For a considerable time, Chikomwe Community Based Organization (CBO) faced challenges in raising funds to support their project activities. Many CBO members were unable to contribute regularly, which hindered the successful implementation of various local projects. Even providing support to needy students with essentials such as school fees and uniforms seemed like an insurmountable task. The Executive Director of Chikomwe CBO, Rabson Sumani, candidly acknowledged this struggle.
Sumani recounted, "For so long, as Chikomwe CBO, we used to find it very difficult to mobilize funds to support the implementation of our project activities. Other CBO members could not manage to contribute money every month. So, despite having a lot on our plate to implement a number of local works, we were not performing well. We were failing to even support needy students with their school fees, school uniforms, and others."
However, hope emerged when Chikomwe CBO participated in a resource mobilization training provided by CRECCOM under the Milimo Local Capacity Building Activity, funded by USAID. Armed with newfound knowledge and determination, Chikomwe CBO initiated a transformative change.
Sumani explained, "After attending the training, we gathered as a CBO to brainstorm different ways to mobilize resources, like money, to support our local initiatives, such as paying school fees for disadvantaged students in nearby schools."
Teaming up with Senior Group Village Maliro, they embarked on a venture to acquire a boat for Chikomwe CBO. This boat would be rented out to local fishermen at a fee of 5000 Malawian Kwacha, with the idea stemming from the abundance of fishermen in their community.
Sumani pointed out that if the boat were rented daily by different individuals, Chikomwe CBO could potentially generate over 100,000 Malawian Kwacha each month, further supporting their projects and securing their financial stability.
The process of resource mobilization was a collaborative effort that involved the entire community. Chikomwe CBO worked closely with Senior Chief Maliro to ensure the boat's construction and successful operation. Senior Chief Maliro emphasized the importance of fostering a spirit of ownership within the community.
"The community now regards the boat as if it is their own, not solely the property of Chikomwe CBO. Consequently, they actively participate in safeguarding the boat to prevent any damage," he remarked.
Chikomwe CBO's journey from financial struggles to owning a valuable asset demonstrates the power of community-driven resource mobilization, collaboration, and capacity building. This success story serves as an inspiring example for other organizations facing similar challenges.