Stories from the ground
Mentoring in project proposal writing and reporting
"…As an individual, as a community, and as a woman it’s been difficult to believe that I can do what we’ll normally give to the priests."
"...Thanks to ASEC and SLDI, I can do most of these things myself."
It is said that a candle does not go off simply because it has lighted another candle. Again, that the only gifts we retain are the ones we give out to others.
These have been very real for me since my encounter with SLDI programs through ASEC. I developed a passion for networking right from the very start of the program in 2007 and have since been enriched holistically as a result as well as enriching others.
I have several success stories ranging from sailing through where others have faltered, and to proposal writing. As soon as we graduated my first encounter with proposal writing was to develop a three year strategic plan for the Religious Women Council of our diocese and sent to Mission who showed tremendous interest, were enthused with the program of activities I included and requested that I polish some portions of it and submit to them. This I did and to this day, since 2009, Mission sponsors must of the activities of the Religious Women Council in the Diocese of Navrongo/Bolgatanga.
My most recent encounter that I wish to share is about two day workshop I facilitated for the same Religious Women Council of our diocese on ‘Project Writing and Reporting.’ My aim was to mentor the group not just facilitate the workshop so I decided to make it very practical in order to pass on the little skills and knowledge I’ve acquired through the help of SLDI to the15 sisters who attended the workshop.
Some of the sisters felt they could never get it right but it became very exciting when I downloaded from the net some donor agencies and their funding guidelines. I then divided the sisters to work in groups based on their local communities, issued each a donor’s funding guidelines and what they fund. Each local community was mentored to write a proposal for a specific need of their various communities, while a group of four sisters was tasked to write for laptop computers for the participants at the workshop following the steps learnt within the workshop. This exercise was carried out with the assurance that I was truly going to submit the best three proposals to the donors identified. At the end of the exercise which everyone was so actively involved, I actually submitted three of the proposals as promised just to encourage them.
My greatest surprise was that two out of the three proposals received a follow up response from the donors within a month while one was rejected. The sisters couldn’t believe when I called them up to inform them that two of the proposals received positives responses. With this discovery, others who were not very keen to carry out the activities during the workshop started requesting that I visit their various communities to guide them individually.
These projects are:
- Proposal requesting for 15 laptop computers for the 15 participants at the workshop. This was written to Hilton Fund for Sisters and we received $10,000.00 to enable us carry out this activity. We have since bought the machines and they are very much in use by the sisters.
- Proposal written by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul to Aids to Church in Need for the construction of their convent received a promised sum of €34,000.00 and work is in progress as other donors helped to co-finance the project.
- Another congregation wrote to MIVA requesting for a pick-up car for their orphanage but the proposal was not accepted so they gave up writing last year but I hope to assist them refrain their work and submit to a different donor.
The success I cherish most is the interest, tenacity, self-esteem and the willingness to write even when the first has been refused. As an individual, as a community, and as a woman it’s been difficult to believe that I can do what we’ll normally give to the priests and others to do and they will cheat and deceive us knowing we have no idea of project writing.
"Thanks to ASEC and SLDI, I can do most of these things myself and I am presently coordinating the construction of our 22 bedroom two story building in collaboration with some experts. It is my wish that all of us women religious will be groomed to some level to be able to monitor and manage our own projects effectively."
This project is directly addressing UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):Sr. Bernardine Pemii, DC
Empowering Sisters to Lead
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