WACSI Catalyses the Sustainability of Street Children Project

WACSI Catalyses the Sustainability of Street Children Project

The need for CSOs to be buoyant, self-reliant, self-financing, and sustainable has dominated the civil society sector in recent years.  As an organisation with a huge expenditure owing to the sheer weight of their interventions, the Kumasi based non-profit organisation, Street Children Project, embraced the Civil Society Sustainability workshop organised by WACSI in September 2018 with open arms. Rev. Sister Umoh, the Executive Director, explained why she found the workshop to be on time for her organisation.

“The organisation needs funding because of high staff cost, cost of rehabilitation, volunteer cost (travel and transportation), cost of skills training of any kind for beneficiaries. This provides the stimulus and the interest to think sustainability,” she said.

“Until the training, we did not know one can be sustainable through local support”

Street Children Project is a Kumasi based non-profit organisation operating under the auspices of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi working with street children by providing them with basic needs and skills training. This faith-based organisation (FBO) also provides social and entrepreneurial services to other vulnerable groups such as head porters and also work in related areas such as human trafficking, domestic violence, and any form of child slavery.  The organisation boasts of a drop off centre, daycare centre and a skills training centre. Furthermore, the outfit has sponsored over 500 kids through school.

Commenting on her key learning points during the workshop in Kumasi, Sister Olivia intimated that the workshop enabled her to understand  the possibility of sustaining the organisation through local funding.

“This is because until the training we did not know one can be sustainable through local support…We also realised that financial sustainability would come if all other dimensions of sustainability such as operations, interventions are given priority.” 

Spurred by the newly acquired ideas and possibilities, Sister Olivia and her team decided to give practical meaning to some of the recommendations/action points emanating from the workshop. To provide a fulcrum for steering the sustainability drive of Street Children Project, they developed a sustainability strategy including a definition of the sustainability vision and how to work towards it.

As a result of the workshop, the Street Children Project implements a new sustainability strategy

This sustainability document according to Sister Olivia was based on a detailed strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats ( SWOT) analysis of  their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Based on this strategy they began in earnest to develop some vital internal policies to increase the operational sustainability of the organisation.

“We have put new structures in places such as staff manual, review of child protection policy, procurement policy, finance policy, and leaflets, posters, pull-ups on services we provide,” she said.

A  desk Officer for Communication was also appointed to publicise and help with the rebranding of the organisation.

Sister Olivia mentioned that these actions have enabled her organisations to achieve some strides in saving limited resources.

“Using the new procurement policy, we have been able to save some money for the organisation. Initially, we could lose up to between GHC2,000.00 and GHC3000 due to malpractices in our procurement but now we can save about the same amount quarterly,” she testified.

She mentioned that they have also stepped up local fundraising and now use every avenue to raise funds. This yielded significant results within the last quarter of 2018 with an amount of GHC1,089.00 raised.

To encourage more giving, Street Children Project redesigned the annual report to better communicate their impact, increase visibility and transparency of their work with tailored messages, which are propagated via social media platforms, brochures, leaflets, etc. They also managed to refurbish the staff room with furniture to make it more comfortable and to brighten up the image of the organisation and boost staff morale. According to  Sister  Olivia, this boosted a sense of belonging among staff.

Street Children Appeals WACSI to continue handholding such workshops

Reflecting on the enabling factors that played a major role in the progress made thus far, Sister Olivia highlighted with strong conviction that the workshop benefitted her organisation because she tried some of the recommendations/action points. She also mentioned the commitment to share with the management team and staff and quite importantly, the crucial role played by WACSI.

“The support from WACSI even after the workshop was enormous including mentoring and coaching, tools, and virtual support to lean on,” she added.

Sister Olivia concluded by appealing to WACSI to continue handholding them as they seek to become a leading name in child protection in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

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FIIFI BOATENG

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 KANKAM KUSI

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 ADWOA ANIMA

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 ODEI

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

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

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

GEORGE ADU-MINTAH

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

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

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

BETHEL KWAME BOATENG

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

WHITNAY SEGNONNA

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

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 ASANTE

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

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.

LILLIAN DAFEAMEKPOR

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

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 CHANASE

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

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

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

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 A. SOMBO

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 T. BALOGUN

Omolara is a development practitioner and advocacy strategist with over 10 years progressive experience in development programming targeted at strengthening civil society in West Africa. She joined WACSI in November 2009 as an Advocacy Consultant. And later became the first Policy Advocacy Officer in 2010 and Head of Policy Influencing and Advocacy unit in 2015. As head, she offers strategic direction to the institutes’ ambitions to connect and convene groups of organized 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.


Previously, Omolara 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. She also served as a Programmes Associate with the Women in Peace and Security Network-Africa where she teamed up to design and implement two programmes on—multidimensional peace support operations and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

KWABENA KRODUAH

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 KOJO VANDYCK

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 ASANTEWA AFADZINU

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.