Thursday, April 5, 2012

Children for Children Organisation Changes Name

Ibrahim Ceesay CAID Executive Director

Children for Children Organisation-CFCO has from 12 March, 2012 changed its name to be now called Children  and Community Initiative for Development-CAID.
This information was disclosed to youth leaders,including our reporter, through an email sent by  its Executive Director, Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay.
 In the said Ceesay stated that they have from 12 March, 2012 “changed the name of our organisation (CFCO) to CAID.  We wish to inform all youth leaders and to introduce you (youth leaders) that the new official identity of change explain the reasons for this positive change.
“We kindly ask that you update your records to reflect this name change effective from 12th March 2012, we become Children and Community Initiative for Development (CAID), a name that better encapsulates our vision, mission, primary objective and more accurate reflection of what we do: empowering children and marginalized communities.”
He added that the timing of this transition is deliberate, noting that there has been no change in management and they would continue to do their best to which, “we have built our reputation”.
According to him, the re-branding also coincided with the organization’s improving results and new strategic direction; that “we are proud of our new identity and confident” that it’s on a long-term, sustainable and exciting growth path led by a team of highly committed professionals who are passionate about what they do and who embrace the organization’s new direction.
About CAID, Ceesay said it is a public interest based organization striving towards child and community development in The Gambia, noting that disadvantaged communities and children that are vulnerable to poverty and human rights violations  are powerful agents of change and development when mobilized from within. 
“CAID believes that children are the leaders in future making; therefore, they should be educated, empowered and equipped with necessary skills in circumventing challenges affecting them at all levels.”
CAID is a not-for profit, non-partisan and charitable organization, said Ceesay, as he pointed out also that the structure of the Children and Community  Initiative for Development comprises a Board of Directors, Management Team and Secretariat and a Children Advocacy Network (CAN). He also said the management team supported by the Secretariat runs the day to day affairs of the organization, and comprising the Executive Director, Deputy Director, Programme Manager and  Director of Communications  and  Advocacy.  
The following, Ceesay catalogued, are the core aims and objectives of CAID; Advocacy on the rights and welfare of the child, Building coalitions on strategic issues, Community empowerment through participatory development and governance, Promoting education for sustainable development and Promoting mass information, education and communication on development challenges at all levels. 
The mission statement of CAID, he informed the receipients, is to empower children and vulnerable communities to overcome development challenges affecting them at all levels and to strive towards  children and community development in the most sustainable way while their motto stands, “ Together for Sustainable Development.” 
Their development approaches are agenda, awareness creation, advocacy and action and their  values will be solidarity with poor children and marginalized communities, Non discrimination and respect for diversity, Participation and inclusion, fairness, justice and equity and integrity: honesty, transparency and accountability. He explained that their thematic areas of operation will include child welfare and development, which is one of the most important concerns of any community, to wit the health, safety and well being of its children and young people. Whilst parents and care-takers are responsible for the safety and welfare of children in their care, protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect is the responsibility of the whole community. Child abuse and neglect can happen to any child or young person in any family and can have lasting, damaging effects. Their child protection program-CPP, he stated, is geared towards keeping children safe from child abuse and neglect and this should always be the first goal of any child protective services response. 
As collective, public and private agencies, in collaboration with individual citizens and community entities, can prevent and remedy child maltreatment, achieve child safety and promote child and family well-being, said Executive Director Ceesay.  
“CAID has worked diligently to increase awareness on the rights of the child and the need for an integrated approach to programs and services across consultation, training, and technical assistance and resources to implement programs and activities geared towards child development and empowerment,Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information on child rights practices and policies that promote positive child development, and  Advocating for implementation of sound legislation, policies  and procedures that positively contribute to child development programs and practices. Community empowerment and sustainable livelihoods would also be a program. 
This program, he pointed out, aims towards strengthening the capacity of grassroots and community based organizations to advance economic and environmental sustainability, promote fair labor standards and raise the social status of women, young people and marginalized communities. Communities will participate in designing the policies and programs that directly affect their lives; while highest priority would be given to policy advocacy and community mobilization efforts that are led by local organizations working to help women and young people gain skills needed for economic empowerment and become strong leaders in their communities. 
