WACSI and STAR-Ghana Foundation Chalk Wins in Giving for Social Change Programme

WACSI and STAR-Ghana Foundation Chalk Wins in Giving for Social Change Programme

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[Accra- 19 August 2022] Eighteen months into the implementation of the Giving for Change (GfC) programme, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and STAR-Ghana Foundation have achieved outstanding milestones and continue to layout mechanisms to propel the objectives of the five-year initiative.

Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the GfC seeks to strengthen civic space and civil societies through domestic resource mobilisation, philanthropy and community giving for social change and development.

The programme which was launched in June 2021 is implemented through Alliances and covers eight countries in Africa, Asia, and South America with STAR-Ghana Foundation being the Anchor institution and WACSI being a strategic partner in Ghana.

Creation of Communities of Practice (CoPs) and a Central CoP

A little over a year into the implementation, the two organisations have unanimously created communities of practice (CoPs) across different regions and zones in Ghana as channels to drive the objectives of the programme.

This year, a central CoP was created in addition to the existing Northern and Southern zones. This comprises of organisations that have promoted social justice at the community level including those that have national outlook with focus on policy influencing as well as mobilising funding locally to support social change and development.

The central CoP has a primary objective of supporting the other two CoPs by advancing advocacy issues beyond the community level especially on policies that impede local philanthropy.

Member Organisations in the three CoPs continue to make steady progress in local fundraising. Creditably all 22 members are collectively embarking on a community water project, where they plan to raise resources locally to provide a WASH facility at Boete community in the Obuasi East district of the country.

Launch of Matching Fund Initiative

An initiative dubbed: “Matching Fund” has been launched to motivate organisations to drive local fundraising plans around specific issues in their communities.

It will among other things, help bridge the gap between acquisition of new skills and actual testing of new skills.

Out of 22 organisations, 17 applications have been received, with eight pre-selected to receive small grants to undertake interventions with their constituents and their communities.

This project is aimed at building mechanisms and platforms to enhance accountability in local philanthropy initiatives. Some of these interventions include providing social support to communities through local giving.

Another key social intervention initiatives being carried out also include the Cape Coast Schools Alumni Project which will mobilise resources from old students’ union to provide information technology learning materials to support Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind, and also provide access to e-learning platforms for public schools in disadvantaged communities.

Promoting Local Philanthropy

Favourable conditions have been created to promote local philanthropy as a form and driver of social and systems change. Leveraging local ownership of development processes, 30 individuals and institutions have subscribed to the FAAKO Social Fund as monthly donors. The Yen Somu Bi online giving platform, during trial has raised 7,850.098 cedis. The platform has been upgraded to include a first level security and an accessibility widget with options to transcribe texts to speech, change colour contrast and magnify texts.

The project witnessed a progressive increase in community participation.  In the Upper West region, community commitments have led to the construction of a community clinic in Kusali; an ongoing construction of a clinic in the Bouti, a commitment by the Dondoli township to construct a youth information and communication centre.

STAR-Ghana Foundation has developed and begun the implementation of its Active Citizenship Strategy for promoting national volunteerism, promoting civic awareness, consciousness, and activism among the citizenry. The strategy is facilitating the emergence and strengthening of citizen and social movements around issues of social inclusion, good governance and governance of public goods and services delivery. Models of national volunteerism are currently under draft and will be rolled out through pilots.

STAR-Ghana Foundation is leading an Advocacy Committee comprising diverse actors, including academia, social entrepreneurs and civil society actors to advocate on enabling environment for social enterprise development in Ghana. Social enterprises, when leveraged can be an alternative domestic source of financing of social change activities. The first phase of advocacy focuses on influencing the approval of the draft Social Enterprise Policy.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) reach consensus on instituting a CSOs platform to coordinate civil society organizations across various thematic and geographical networks on issues of common interest to the sector’s viability and sustainability. The CSOs platform, facilitated by SGF would address the gaps in coordinated CSOs front on issues of CSOs regulation, self-regulation, and other issues of sustainability. The platform will also address issues of CSOs voice on emerging critical national issues.

