people working
This is a critical time for community based organizations working in our communities inside Southern Sudan. More than 60 or so community based organizations now operate throughout the region, and collectively they control over $3 million or more in assets.

Their contributions to community well-being are widely acknowledged and respected; local civic leaders and national organizations often turn to them to lead pivotal community improvement efforts. But community organizations also face two interrelated challenges that cut to the heart of their mission and effectiveness. First, the communities in which they work are becoming more complex and fragmented. In many cities and suburbs, populations are more ethnically and socio-economically diverse.
Commercial development, housing, and jobs are more regionally scattered. Mechanisms for raising public funds, providing public services, and making public decisions are more concentrate. Local civic leadership is being eroded by corporate consolidation and other factors. Meanwhile, the non-profit sector is growing in both size and diversity, often without the organizational infrastructure or funding required for optimal performance. Second, the fundraising environment for community based organizations is becoming more competitive. Well-financed national corporations like Fidelity, as well as smaller, local financial service providers, have emerged as competitors for the same philanthropic dollars. Increasingly, individual donors want direct involvement with their small giving and demand measures of high impact and accountability without considering the state and local budget constraints which have no capacity at the movement for the public sector support for meeting critical social needs in Southern Sudan.

Community based organizations are responding to these challenges by building on their distinctive position and history of community leadership. They are taking on more complexes and demanding roles to convene, connect, inform, influence, and lead solutions to pressing problems. They are helping their communities take broader, bolder, and more comprehensive steps to build better futures. And they are connecting their donors to these efforts, expanding the influence, resources, and knowledge that are brought to bear. In short, they are becoming ?community change makers.? From their inception, community based organizations have added value to communities in ways that extend far beyond donor services delivery. The range and significance of community based organizations? leadership has grown in recent years, however. It now takes many forms depending on the character, challenges, culture, and external opportunities present in specific communities. It depends also on organizations? internal factors; including the proportion of restricted funds they receive, the number and capacity of staff, the age of the institution, the nature of the board, and the geographic focus.
All community based organizations face competing pressures and must make tough choices about where and how to deploy their resources. This means there is a great deal of variety in roles across organizations and communities. Nonetheless, groups of community organizations around the country are becoming active change makers. They consistently find, foster, and connect the pieces of their communities into united and effective forces for positive change. 1 CONTRIBUTING IDEAS AND INFORMATIONIdeas and information can catalyze changes in minds, behavior, and communities.Some community based organizations are harnessing the power of information by creating new knowledge and introducing new ideas. They translate national and state issues to the local context. They stimulate and shape community dialogue about solutions to critical local problems. And they mobilize community attention around tough issues.2 Building Useful Knowledge In many communities, existing knowledge sheds little light on pressing community problems or possible solutions. Community based organization leaders and staff can help fill the void by surfacing knowledge of local conditions. They understand the local context. They know their community?s history, organizations, and politics. They have first-hand contact with community problems. They often have experience using data to reveal conditions and inform thinking. They can document what is happening, investigate underlying factors, provide analysis, and capture and communicate lessons. They can serve as hubs for community information through the Web and other mechanisms. They can provide a bridge between national and state issues and the local context. And community foundations can import promising information, ideas, and approaches from other localities. Malakal sits on the banks of the White Nile in the Upper Nile State flood plain - a huge area that hosts the world?s largest natural swamp ? the Sudd. The whole area is rich in natural resources that supports and attracts migratory pastoralists to the rich pastures and given the fact that Malakal is our main town; the Chollo community members are not the present opportunity to develop themselves. In the 21st century, agriculture continues to be a fundamental instrument for sustainable development and poverty reduction. The 2008 World Development Report examines what agriculture can do for development, how agriculture-for-development agendas can best be implemented, and the most effective ways to use agriculture for development and poverty reduction. This is time Chollo people raised up beyond their current attitude of watch and see other people working and later on joined after observing their success. We should initiate things and let other copy from us.

