embassy in Belmopan, coordinated by the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) and carried out with the assistance of the University of Florida. Similar workshops were also held in Belize City, the Toledo District and at the Western Regional Hospital to build on the community participation component.

“It is capacity building for individuals, who are actually working with communities and its building their capacity to be able to manage their organizations and fundraise for their organizations, goals, mission, objectives,” says Celia Mahung, who is one of the main organizers.

There will be an advanced training for trainers on organizational capacity building for NGOs and CSOs next year. That will also be carried out with the assistance of the University of Florida.

The point man from the University of Florida is Dr. Muthusami Kumaran, Associate Professor of Nonprofit Management and Community Organizations, who trains NGO leaders in nine Countries.

Dr. Kumaran tells The Guardian that Belize has many dedicated NGOs, who serve with a passion.

“Along with the passion they need to know how to write grants, how to develop partnerships, because that’s what management is all about,” he says.

While in Belize,  Dr. Kumaran will be taking various approaches to improve the capacity of NGOs and Government leaders to listen to communities; also to develop networks between NGOs and Government officials.

NGOs in Belize need to know where the funders are as some of them are prepared to develop partnerships. But Dr. Kumaran’s position is that a particular strategy has to be taken into account.

“Networking is important. When they network together there are opportunities for them to go after funding and more importantly to bring strength to each other, because collective strength…one NGO or two might have a strength in some aspect other NGO might have strength in it so when they come together both can benefit,” he says.

Funding is now available for environmental protection as a result of climate change. Belize also has the second to the largest barrier reef in the World, so can tap into the international funding now available for natural resources protection. International funding are now available for child care, senior citizens, education and health care, says Dr. Kumaran.

“I am amazed of the level of commitment. You know I had the pleasure of meeting very profound NGO leaders in fact they are right here and we did the same thing in Belize City, the same thing in Punta Gorda, a lot of leadership, lot of passion, but how to channel all those passion through collective networking and learning some skills, not only from this project but also from one another,” he adds.