We believe that citizens require a local support system that empowers them to take part in community development. This system involves local leaders, community-based organizations, and organizers, providing citizens with the knowledge and courage to engage in public processes. This network of social structures and community institutions aims to empower citizens by providing the tools and support they need to actively participate in governance and development.
Our position is that citizens need social infrastructure, an ecosystem at the hyperlocal level that empowers them to participate in development processes. This social system includes local leaders such as chiefs, members of county assemblies, ward administrators, and most importantly, local Community-based organisations and local organisers and mobilisers. This ecosystem is a foundational network of social constructs and community institutions that can embolden citizens, providing them with the necessary tools and support systems to participate in governance and development actively.
Local Community leaders, CBO’s and change makers during the KICCD event at Maono Space
Our active citizenship strategy now involves establishing spaces where local communities and change-makers can do their work as well as collaborate and network. These spaces can serve as central points for exchanging ideas, fostering partnerships, and building a strong community of activists and organisations dedicated to social change.
Maono Space is not just a physical location; it is a vibrant ecosystem designed to foster innovation and collaboration among community-based organizations (CBOs) and local change-makers. By offering a shared, resource-rich environment, Maono Space aims to help these groups to:
- Enhance capacity: Providing access to resources, knowledge-sharing, and skills training to strengthen the capabilities of CBOs to drive sustainable development initiatives within their communities.
- Facilitate collaboration: Creating opportunities for CBOs and local change-makers to connect, share experiences, and collaborate on projects to amplify their impact and reach.
- Nurturing innovation: Encouraging creativity and new ideas by providing a supportive and conducive environment for CBOs and change-makers to develop and implement innovative solutions to local challenges.
- Strengthening participation: The network of organizations within this ecosystem is envisioned to make citizens bolder in actively engaging in governance and development initiatives.
A community leader speaking during the KICCD event at Maono Space
By fostering a collaborative environment for local organizations, Maono Space aims to drive meaningful and sustainable change at the grassroots level, creating a community-driven approach to development and governance.
An Incubation Program for CBOs
In February 2023, our journey with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) at Maono Space began, marking the start of an incredible transformation. As we engaged with various CBOs using the space, we recognized the need to share skills and build their capacity in areas relevant to their needs.
Capacity Building session for CBO’s at Maono Space
The training sessions focused on key components:
1. Proposal and Report Writing: Participants learned how to craft effective proposals and reports, learning about the theory of change, outputs, and outcomes to chronologically document their work.
2. Storytelling and Fundraising: Participants honed their ability to articulate their work’s narrative in order to attract organizational funding.
After the storytelling training, participating organizations engaged in an exercise where they wrote stories about their work and impact, developing short clips to accompany them. The best story was rewarded with a one thousand dollar ($1,000) prize.
Following these sessions, we conducted an evaluation to identify organizational gaps, leading to the inception of the Maono Incubation Program. This program aims to develop self-sustaining and impactful organizations, currently underway with the involvement of 8 CSOs/CBOs: Angaza Young Moms, Nguzo Hub, and One Million Trees for Kilifi, Pamoja Girls Community Initiative, Shella Environmental Youth Group, Thellesi Trust, Visions Magnet Theatre and the Kilifi Youth Assembly.
Fast forward to 2024, our focus remains on continuing the incubation program and monthly capacity-building initiatives. We are also exploring the expansion to Nandi county and preparing an Annual CSO program to support our Data Fellows and new organizations, covering activities such as Data Governance, alumni support strategies, and organizational development.
Maono is not just an initiative; it’s a movement, and we invite you to be a vital part of it. Let’s continue developing change-makers in our communities!