The beneficiaries of the donation include Amu-Wwulu Forum Inc.; Community Health Care Initiative (CHI); Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP); Liberia Agency for Community Development (LACD); Liberia Institute for the Promotion of Academic Excellence (LIPACE); Liberia Media for Democratic Initiatives (LMDI); Special Emergency Activity to Restore Children’s Hope (SEARCH), We-Care Foundation, Women Empowerment for Self-Employment (WE4SELF), Youth coalition for Education in Liberia (YOCEL) and Youth Movement for Collective Action (UMOVEMENT)for collective action.
Presenting the equipment, Mercy Corps Interim Country Director, Nina Taka, underscored the importance of training people and giving them the necessary tools to effectively carry out their responsibilities.
According to her, the project strategy involves building the institutional capacities of CSOs and Community Based-Organizations to be efficient, as well as strengthening their network coordination among key institutions in the country.
She said, “What brings us together is the understanding that is creeping within the civil society to actively influence policy making and the practices of government institutions ultimate contribution to building a secure and productive community’’.
Nina Taka also said: “Mercy Corps would like to recommend that you strengthen your presence and support in the southeastern counties in Liberia because we need strong CSOs in each of those counties and also civil society organizations who acknowledge their dream, their knowledge, and their fears.’’ She thanked the European Union, Irish Aid, SIDA, Government of Liberia and partners for their support.
Mari-Paz Ortega Rodriguez, head of Kvinna Till Kvinna, said: “These institutional capacity building initiatives can be made in many forms. But one thing that we sometimes overlook is the provision of equipment and furniture, very basic things that are necessary for any office to operate. It is not just the soft skills, but there are several needs to be addressed and I think that is what we are helping with today.”
Madam Loretta Popekai, Head Chair of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, recommitted the NSCSCL support to CSOs in Liberia to influence the change that Mercy Corps is working towards.
A proxy from the National Authorizing Office, congratulated the new leadership of the NCSCL and extended thanks to Mercy Corps and Partners.
He said “there are thousands of CSOs out there, for a CSO to be selected is an opportunity and challenge the CSOs to demonstrate their abilities in advocating and engagement with the Government of Liberia.
Also speaking, Massayan Sorsor, Director of the NGO Coordination Desk at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), commended the European Union and implementing institutions for once again showing their profound commitment to the development of Liberia.
“We want to continue working with the civil society organizations, but we need to make sure that everything is put into perspective so that we all can be documented and in line with our donors. And to you, my strong supporters, I continue to say you are the flag bearers. You are the ones that can reach where the government ministers cannot reach; you are the ones that reach the citizens –you the NGOs,” he said.
Kate Brady, Chargé d’Affaires Representative for of Irish Aid said “Irish Aid is fortunate to be a part of supporting this program.
She said CSOs are very important in supporting the national agenda of government, “so we are empowering these CSOs to make relevant changes in Liberia.”
Theodorus Kaspers, head of European Union (EU) Cooperation in Liberia, pledged the EU’s commitment to supporting the CSOs in Liberia.