Hosting of Partner Learning and Reflection Meeting in Ghana

In July this year, all the GfC alliance and partners converged in Ghana to share experiences around building better communities, creating spaces for emerging innovations and documenting best practices and lessons learnt.

The convening, which was at the behest of WACSI, and STAR-Ghana Foundation helped partners to appreciate that to shift power, there is the need to internalise and institutionalise key principles captured in the #ShiftThePower Manifesto. Some of these principles including moving away from the preoccupation with quick ‘solutions’ and seeking to embrace a vision of ‘good society’, changing language used currently so that it enables new ways of working and thinking rather than constraining them and changing ourselves and confront how we use our power.

The partners also explored new ways of capturing change through leveraging storytelling, video and voice documentation while nurturing and developing the constituencies (institutions, government, champions, trailblazers, agents of change) needed to develop a desired society.

The convening attracted massive media attention and was aired by national television of Ghana.


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Fiifi is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Communications and Information Officer at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. He joined the Institute in December 2020.


Nancy is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Programme Officer in the Knowledge Management unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. She joined the Institute in January 2021.


Agnes is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Head of the Administration unit in the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2021.


Doris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social sciences (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Cape Coast. She is passionate about impacting young lives hence co-founded Impart Foundation. A non-profit organization which seeks to empower young lives through education, technology and entrepreneurship.


Prince Akowuah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Assistant in the Translation Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.


Maxwell Apenteng is a Ghanaian and joined WACSI in September 2010. He provides gardening and janitorial services at the Institute.


George Adu-Mintah is a Ghanaian and currently the Protocol Assistant/Driver at the West Africa Civil Society (WACSI). He joined the Institute in October 2006.


Ibrahim Kwaku Gbadago is a Ghanaian. He joined the Institute in 2008 and provides janitorial services and assisting the institute's errands. Before joining the Institute, he worked at the Palestinian embassy in Accra, Ghana.


Ruth Yakana is from Cameroon and currently the Receptionist at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.


Bethel is a Ghanaian. He provides technical and IT related support to the Institute. He joined the Institute in October 2006.


Whitnay Segnonna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from the University of Benin. With 2 years of experience, she has a strong knowledge of organizational and project management. Combined with her bilingualism, she is very passionate about her work. She joined WACSI as Project Assistant on Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) for the Capacity Development Unit.


Stella Yawa Wowoui holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation Studies. She has a perfect grasp of both French and English, as well as an intermediate level in Spanish. She is currently working as a Project Assistant on the Techsoup Project.


Kwame is an experienced IT Consultant/Software Developer. He is skilled in Web Applications Development, Digital Security, Database Management, Digital Marketing and Brand Management. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and is a Microsoft Programme Alumni. He is currently serving as a Marketing and IT Officer on the Techsoup Project.


Grace Akpene Ziggah is a Togolese and currently the Logistics Officer and also assists in administration duties at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in June 2009.


Lilian Dafeamekpor is a Ghanaian and currently the Assistant to the Executive Director at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.


John P. Frinjuah has expertise and interests in civil society, international development, democracy and governance, conflict, crisis, and security. He has extensive experience working with civil society and international development organizations where he supported and managed research, programmes, and provided technical assistance on a variety of themes around public policy, governance, and development. He is an alumnus of the University of Ghana and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy - Tufts University in the United States, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from two institutions respectively. John speaks English, French and several Ghanaian and regional West Africa languages.


Gervin has extensive international development experience, including 5 years of policy advocacy and capacity building of grass root organisations. He has implemented over the years a combination of agriculture value chain, livelihood, food security and governance and rights programmes.
Prior to joining WACSI, Gervin worked on two USAID projects focusing on agriculture value chain development and governance in northern Ghana
Gervin holds a master’s degree in development & Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany as well as a Masters in Global Studies from the Universities of Vienna (Austria), Leipzig (Germany) and California (Santa Barbara), USA. He is passionate social justice and inclusion.


