Ghana with seven other countries and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs have started a new partnership called strengthening the civil society framework. Under the framework, the Dutch government will support community philanthropy development in eight countries, including Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, Mozambique, Palestine, and Uganda.
The partnership comes under various thematic areas. However, one thematic area the project will be focusing on is the Power of Voices, under which there is the Giving for Change project. The Giving for Change project will run for a period of 5 years, that is from 2021 to 2025.
The project seeks to promote local giving to achieve community-led development. The project entails embarking on programmes at the local levels to create awareness among citizens and making them active participants.
Under the partnership, the Dutch government is supporting the STAR–Ghana Foundation and its partner, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) to undertake the Giving for Change project.
In line with the partnership, H. E Ronald Strikker, Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, paid a working visit to the STAR–Ghana Foundation’s office on 30 April 2021 to meet STAR–Ghana Foundation and the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI).
Dr. Esther Offei-Aboagye, Chair, Governing Council of STAR-Ghana Foundation added that “The purpose of the project is to promote civil society sector and strengthen community’s ability to own, initiate and donate towards social change.”
“Giving for Change Project is an added value of the work that STAR-Ghana Foundation and WACSI have undertaken from 2016 to 2020. Notwithstanding, this project will promote a shift of mindset towards seeing philanthropy as a responsibility’’, said Charles Kojo Vandyck, Head, Capacity Development Unit at WACSI.
According to the ambassador, the purpose of the visit was to familiarize himself with the Giving for Change project team.
H.E., Ronald Strikker lauded Ghana’ civil society for the great strides being made which gave them the opportunity to be among the few countries in the global south to be part of this initiative. ” We have started a new partnership with Ghana, which I know the civil society sector is the key actor to drive this agenda”, he said.
“Ghana is doing things right, like Ghana beyond aid agenda; this is gradually moving the country from being a recipient of donation towards becoming trade partners”. He was, however, quick to attribute the gains to the role of the civil society sector in Ghana.
He charged the team to own the project. “I think I have to say this intentionally. This is your programme. All that the Dutch people want to know is information; they need information on the progress of the project”, he added.