International development is no longer about just
doing goodand trying to save
the poor.It has changed from being dominated by ragged hippies to more professional and accountable look. It has become a career, more than just going to Africa or China to teach English. Universities have started giving Masters in International Development and it is the hot cake at the moment! Actually, I must say I am enjoying my visits to universities talking about the subject.
Trusts and Foundations have played a bigger role in changing the picture of International development and this is why:
Accountability: Trusts and Foundations no longer just give donations. Trusts want to know who is in-charge and where their money is going. This has resulted into charities investing in accounting and reporting on their work. This has improved the way data is being collected and viewed.
Want to know how they are changing lives: Trusts are not just concerned with how their money is being spent but how are they are changing lives. They are not just interested in how many women were given nets in Uganda but how many are using the nets. Trusts want to hear more about communities and less about the charity organisations. This has promoted aspect of concentrating more on communities and their needs.
Sustainability Plan: Trusts are happy to invest in charities but they want to know plans that charities and communities have beyond their (Trust) money. Charities and communities no longer sit and wait for money but there is genuine partnership. Because of this interest, charities together with communities are working on projects that are sustainable and beneficial to communities. No more 'white' elephants!
Providing Money: Availability of resources are very crucial in creating opportunities and changing lives of communities. Trusts and Foundations are taking down giant problems in unprecedented ways. British Toy Trust are supporting safety and education of children with disabilities, The Burdens Charitable Trust are making it possible for children in Ougadougou to be safer in schools, Peter Stebbings Memorial Charity are enabling women in slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh to look for work by supporting community child care centres, The Richard Lawes Foundation supporting medication and education of children living with HIV in Kenya and Bill Gates Foundations wiping out polio in the world. All these won't be possible without the generosity and dedication of Trusts and Foundations.
Promoting Partnership: Trusts and Foundations are not only giving money but they want to get involved. These Trusts are being managed by very successful individuals in their own rights, they want to get involved and help in awareness. Bill and Melinda Gates founders of Bill Gates Foundation have been photographs talking to farmers in Tanzania, engaging youths in Kenya in leadership discussions and they give talks on their charity work. I have met Trustees who are eager to promote partnership between charities and share experiences.
Trusts and Foundations have changed the way charities work with communities, they have not only introduced face of professionalism in International Development, but have re-strengthened the value of humanity- making a difference.