“ We intend to achieve this by championing community led and focused initiatives, Promoting sustainable agriculture and biodiversity especially among young men and women, Creating an environment for food security, Facilitating land and resources for young farmers, Creating economic opportunities for young entrepreneurs and Promoting environmental sustainability and eco-tourism. 
On community health, he said CAID would help to raise community health standards by increasing access to services, fostering community engagement in disease prevention and control and eliminating gender-based violence.  In that area, he said their priority of actions would include  HIV/AIDS care and support, advocacy for comprehensive services and reducing stigma, Women and girls health: including reproductive health and sexual rights, Preventing and controlling disease through health education and nutrition, with a focus on HIV/AIDS and malaria, Maternal and child health and rights, Strengthening community health systems, and Community led initiatives on Water, Sanitation and Hygience (WaSH). 
Education for All program, said Ceesay,aims towards strengthening primary and secondary education for students in marginalized communities and public schools, extending non-formal education to children and vocational training to youth and adults that have been excluded from mainstream school settings. And their priority of actions would includes; expanding access to both government-provided and non-formal education, with a focus on keeping girls, orphans and disadvantaged children in school and improving the quality of education through teacher training, curriculum development and community engagement and empowerment of local schools, Vocational and literacy training for youth and adults, Early childhood development programs and Educational scholarship and sponsorship program.
 On disaster risk reduction and climate change, he explained that the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) aims to achieve a substantial reduction of disaster losses by 2015 – both in lives, and in the social, economic, and environmental assets of communities and countries. 
 The HFA, according to Ceesay, promotes disaster risk reduction (DRR) and its mainstreaming into socio-economic development planning and activities. CAID believes that disasters are no longer seen as extreme events, created entirely by natural forces, but as manifestations of unresolved problems of development. The impact of the HFA, Ceesay pin-pointed must be on the ground where people at-risk live, eat and work. Effective emergency management must be multi-dimensional 
On Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change  Adaptation, he said it’s a cross-cutting issue that needs to be mainstreamed into development sectors, especially at the community level and the role of the civil society is very crucial. A broad array of social protection interventions can broaden the society’s poor members through a wide range of social protection responses that are geared towards addressing hazards and risk. This will therefore ensure avoidance of poverty traps. 
“Climate Change is conceived as a global phenomenon as its effects are felt almost in every corner of the planet earth.” However, some parts are hit harder (including Africa and small Islands states) by the effects due to lack of adequate capacity and resources. “Crucial sectors have since been impacted by the effects of climate change including those on water availability, food security, energy availability, resource use conflicts and social-cultural and political issues hence it is interlinked to development.”
The impacts of climate change, therefore, “affect our response to other development agendas like the country strategic plans and visions. Climate change presents significant threats to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those related to eliminating poverty and hunger and promoting environmental sustainability,’’  said Ceesay. 
Despite contributing less greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than any other continent, Ceesay lamented that Africans suffer to greater extent from the consequences of climate change.  
Action at national level is therefore needed to improve disaster risk management and strengthen our strategies for climate change adaptation. In that regard, CAID priority of action would includes Promoting Community Based Adaption to Climate Change (CBAC) and Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM), to help meet the immediate welfare and support needs of people affected by disasters. 
This includes coordinating provision of food, accommodation, clothing, advice, guidance, financial and personal support, empower communities and grassroots organizations to serves as front liners in supporting those affected by disasters and conflict especially refugees and internally displaced people, promoting the implementation of HFA,  especially at the local and grassroots levels, providing psychosocial support for communities affected by disaster and impacts of climate change, Strengthen efforts in environmental stewardship in general and at our coasts and beaches in particular, to Promote community-level research and educational activities related to climate change, highlighting the role of local knowledge, practices and coping strategies, Lobby Government, UN agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector and other partners to urgently respond to the country’s environmental needs and challenges especially Climate Change and Promoting water security and sustainable water infrastructure as a climate change adaptation measure. 
When contacted by our reporter to about the latest change of name, Mr. Ceesay confirmed the changes but was quick to say that a press conference will be held for more clarification about the change of name. 

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