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21.03.2009 Press Release

United Way Ghana launches free NGO investment program

By Kirsty Osei-Bempong

Non-government organisations (NGOs) in Ghana have become the first line of engagement for the country's needy population. Their ability to work at grassroots level with local communities often makes them one of the most effective and efficient vehicles to address community challenges.

United Way Ghana (UWG) is positioning itself at the centre of this network as it launches an initiative to help NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) working in the areas of health, education, and income generation increase their access to donor resources and skills, while building their organisational capacity.

The United Way Ghana Community Investment Program (CIP), launched today (23 March 2009), offers agencies in Ghana the framework and tools to make lasting and positive changes in the communities where they work. The CIP gives selected agencies that meet United Way Ghana's strict criteria, access to UWG's small grants program; donated office supplies, equipment, and other useful items through the Gifts-In-Kind initiative, technical expertise to build NGO capacity, and the opportunity to participate in the signature one-day volunteer event - UWG Day of Caring.

Day of Caring is a one-day volunteer event that aims to encourage businesses to cultivate a greater sense of corporate social responsibility in Ghana. The event, which was first launched in 2006, acts as a mechanism to optimise the return on investment for corporate institutions, while maximising measurable and sustainable impact at the community level.

“This initiative works for the sustainability of NGOs,” says Jeleel Odoom, programs & development officer at UWG. “It promotes creative ideas for long-term generation of institutional funds for development intervention; improves professional efforts in resource mobilisation, and advocates for increased allocation of donor resources for building the skills and capacities of NGOs. Through this program we plan to help our partner CBOs and NGOs make a valuable and sustainable difference to the lives of children, families, adults, and the aged throughout Ghana.”

“Our aim at United Way Ghana is to optimise the impact of the work that the NGOs and the CBOs are doing already,” said Karen Shormeh Sai, Executive Director at United Way Ghana. “By bringing together all the stakeholders we intend to increase not only the sustainability of the work, we also intend to source funds and other resources that may otherwise not be a part of the community development agenda.”

UWG is a unique organisation which has a vision to create stronger, healthier, educated and self-sustaining communities in Ghana. UWG is linked to more than 4,500 United Way and Community Chest Organisations in 47 countries and territories on six continents via its affiliation with United

Way Worldwide (UWW). Since its inception in 2003, UWG has acted to help build strong and empowered communities that care about its citizens by bringing together businesses, labour, non-governmental organisations and the government where appropriate.

If you would like your organisation to be considered for the United Way Ghana CIP and as an affiliate member of the United Way Ghana network, please email us on [email protected] Forms must be returned via email by 5th April, 2009. Only successful candidates will be notified.