“By standing united, rather than being scattered, we can develop. By drawing on each other we can make progress”
CAR: in 2020, ramping up activities in a fragile context
Bioforce has been working in CAR since 2018 to help empower local aid organisations, by building their capacity and contributing towards creating an institutional environment which can supervise and support them.
Joining forces to be more effective
Despite a situation made even more fragile in 2020 by the health crisis and the prospect of presidential elections at the end of the year, the Maison des Services, established in 2019 by Bioforce and its partners, has stepped up its work in Bangui, and for the first time outside the capital (Paoua, Bouar, Bangassou), offering ‘Management’ training (organisational structuring, governance, HR management, project management, finance management and donors, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, logistics and security, quality, accountability and humanitarian principles) and post-course follow-up, technical training addressing identified needs (food security, child protection, IT for beginners and intermediary level, income generating activities, project management, Covid response, accounting) and finally launching ‘Networking courses’.
Indeed, the civil society organisations (CSO) that are members of the Maison des Services soon understood the advantage of joining forces as a network. “By standing united, rather than being scattered, we can develop. By drawing on each other we can make progress”, points out Christian-Benoît, programme coordinator for the Civil Society Platform in the Central African Republic. ‘Networking courses’ help these groups of CSOs to organise their work in order to be more effective for beneficiaries. “It will help us forge ahead”, explains Ruth, a Bangui resident and general treasurer of the Central African InterNGO Council. In all, 15 CSO networks benefited from this tailored training in Autumn, covering project management, financial management and volunteer management.
Incubator for local initiatives
The Maison des Services is also an incubator for local initiatives. It launched calls for projects in 2020, one of which focused on the Covid-19 response, selecting 20 micro projects that each received a grant of €2,400 to €4,900. Community action plans to prevent and reduce the spread of the disease, as well as a system to report rumours and circulate prevention messages, are just some of the many activities implemented thanks to these funds. Such projects have enabled the CSO beneficiaries to develop skills to address any future pandemics in their communities.
Civil Society Platform in CAR