AYOWECCA TAKES CARE OF UGANDA
AYOWECCA UGANDA is a non-governmental organization established in Uganda East Africa, formed to stand for human and environmental issues. It promotes climate solutions, conservation, and movement building through a powerful combination of communities and grassroots advocacy. It was established in January 2018 as a community-based organization when they realized that there had been a lack of coordination in the empowerment of the population and the fight for their rights, especially among youth, children, women, people with special needs, and other vulnerable communities.
AYOWECCA’s team showed interest in being part of the First Call for the Capacity Building Programme of IWORDS GRASSROOTS. This was an invitation for grassroots, collectives, or networks whose mission is related to the care of the environment and mitigation of climate change.
IWORDS GLOBAL and its specialized units—IWORDS Communications, IWORDS Consulting, and IWORDS Grassroots—supported AYOWECCA in a three-month process in which permanent and constant support was given in defining strategic actions and administrative procedures, as well as in creating tools to ensure sustainability. All of this was done in accordance with the mission of the organization: ‘to promote sustainable community development through livelihood living, environmental conservation, and social development in Uganda.’
AYOWECCA was created to respond to the urgent social and environmental literacy crisis in their communities through education, activism, advocacy, and raising awareness among society.
As a first step, AYOWECCA worked on the definition of a Theory of Change as a foundation for the content of its first Strategic Plan 2021–2025. Its director, Jonathan Olwenyi, and his team focused on developing a document that considered all the objectives and activities they are planning to implement in the short- and medium-term. The AYOWECCA Strategic Plan focuses on the following outcomes:
- Children empowered about their rights
- Children find in technology an important tool to improve their lives
- Women empowered about their SSR
- Women have the opportunity to be an active part of the economy
- Children and young and adult women and men are aware and committed to the conservation of the environment and the importance of it in their (cosmology) culture and traditions
- Restoration of nature
Its mission and vision were also reviewed to make them more consistent and relevant in terms of the content of the Theory of Change previously mentioned. This was a very important moment for the AYOWECCA team, as they agreed on an action plan that will be followed in order to achieve the goals of the organization.
During this process, the whole team was able to identify not only their strengths but also their weaknesses. They also understood that both internal and external contexts play an important role and may have an important effect on the decisions and activities planned.
As a second step, AYOWECCA asked IWORDS’ consultants for some support in working on its Monitor, Evaluation, and Learning Strategy. Then a MEL Plan was carefully drafted by including a Protocol of Indicators. This document considers the basic information that will allow the whole team to determine whether the actions implemented have achieved the initially planned results and the impacts their strategies and activities may have on beneficiaries in communities. AYOWECCA chose different types of indicators—results, process, and strategic indicators—and have decided to regularly and permanently follow-up on them.
Furthermore, after understanding the importance of bringing light to and receiving recognition for the issues they are working on, IWORDS and AYOWECCA worked on the definition of a Resource Mobilization Strategy, aiming to identify and generate real and feasible strategies to guarantee the organization’s sustainability. AYOWECCA considers that this is not an easy challenge to face but that, with a proper plan, they will be able to have a sustainable organization in the medium-term. AYOWECCA identified main and potential donors who will be the main objective of the strategies proposed, as well as the decisions and plans to carry out in the near future. Undoubtedly, this organization considers that a donor mapping tool will be very useful for this purpose.
As part of the Resource Mobilization Strategy, AYOWECCA also defined a Communication Strategy Plan that includes an action plan that will present and evidence all of the organization’s achievements to different stakeholders (donors, government, other non-profit organizations). It is important to mention that the AYOWECCA team knows how important it is to also promote soft skills within the team, like good communication and conflict resolution strategies, so that they are able to work united towards the goals included in their Theory of Change 2021–2025.
The last step of IWORDS’ accompaniment process was the creation of a proposal for an environmental protection project to be implemented in Tororo-Uganda.
We are very happy to have worked with the AYOWECCA team. We are absolutely certain that this organization will make a difference and will be able to make Uganda and Africa a better place!