August Editorial

 

Wonderful news! GAIN has a new National Director!

I would like to congratulate the newly appointed National Director of GAIN Mozambique, Mr. Gaspar Cuambe. His personality is well known and, we are sure that he will make a strong contribution to the fight against malnutrition. I wish you tremendous Sucess!

NOTE:

Dear Gaspar, while elaborating your operational plans, remember that together, we can accomplish a lot as active organizations engaged in the fight against malnutrition. The disease I like to call “social neocolonialism of the third humanitarian sector” must end, and the humanitarian organizations of the Global North must shit to only facilitate the growth of the Operators of the Global South. Making themselves always available for collaboration!

This is the message that I sent to the new Director of GAIN to encourage a partnership between us and work on our common services alongside the community members so that all benefit from the programs to be carried out...

 

What happens and still happens in Mozambique? 

All International NGOs come with humanitarian programs and a philosophy of action where they promise to give maximum attention to local partnerships in developing execution capacity, lobbing, and fundraising, in short, gaining recognition before the International Donors to one day continue the work independently for the good of the Country. 

All good words and intentions! But what happens is quite the opposite! And this is supported by the attitudes of donors that favor international NGOs, giving them confidence and all the financial assistance that this process entails. For them, the payment of Administrative Services is an obligation, and they receive without any justification 5.10 to 20/25% of financial amounts. For them, the anticipation of funds does not even cross their minds. The program starts when the first installment provided by the contract is delivered.

For us locals and Mozambicans, we must pay fees to the Administrative Court, a warranty fee of 5% of the Program value, and a warranty fee of the first parcel. On top of this, the payments from the donors can come late,  sent after there's confirmation that the actions of the programs are being carried out, with the possibility of fund reduction when there is failure or delay.

The fees, therefore, are exorbitant, despite being in line with the rules of the countries of origin, and they take more than 50% of the total foreseen budget of the program not benefit the beneficiary communities at all.

For us locals and Mozambicans, we must respect local politics, feel poverty with the poor, and at the end of the program, deliver everything that served to carry out the program to the Governments and the direct beneficiaries. Only crumbs are left for us locals and Mozambicans and the honor of carrying out a program with decreased financial capacity of action! Always old cars, computers, and furniture from years before. The thought of supporting local NGOs to become stronger to face new challenges is a need that doesn't even cross minds!

We feel, at times, like a servant, like a domestic servant, like kids, with a minimum wage. After so many years of work and social engagement, we are once again poorer than workers from private companies or Profit consulting firms, despite trying to paint themselves as non-profit.

 

How can we change this situation?

First, there are the Donors who always publicly state that international NGOs must be trainers and facilitators of National NGOs and must practice what they state in the facts. There are exceptional cases where the donor requires the team leader to be national! Fantastic. But counted these don't even amount to the fingers in one hand! 

Secondly, the Mozambican legislators must be clearer in the processes of admission to Mozambican territory. Once admitted to operate in our territory, all monitoring of their actions ends. Renewal is requested every two years, which is reduced to a fictitious document, without real control on the ground. How useful would a periodic evaluation that included all, beneficiaries, partners, and members of the Government be!

Thirdly, we, the Mozambican NGOs, must join forces and compel everyone to create efficient partnerships with an equal dimension of service. This leads us to assert our participation rights and ensure that “social neocolonialism of the third humanitarian sector” does not keep happening as I mentioned at the beginning of this editorial!

 

Is it still worth it to trust international partnerships?

Is it still worth accepting programs with international organizations that have a different support attitude favoring Internationals over Nationals?

 

How can we grow together to become a sustainable service?

We cannot retreat.

We cannot passively watch.

We must act and enhance our work and financial capacity. Assuring execution and financial capacities with professionalism!

There are several examples in other African countries, such as South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and so many others that we know where local NGOs have developed a lot and are entrusted with an enormous amount of responsibility, without thinking of expert support from international organizations.

We must acquire best practices, empower our staff, form local partnerships with other institutions, and propose verifiable and impactful programs.

We must be credible so that the leadership role is entrusted to Mozambican NGOs!

 

 ___________________________

Kind Regards,

Domenico Liuzzi,

 

Kulima's National Director.

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