Jedidah works for the Kenyan non-profit Merti Integrated Development Programme (MID-P). In the span of 15 years, MID-P had paid tuition for over 350 girls from pastoralist communities in Kenya’s Isiolo County to pursue higher education. Upon graduation, these girls would have access to economic and leadership opportunities within the community.
In mid-2017, Mid-P was facing a funding crisis as some of its donors were scaling back, and the organisation would not be able to operate for much longer.
Jedidah received an email in October 2017 inviting her organisation into the Yetu community. Yetu is a partnership funded by Aga Khan Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Yetu seeks to strengthen non-profits in local fundraising and enhance the culture of community philanthropy in Kenya.
Through Yetu, Jedidah and two of her colleagues gained practical skills like fundraising and promoting community engagement efforts. Over 8 months, they attended three intensive workshops - activities that were reinforced with coaching, mentorship, and peer learning. During this period, Jedidah and her team began a local fundraising drive. They managed to fundraise US$ 32,300 in both cash and in-kind donations from Kenya. Yetu then matched this amount with an additional US$ 21,035.
On learning about this achievement, the donors who were phasing out reconsidered. They donated US$ 9,000 in appreciation of the team’s success. Jedidah also notes that they are now reaching out to the county government and a number of corporates whom she hopes to have on board in the next few months. [At the time of publishing, MID-P had secured a partnership funding agreement with their local county government.]
Enabling local organisations to sustain themselves
“Yetu was an eye-opening experience,” Jedidah says. “I got to learn on how best to undertake local philanthropy and now know the mistakes we did in our initial fundraising efforts. We are now able to realise the opportunities we have in our local settings that can enable us to raise funds for sustaining our project.”
Jedidah adds, “Through Yetu, we have strengthened MID-P; we have an active board and put in place relevant policies so as to continue transforming lives of young pastoralist women and giving hope not only to their families but also the community.”
Jedidiah and her colleagues now have renewed their optimism for the future and confidence in their abilities.
“We are looking forward to turning this campaign into a yearly drive. Strategies are in place to ensure it becomes an ongoing success. Thanks to the Aga Khan Foundation and USAID for supporting this initiative and helping us realise that sustainability is possible with the right skills and knowledge.’’
This article was originally posted on the Aga Khan Foundation USA website. The original may be read here.