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Trust people of color, Odede urges donors

By Njange Maina
Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Kennedy Odede
In summary

Shining Hope for Communities Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kennedy Odede has challenged funders of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) not to prioritize donations based on skin color.

Odede said financiers especially from the West often overlook black community leaders compared to their white colleagues who normally get a bigger share.

Speaking during a zoom discussion on 'Decolonizing Humanitarian Aid' that drew community leaders from across the globe, Odede urged the Western donors to trust the leadership of 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,” he said.

Odede said the mistrust on the black people by the Western countries is a misconception that should be dropped.

He cited a recent study by Bridgespan and Echoing Green that shows 76 per cent of organisations led by black people get a less share of grant funds.

To ensure equitable distribution, Odede asked funders to partner with the community leaders and get first-hand information on what communities need.

He said there is a need to revisit history to see how things have been run in the past.

He added that local communities should also initiate development agendas and urged funders to trust NGOs.

“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

Also, he commended the Government of Kenya for the willingness to partner with NGOs like SHOFCO in community development partnerships.