Resource mobilisation stands as a major challenge that prevents civil society organisations (CSOs) and other voluntary institutions working to enhance development in West Africa from achieving their goals. According to a report on the state of civil society in 2013 by CIVICUS, ?organised civil society needs deep introspection and to realign itself with people?s needs and their voices, and to rebuild our legitimacy and trust with our people?. To achieve this, CSOs need an enabling environment which according to the report, can be fostered by the support for different sizes of CSOs, networks and coalitions, as well as promoting the mobilization of resources. CSOs? activities and programming requires consistent support to enable CSOs to achieve their goals.

Yet, CSOs face a serious challenge in raising funds to implement projects aimed at enhancing human living conditions in West Africa, and to sustain the existence of their organisations.

Recognising this need, the West Africa Civil Society Institute, created to strengthen the capacities of CSOs in West Africa, has developed a context specific course on Resource Mobilisation and Proposal Writing to enable CSOs to be conversant with appropriate ways of successfully raising funds to facilitate the delivery of worthwhile projects in the region.

The course took place from May 6 ? 8, 2013 in Accra and benefitted 13 staff from CSOs in Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana.

Ms. Sibongile T. Zimbeva, Finance and Office Administrator of Amnesty International, Zimbabwe appreciated the rich content and practical nature in which the course was delivered. She said the experiences shared were very enriching and enabled her to effectively grasp effective approaches to raise funds for her organisation.

The detailed lectures, practical exercises and group activities gave Ms. Zimbeva an opportunity to have a better understanding of how to relate projects implemented by her organisation and their related budgets to ensure effective reporting.

This training enabled participants to have a detailed understanding of writing winning proposals in a piecemeal manner, and how to develop content-rich, context-specific and well-presented proposals that align to the objectives of the organisations and meet the standards of donors.

The External Affairs Manager of Afrikids Ghana, an organisation that works to promote he rights of children and women, Mr. Raymond Ayime, testified that this training has increased his knowledge of resource mobilization. This he said, would enable him to engage in the process of contributing to write winning proposals for Afrikids Ghana.

At the end of the training, participants beamed with confidence as they expressed satisfaction with the training, describing it as a unique package that addresses a serious capacity gap in the sector.

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