RESH Trains Ebola Survivors Association of Liberia
January 16, 2015
RESH Finds Innovative Means for Sustainability
Renewed Energy Serving Humanity (RESH) has found a more suitable and innovative way to sustain itself for the unforeseeable future as donor support in the country diminishes amid huge demand for continuous assistance (more still more to be done,) especially for women, children and drugs addicts.
As an organization known for working with these vulnerable groups, RESH knows pretty well that dependence on donors' funding for the future would never be the best option for the enormous tasks that it has at hand and the level of impacts the organization wants to have in the country.
Truth being said, donors have done a lot for Liberia for the past few decades but it is also no secret that the country is gradually being donor funds drained and it needs not to be said that all NGOs know fully well that donor funds dry up the organizations become dead or its operations come to a halt—RESH can’t afford to reach this point.
And this is just why the organization, that pride itself as an NGO focused on psychosocial support for community members facing trauma, including the Ebola epidemic, has decided to indulge into this innovative initiative, termed as agriculture for sustainability. “We do envisage RESH as a self-sustainable NGO,” RESH’s Founder and Executive Director, Ernest Garnark Smith, Jr. said.
He knows that a sustainable NGO is an organization that plans ahead, and NGO, like his, highly depends on its capacity to address real problems of a community as well as to collaborate with other actors and agencies working within the area, which may strengthen RESH’s impacts in the medium and long terms.
The RESH founder disclosed that all technical works or feasibility studies have been done for the acquisition of the farmland but there are some issues of funding. “This is a great vision, but funding is trying to tie us down,” he said. But regardless of this, Smith is very optimistic that RESH vision will come to fruition.
Accordingly, he said, the first rule for sustainability is to have a clear vision, which is consistent with existing needs. As such it is important to complete background research and to develop a long-term plan capable of tackling problems and offering concrete solutions. “This is why we are heading in this direction,” he noted.“We're into buying 50 acres of farmland in Nimba County, for this purpose. We are already raising US$5500.00 for the venture. We’re graciously raising that money by His grace I will be posting the updates to friends of trust n allies directly inbox because I don’t want it public as this is a project.
“It’s our fervent prayers that the Lord bountifully flood your financial storehouse to joyously enable you be an integral part of this venture as usual,” he told would be contributors, adding, “Please do also share our vision with your trusted and proactive friends, family members, and even organizations you’re a part of and those who could be of immense help.
RESH is expected to highlight its Agriculture Sustainability project with a fundraising during its 2nd Anniversary on the 22nd November 2016. “Please share with us your thoughts and progressive strategies as we are opened to adopting result-oriented tips,” Smith said.
It is no secret that donor support to the country has reduced drastically, evidence by the halting of financial assistance provided government by international partners to complement where the national budget fell short. This reduction in donors funding is affecting every facet of the Liberian society, especially INGO and NGO that are fully dependent upon donor supports to implement project.
External funding, it appears, can no longer guarantee a future of an NGO, therefore it is crucial to develop a strong financial plan; knowing fully well that without resources no projects can be developed. This is why RESH has done extensive research to define the ways in which the organization could finance its activities in the long term—and this solution has been found in the agriculture sector which has immense potentials, especially for its many female champions and volunteers.
Smith also noted that it is important to develop a long-term plan that is able to manage the NGO staff in a way that maximizes each individual’s potential and meets their own expectations by supporting their professional development.
Additionally, an NGO should develop strategies that are geared toward recruiting new staff members on occasional and voluntary basis. This will enable RESH count on the work force of additional staff members when required as this case may be.
In closing, Smith noted, “With all said, sustainability plan must be realistic. It is good to cultivate ambitious plans, as we are doing, but it is essential to establish a realistic agenda when it comes to proposing a project, and we feel this is the most realistic for us.”
RESH recently graduated over 200 volunteers, known as psycho-social counselors to enhance its psycho-social program in Liberia. These have been deployed in various communities across three counties in the country.