Funders should trust our abilities, activist Odede says

Odede, however, noted that there has been great progress.

In Summary

•Speaking during a zoom discussion dubbed Decolonizing Humanitarian Aid, Odede said there is need for the NGOs’ sponsors from the West to trust the organisations run by the people of color.

•“We are the ones on the ground and we have lived experience. Funders have to trust us. They should listen to us,” Odede, who is the CEO of Shining Hope for Communities said.

Activist and social entrepreneur Kennedy Odede ./COURTESY
Activist and social entrepreneur Kennedy Odede ./COURTESY

Activist and social entrepreneur Kennedy Odede has urged financiers of Non-Government Organisations to believe in the leadership of the black people.

Speaking during a zoom discussion dubbed Decolonizing Humanitarian Aid, Odede said there is need for the NGOs’ sponsors from the West to trust the organisations run by the people of color.

“We are the ones on the ground and we have lived experience. Funders have to trust us. They should listen to us,” Odede, who is the CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), said.

 

Odede cited a study done by Bridgespan and Echoing Green, that revealed that 76 per cent of organizations led by people of color win less grant money and are trusted less to make decisions about how to spend those funds.

The authors of the study analyzed three years of informational tax returns of 164 U.S. groups that were winners, finalists, or semifinalists in Echoing Green’s highly competitive fellowship program.

The report found that white-led groups had budgets that were 24 per cent larger than those led by people of color.

“Money is power, but the donors should ask themselves hard questions. Are you supporting to control or you are supporting to transform lives?” he posed.

He noted that decolonisation of humanitarian aid has to start.

“The funders should invest in trust in the orgnisations run by the people of color. They should not hide behind a notion that there is rampant corruption in Africa,” he said.

Odede, however, noted that there has been great progress.

 

“Who ever thought SHOFCO could win Hilton Humanitarian Prize? We won it and that tells you, the West is beginning to trust organisations run by the blacks,” he said.

SHOFCO is a grassroot movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all.