Although we attended last September, we wanted to take the time to share some very exciting developments for Blood:Water in Eastern Africa!
Blood:Water had the honor of participating in and co-leading the 6th Annual East Africa Philanthropy Conference.
The EAPC featured over 300 attendees representing a variety of philanthropic organizations across the region as a way for leaders to discuss their experiences with common issues, trends, and best practices in philanthropy. In the midst of tremendous struggle across the globe, we’re grateful to be able to share this piece of very reassuring news.
Blood:Water had the honor of leading two presentations with some of our wonderful collaborators and partners including Robert Kasambala of Lwala Community Alliance among other fine leaders. The first of these was a panel discussion on the importance of models that directly equip community organizations to create their own health and development solutions. Nadia Kist, our Director of Africa Partnerships who represented us at the conference, had this to say: “African Communities are resourced and capable of driving processes affecting their lives… If we do not position grant funding directly into the hands of communities, we will be undermining their agency and power as the rightful custodians of their health and development.”
Our second session was an open forum on the importance of capacity building and organizational strengthening for all philanthropic organizations. It was the most in-demand session at the conference! The speakers talked about what organizational strengthening should look like, common misconceptions about the practice, key indicators of organizational health and how to monitor all of these to continue growing as a team. Though Blood:Water has had capacity building as part of our mission for years, it is emerging as one of the most important aspects of sustainable initiatives in Eastern Africa.
Aside from being able to provide our own insight to other organizations, we look forward to learning more about the region and pursuing the connections we made through the conference. We have been formally invited to be a member of the Africa Philanthropy Network (APN), which will expand our accessibility to other philanthropic organizations into the Southern African region. This will enable us to find new funding opportunities for our current partners, to identify potential new partners, and to expand our ability to provide services in the south. The APN has also offered Blood:Water multiple sessions to lead at the 2020 Annual Conference and has also invited our partners to attend!
We are proud to be known as a leader in organizational strengthening and capacity building in Eastern Africa and as one of the top supporters of the conference in 2019.
There were many positive outcomes from taking part in this conference, including the opportunity to take a huge step in our involvement in the region as a whole. We’re honored to share our expertise and cannot wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together through this alliance!