Representatives from OCIC, Kijiji Cha Upendo, CAP/AIDS and Village of Love Canada at the OCIC “Lunch and Learn” to discuss the benefits of an equal three-way partnership. From right to left: Leonora Obara, Volunteer Social Worker and Program officer with KCU, Linda Levin volunteer Coordinator of VoLC, Claire Holloway Wadhwanii, Executive Director of CAP/AIDS, Andrew Obara, Volunteer Administrative Officer for KCU.Partnership Has Its Benefits!

November 17th, 2011, OCIC (Ontario Council for International Cooperation) hosted a “Lunch ‘n Learn” where participants discussed the benefits of the three way partnership that Kijij Cha Upendo, Village of Love Canada, and CAP/AIDS Network have forged with one another.

Istanbul CSO (Civil Society Organisations) Development Effectiveness Principle #6: 

Pursue equitable partnerships and solidarity

CSO’s are effective as development actors when they … commit to transparent relationships with CSO’s and other development actors, freely and as equals, based on shared development goals and values, mutual Click on the logo to read the mention we received on the CSO-effectiveness blog.respect, trust, organizational autonomy, long-term accompaniment, solidarity and global citizenship.

How we’re applying principle # 6!

We began in 2010 with a Two Way Partnership between the grassroots organisation Kijiji Cha Upendo (Village of Love- Kenya) and Village of Love Canada, based on a shared commitment to provide the best care possible for AIDS-orphaned children: care within loving families. We operate within an equal partnership, where each of us offers what we do best, acknowledging our need for the other’s expertise.  Kijiji Cha Upendo implements the project on the ground, while Village of Love Canada seeks funding in Canada.

Their love and expertise on the ground makes our dollars go further; the dollars we raise makes their love and expertise effective. It is a partnership grounded in a common commitment and mutual respect.

 

Our Three Way Partnership began earlier in 2011, when a request for funding to CAP/AIDS Network from Kijij Cha Upendo, mentioning their “Toronto connection,” triggered CAP/AIDS Network in reaching out to Village of Love Canada to offer us  the use of their expertise, experience, resources on the ground, charitable status and fundraising events. What a generous offer!

Nevertheless, we hesitated. Would we lose control of our organisation? Would we be giving up our “baby”? And what would the benefits be to CAP/AIDS Network?

It turns out that extending our partnership to include CAP/AIDS Network benefits us all!

Kijiji Cha Upendo

  • The CAP/AIDS partnership facilitates increase in their financial resources
  • connects them to a community of knowledge and experience
  • provides mentorship from people who have been in the field for a long time
  • supplies technical support and training
  • and offers opportunities to share best practices with other Community Based Organisations in the region

Village of Love Canada

  • we do not have to start a charity
  • we have use of information and infrastructure from an established, experienced organisation
  • we receive the encouragement of ‘not being alone’
  • we have an opportunity to participate in existing fundraising events
  • we enjoy the possibility of applying for grants that VOLC/KCU would have difficulty accessing
  • and we can participate in opportunities for shared learning

CAP/AIDS Network

  • are advancing their mission
  • expanding their network to another country, with a new partner
  • enjoy the optics of growth- both in financials and programming
  • have the opportunity to maximise utility and impact of resources, knowledge and infrastructure already paid for
  • and can reach more Canadians than would be possible as a staff of one

For a clearer picture of how our threeway partnership works and the history of how it came to be, click HERE to view the powerpoint presentation used at OCIC.

The attitude of cooperation that this partnership encourages builds us all up. We know that our own wellbeing is dependant on the wellbeing of our partners. We want to help each other’s organisations grow. We’re in this together, and stronger than we would be otherwise.

Linda Levin, Coordinator of Village of Love Canada.

For the full list of 8 Istanbul Principles, click here.