“We are a living testimony of what Zambian Governance Foundation (ZGF)’s capacity development trainings can do to transform organisations,” these were the words of Chikanta Community Schools Development Project (CCSDP) at the end of their one year initiative which they implemented with the assistance of ZGF.
The initiative was focused on promoting access to quality education in community schools.
CCSDP said during their one year stint working with ZGF, they received support on strategic planning, gender mainstreaming, disability equity training, environment, resource mobilisation and finance management which transformed their organisation positively.
“ All these training boosted our confidence as an organisation because we used to look at ourselves as a small organisation and believed that there wasn’t much we could do. However, ZGF widened our scope of thinking as we had restricted ourselves to focusing on service delivery issues only. With ZGF’s support, for the first time we implemented a policy engagement focused initiative. Without these trainings, life would have been difficult for us,” said CCSDP Director, Siabalumbi Siamoongwa
He added that through ZGF’s capacity development trainings, CCSDP had managed to do away with over reliance on outsiders for solutions.
“We used to hire other people to assist us in developing strategic plans which was really costly and we really didn’t have a sense of ownership. Now we are able to develop our own strategic plans because ZGF has been assisting us,”Mr Siamoongwa said.
However, CCSDP confessed that, at first they thought ZGF was an unfriendly organisation as their efforts to get funding from ZGF were fruitless for six years.
“We engaged ZGF in 2009 when we submitted our first proposal but only managed to get funding in 2015. As a result of this, our perception of ZGF was very bad, though we later discovered that they are real partners as they kept advising us on how we could improve our proposal and move forward. ZGF has helped us with systems ideal to ensure that we have skills and standards in our organisation. We are happy because our capacity to carry out work has been strengthened,” Mr Siamoongwa explained.
The support from ZGF has seen CCSDP successfully receiving funding from other sources and also setting up a social business enterprise.