Sep 3, 2008, 6:26 AM
Concern Universal and the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (TANGO), yesterday signed a project dubbed "Empowering Civil Society Organisations through capacity-building and network linkages (EXCEL)."
Held at TANGO Secretariat in Fajara, the EXCEL phase two signing ceremony was attended by various TANGO member organisations.
According to the Project Coordinator, Mr. Nigel Hosford, the overall objective of the EXCEL project is to enhance capacities and network with a core group of competent and determined civil society organisations (CSO's) in The Gambia to enable them better serve their missions of poverty alleviation and peace building, and policies and programmes for sustainable livelihoods within the communities.
TANGO members, he added, are expected to benefit from an extension of the EXCEL project through TANGO capacity-building gaps and organisational issues identified in the organisational self assessments (OSAs) and organisational development plans (ODPs).
Speaking at the occasion, the Concern Universal Country Director, Ms. Patricia Wall said that their role is to be a negotiator and an enabler of actions.
For Madam Patricia, she believes as CSOs their participation should not just be limited to reducing poverty but to have a sense of well-being, dignity and to see people empowered.
"We can advocate for change if we are credible and well- organised organisation," she said, commending the Excel members for the efforts they have been doing since the inception of the project.
For his part, the Board of Directors of TANGO, Mr. Yankuba Dibba maintained that international NGOs have a big role to play in helping local ones. He emphasised that the significance of the EXCEL project for TANGO members cannot be over-emphasised.
Mr. Ousman Yabo, the Director of TANGO, who chaired the ceremony, said that the project started far back in 2007. He disclosed that 23 member organisations have since benefited from the project.
Kebba Barrow of TANGO, who delivered the vote of thanks, said about three million Dalasi is pumped into the project.