Working for civil society sustainability in Kenya

The Aga Khan Foundation, US, working in partnership with USAID, has announced an exciting new $6 million, four year programme, to support the long-term sustainability of key civil society organizations in Kenya. Named the Yetu Initiative – “yetu” meaning “ours” in Kiswahili – the aim of the programme is to encourage local ownership of civil society activities. This will involve a platform of support for community philanthropy which is best illustrated by the work of the Kenya Community Development Foundation.

Drawing on their joint partnership within the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy, both the Aga Khan Foundation and USAID believe in the power of community philanthropy to mobilize assets, build organizational capacity and contribute to the mutual trust-building that is social capital in action. An emphasis will be placed on helping to connect key civil society organizations with the private sector throughout Kenya in order to reduce dependence on external funding sources. The Alliance is well placed to augment the impact of the initiative by sharing ideas and learning drawn from other parts of the world, alongside charting the lessons that this new initiative will highlight. Peer exchanges between community philanthropy practitioners have already proved their worth on numerous occasions given the common aspiration of local activists to make development outcomes “ours” – “yetu”!

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