Leandre Banon, Beninese, joined WACSI in September 2014 as Capacity Development Programme Assistant. Since then, he has worked in various units within the Institute to support operational and institutional capacity strengthening programmes for civil society in the region. Currently serving as Capacity Development Programme Officer at WACSI, his main responsibilities involve designing, planning, implementing and monitoring capacity development programmes for civil society constituents and grouping across the West Africa. Leandre is a certified Change the Game Academy Programme Trainer. His background lies in the areas of economics and development planning.


Samuel Appiah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Officer in the Finance and Administrative Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in May, 2016.


Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Cameroonian, joined WACSI in May 2018 as the Head of the Knowledge Management and Communication Units of the Institute. He has over ten years’ experience as a journalist and a development communications expert. He has a vast experience in supporting African organisations to strengthen their internal and external communications, building and sustaining relationships with the media and, leveraging on the power of social media to promote their mission. He is also excellent at supporting organisations to set up and operationalise functional communications and knowledge management systems. He has a deep passion and expertise in supporting Africans and African civil society organisations to document their praxis, share and learn from experiences documented from the African civil society sector.


Franck Sombo is a development practitioner with the drive to lead self and others to influence productivity and efficiency. His work involves supporting organisations to develop strategic plans, design monitoring and evaluation systems, develop and use relevant performance measurement tools to track progress, assess organizational growth and institutionalise learning. Franck has eight years of experience working with WACSI where he currently serves as the Head, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. His academic qualifications include Masters in Organisations’ and Projects’ Management, and in Business Sciences and a High National Diploma in Finance and Accounting.

Franck is a Fellow of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) and a graduate of the Graduate Training Institute (GTI) - Ghana with specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Leadership. He has a rich experience in Project Management, Capacity Development, Strategic planning, Data Analytics, Monitoring and Evaluation, Training and Facilitation, Mentoring and Coaching among others.


Omolara is a development practitioner and advocacy strategist with over 15 years of progressive experience in development programming targeted at strengthening civil society in West Africa.

She joined WACSI in November 2009 as a Regional Advocacy Consultant and later became the first Policy Advocacy Officer of the Institute in 2010.

She was promoted to Head of the Policy Influencing and Advocacy (PIA) Unit in 2015. As the Head of the PIA unit, Omolara offers strategic direction to the Institutes’ ambitions to connect and convene groups of organised and organic civil society actors; and influence regional and global discourses on crosscutting policy issues including—civil society regulations, sustainable development goals, civic space and enabling environment, aid effectiveness, gender equality, and civil society accountability.

Previously, Omolara served as a Programmes Associate with the Women in Peace and Security Network-Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), where she worked with her team to design and implement pan-African programmes on—multidimensional peace support operations and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

She also served as a Service Development Marshal at TVQ Consulting Group, a customer service firm focused on designing strategic customer relationship and business growth plans for private and public financial institutions in Nigeria.

Omolara is a social justice advocate, a network weaver, and a convener. She has a postgraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies; a degree in International Relations and History, from the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria respectively.

She also holds executive certificates in Behavioral Science in Public Policy from Harvard University Executive Education in Cambridge and in Citizen Advocacy from the Coady International Institute, St Francis Xavier University in Canada.


Kwabena Kroduah is a Ghanaian and currently heads the Finance Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in January 2008.


Charles currently serves as the Head of the Capacity Development Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). Charles has over 10 years of experience working in international development and social justice issues in Africa. Charles has expertise in strengthening civil society and public agencies including the design and implementation of governance and leadership programmes, development of knowledge pieces and policy advice. Charles was the founding Board Chair of Innovation for Change (i4C)-Hub Afrique, as well as the founding member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon), an initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. Charles currently serves as the Member of the Governing Board (Coordination Collective) of Africans Rising. He is a Member of the Development Studies Association, United Kingdom. Charles is a 2017 Stanford University Fellow for Nonprofit Leaders and a certified Change the Game Resource Mobilisation Trainer.


Nana Afadzinu is a Ghanaian and currently serves as the Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2010.