Mr. John Oyec Lwong,

Dip.CH. (public health officer)

Founder and the Executive Director

Fashoda Youth Forum

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  • Guest - James Okuk

    Community based organization like the Fashoda Youth Forum have been trying their best to become change makers but they have not really met that teget so far for so many reasons: 1) Internally they have some management weaknesses, which, in most cases minimized the trust of donors. They also face some difficulties with the collo comminity in the villages who often shy away from contributing to success of the project that were funded and are being implemented. For example, in the first project of the Fashodo Youth Forum in 2003 in Nyilwaak, we found it difficult to convince the villagers to dig pit latrines because for them that was not at all a good work and it is a shame for someone to be seen or heard of being there. However, when some of them saw us digging and doing the work directly even more energetically, they got some courage to get involved in the digging and building of those toilets. At the end they appreciated the idea. Most of our people would not want to volunteer if not paid first even when what is being done is for their public benefit. Sometimes, the problem goes to failure by the CBO to sincerely explain to them the nature of the project and its meaning. The Collo who are well off and who can even be donors do not bother to fund those CBOs; they only leave them to foreigners. 2) Externally, the international NGOs would sometimes fear the sucess of the CBOs because of donation competition. Because if the CBOs did well, the donors might do away with them (International NGOs) and start to deal directly with the CBOs, thus, endangering the survival of the international NGOs. Therefore, the international NGOs would always make sure that they keep the CBOs weak so that they do not compete in success and so that they could control and cheat the donors in their name. If we want our CBOs to be change makers in our communities at the village levels, we should learn to support them directly or indirectly by funding them or by volunteering to work with them for short terms.

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  • Guest - John Lwong

    Dear James thank for your comment and acknowledging the little efforts being made by the few Chollo community based organizations we currently have. Indeed we have been trying our best to become change makers, but as you put it, we not have not really met the target for the same reasons you did mentioned here:
    1)The internal management weaknesses that the CBOs are facing are actually lack of the much needed human resources and that in most cases minimized the trust of donors. Sure the CBOs are also face with some difficulties in the community in the villages who often shy away from contributing to success of the project that were funded and are being implemented and that also attribute to lack of the human resources that the organization can use to create awareness and mobilize the community participation in the project implementation this to me can win the trust of donors.
    2)In the developmental activities you can’t work in isolation collaboration is the key to the success but with whom can you and how? These are the questions that are always hitching our mind, our people willing to volunteer or even to give services to their own community. The few who are there are for the greener pastures they don’t passion to work for their people

    3)It’s true that the international NGOs fear the success of the CBOs because of donation competition and the following are the live example I can give you. For the last two years we have been used thoroughly by World Vision to do the work for them and eventually our name (Fashoda Youth Forum) don’t appear anywhere in their report

    And to the contrary to their statement, they intend to be paying the Fashoda Youth Forum staffs who are working on the project directly and that in other word will mean the staff will not abide by the policies of their mother organization but will divert their attention to the master’s because money is power

    Having gone through all these difficulties and clearly it's showing that our people are not willing to volunteer to work for their own community am currently working on the issues of having the international volunteers involve in giving services to our people whom I love so much and I have to do anything possible to improve their state of living taking the opportunity of the little available peace we currently have.

    And one of them is this Clauadia a Germany from USA who has shown interest in volunteering for FYF and with wealth experienced in financial planning (MA in banking and finances), managing and directing a NGO (for about five years) including fundraising, writing, and special event planning, and I also have expertise in small business start-ups.

    Before she moved to the U.S. she had worked and volunteered for NGOs in the UK, South Africa and Fiji Islands for short time periods. The most impact on me and my future had my stay on Fiji Islands. The conditions were not easy because a military coup was taking place while she had staying there. She volunteered as a kindergarten teacher and coordinator for eco-tourism high in the mountains, in an isolated village of about 80 people, without electricity, running water, etc.. There was so much need for basic things and at the same time so much life, joy and happiness. Living with them changed my way of looking at life, people and the world.

    Since 2003 she have been living in the U.S. managed and directed a NGO that brings mid-career professionals from around the world, i.e. Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Cameroon, Ghana, Thailand, and India to name a few, to Denver for short-term internships. The participants in this program bring the world to Denver by sharing their expertise, knowledge, lives, way of thinking and their culture with us. Meeting these incredible individuals has definitely broaden my horizon and she sometimes think that she learned more from them than she could give.

    Running this program brought her also in close contact with the Sudanese community in Denver. It’s a culture with so many layers that it will take a life time to start understanding it she said.
    she think it’s her call now to share her skills with them to help getting a step closer to the Sudan they want to have and deserve.

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