Community Based Organizations: The heart of community development, phase III

CBO Program: Strengthening of committed and innovative local communities, phase III

The CBO program roots in an own initiative by the sahee foundation and has started in 2013/2014 with a pilot phase Community Based Organizations: The heart of community development) followed by a two year extension until 2016 (Community Based Organizations: The heart of community development. phase II). The positive developments leaded to the current phase III of this program. The enhanced focus on capacity building, particularly in the field of business management, resulted in significantly improved project application documents. The quality of the application documents reflect the ability of the CBOs to apply what they have learned about business descriptions, budgets, book keeping and cash flows during the training workshops. There are remaining challenges faced by the groups to really practice what they have learned (for example book keeping) during the implementation phase of their project. As a consequence, sahee decided for this third phase to organize three to four training workshops per year instead of one to two as in the years before. Furthermore, we put more emphasize on the frequency and quality of the monitoring visits done by our local project coordinator Stanley Ndzinisa, as those visits are important in the process of consolidating the groups' knowledge. As in the previous phase, sahee funds around 4 CBO projects per year (max. 5000 CHF per project) and the approved projects receive assistance by the local project coordinator during one year.

Running projects:

a) Mphaphane Savings and Credit Cooperative (74 members): sahee supported this group during the phase II of the program by financing the construction of a shed to sell agricultural inputs (fertilizer, seeds,
feed, tools etc.). Due to unexpected expenditures by the group (own contributions towards the construction of the building) there was not sufficient capital left to purchase a stock of agricultural inputs to start the business. After having discussed the reasons for their financial gap together with the group, sahee agreed to give Mphaphane an interest-free credit of approximately 2500 CHF to be paid back monthly over ten month. This project supports a garden run by and for orphans.

b) Etjendlovu Multipurpose Cooperative (45 members): This CBO also chose an agricultural inputs shed to generate income for their group members. Sahee assisted the group financially in constructing the building. The CBO also contributed towards the construction of the building besides also investing own capital in the first stock of agricultural goods to start the business. Besides creating income for their members, the mission of the group is to bring affordable agricultural inputs closer to the remote community and to regularly buy school uniforms for the orphans.

c) Mgangeni Multi-Purpose Group (24 members): Mgangeni has started several activities such as piggery, poultry and a small garden but faced for all activities the same problem: the lack of a water system. Hence, sahee financed the water system while Mgangeni started a commercial garden with its own means (buying seedlings, fertilizers, fencing etc.) The CBO donates vegetables to the most vulnerable members of their community.

d) Sibane Multi-Purpose und Community Support Group (5 members): Sibane was already running a poultry project for some years but the business was never able to make profit due to expensive credits the group had to take in order to make investments. sahee provided Sibane a start up grant in order to upscale the business and to make sufficient profit in order to prevent taking high interest credits. The project supports the nearby National Care Point (NCP) by donating chicks.

e) Dumako Garden Scheme (22 members): This CBO was founded back in 1987 with the aim to cultivate land collectively in order to facilitate irrigation and marketing of the vegetables and fruits. However, due to a too individualized cultivation of the garden the group did not succeed in maintaining the irrigation system and the fencing. Sahee supports the group by renewing the irrigation system and by assisting them in establishing a saving system in order to make investments for maintaining the garden in the future. Contributions towards the community have been institutionalized since a long time: a percentage of the harvest goes to the National Care Point (NCP) of the community to feed needy children.

Project site

Anywhere in Eswatini


Around 10 CBOs of different size (5-74 members) may participate at the training workshops. Around 4 CBOs are receiving a grant by sahee to kick start their businesses.

Project costs and assistance by sahee

The entire project costs are CHF 60’000.–. The project is fully financed by sahee.

The local project coordinator visits the CBO projects once a month. The sahee project manager in Switzerland has weekly contact with the local project coordinator and visits the CBO projects once a year.

Duration of assistance

1st of January 2017 to 31st of December 2018

Local counterpart

Stanley Ndzinisa (project coordinator sahee)

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Project overview

Group discussions at Etjendlovu: Integration and participation of all group members is particularly important in big groups


Mgangeni: Struggling to extend the garden without secured access to water and an irrigation system


Several-day workshops organized by sahee: a valuable platform for capacity building and for providing the opportunity for the groups to interact and exchange