Is agriculture must have Wikipedia Zero content for Africa?

FarmAfripedia is a project about the best farming practices in Africa. Great information that needs to find its way to African farmers. The project is using the same collaboration model as Wikipedia.


The project did get the attention of the FAO in one of its newsletters. One of the issues for content for Africa is getting it to the people who have use for it. They do not all speak English and increasingly they have a mobile.



When there is a demand for agricultural information, when people spend time creating projects like FarmAfripedia, it would be great to have much of this information within the Wikimedia Foundation, particularly in Wikipedia. An important consideration will be that many Africans may receive this information free of charge thanks to Wikipedia Zero.


Providing agricultural knowledge in an encyclopaedic setting in one of the native languages of Africa is an ambition that can easily be realised. People with such an ambition will find that it is not that hard to get a Wikipedia in new languages approved. As there is not that much information in native languages available, such an initiative has great potential.




PS this was first published on my blog.

BREAK THE SILENT ISSUE OF MENSTRUATION: Use your talent to be part of the cause

LUYODEFO ( is inviting talented people from around the world to join the CLOTH PADS, SHARE THE BENEFIT”campaign to be launched 30th April, 2012. The aim is to reduce the stigma associated with menstruation through raise awareness, health education including counseling as well as distribute reusable pads.  We would wish people to help us raise $2,500 by 1st September,2012 to buy over 600 afripad menstrual kits to be distributed, and  also  help create pro bono information, education and communication (IEC) materials we can use for education/ awareness.

East Africa Philanthropy Awards-Call for Nominations

The East Africa Association of Grantmakers(EAAG) is elated to announce the call for nominations for the inaugural East Africa Philanthropy Awards (EAPA) 2012. Launched in 2011, the Awards seek to identify, recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations to strategic social development and to the growth of the philanthropic movement in East Africa.

The Awards will be given to those who through their planned and structured giving of money, time, information, goods and services; and voice and influence improve the wellbeing of humanity and the communities they live in. These philanthropists motivate and inspire the East African people ever closer to the renewal of a healthy tradition of giving and philanthropy. Through their compelling philanthropic acts, these individuals and organizations should have set a standard of excellence that is an inspiration for others to follow.

Award categories

·         Award for Community Philanthropy

·         Award for Individual Philanthropy

·         Award for Family Philanthropy

·         Award for Corporate Philanthropy

·         Award for Faith Based Philanthropy

·         Award for Youth in Philanthropy

·         Award for Reporting in Philanthropy

Please find attached a nomination form for the same which can be filled and submitted to us via e-mail and a copy to .Deadline for submission of nominations is 30th April 2012.

Should you require further information about the awards, kindly send us an email at eapa@eaag.orgorvisit our website .

If interested in sponsorship opportunities click here

Kindly share this information with your wider networks within the East Africa region.

What's Needed to Put Local Champions at the Forefront?

My video contribution to A Day Without Dignity 2012 on's YouTube Channel. Click here to watch it! 

Below are some other posts featuring local champions on You can also read my guest post on Good Intentions Are Not Enough, Real Impact with Saeed Wame.

1)   The wisdom of dlalanathi: Reflections on organizational growth

2)   The Marginalization of CBOs by Development Actors: A Perspective from Zimbabwe

3)   Nothing to Offer

4)   Aid, Africa, Corruption and Colonialism: An Honest Conversation

5)   Changing the system…from the ground up

6)   “With the available resources we had…”

And some related posts on providing sound support for local champions:

1)   How to build strong relationships with grassroots organizations – Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

2)   Spotting Community Ownership

3)   Small is Beautiful…Grants, That Is (Part 1)

4)   Reaching Girls at the Grassroots – A Sound Investment (Part 2)

5)   Sorry but it’s not YOUR project

6)   Oral Reporting With Grassroots Organizations—Here’s How!

Call For Submissions - The Global Summit 2012

Dear Colleague


Co-Creating Our Sustainable Future

August 15: Opening Reception. August 16 & 17: Speaker Programme.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Speaker Sessions, Technology and Art!

Submissions Close: April 30, 2012. Notifications: May 7-15, 2012

Dedicated to empowering citizens, businesses and organizations in powerful collaborations for our sustainable future, THE GLOBAL SUMMIT™ is an opportunity to create rippling social and economic impact.

“With the available resources we had…”

Understanding the organizational dynamics of local, indigenous, community-based groups directly serving vulnerable families is vastly different from the project-based, accountability-by-paper world of the aid industry. While those in the aid system may acknowledge local groups’ resourcefulness in mobilizing local resources, their language and cultural competencies, and responsiveness to communities’ needs, there are challenges in working with local groups that many organizations are not up to. James Oonyu, the Founder and National Director of Liregu Christian Grace Ministries, a faith-based community development organization based in Lira, Uganda, shares the capacity challenges his organization faces. He also describes the very real challenges he comes up against in working with donors.

The question remains—how can we begin to tackle these challenges on both sides?


The way the donor system works right now doesn’t favor a majority of community-based organizations (CBOs). I think there is need to rethink their approach, which works so perfectly with well-established organizations. The bigger organizations that are well supported by the donors are so wasteful with high administrative costs and a focus on matters of policy. CBOs accomplish their objectives because they understand the community so well, because that is where they are based.

James Oonyu, Founder and Director of Liregu Christian Grace Ministries, leads a community meeting in northern Uganda.

This is where I began from when creating the organization I work with today ( With very little education and after struggling to find what to do, I decided to initiate a community-based organization in 2002. With my natural talent of community mobilization and a little knowledge gathered on the Internet on formation and management of CBOs, I went back to this slum where I partly grew up and put up a community leadership structure and set up specific objectives we needed to achieve to support our community.

Our drive was to begin the CBO with the available resources we had; we had local people, time and our ideas of local activities we could engage to address our community’s most pressing needs. Among the greatest challenges our community faced was a high rate of HIV/AIDS, environmental health and the orphan crisis. We focused a lot in raising HIV awareness and home support of orphaned children using our own local resources. We formed music, dance and drama clubs and put up wonderful community HIV/AIDS awareness shows. We also fundraised within the community to support education of orphaned children and vigorously mobilized the community to keep our slum clean to prevent diseases.

As much as we did this, we were so concerned about our growth and sustainability. We had trust, a committed leadership structure (though many were semi-literate), a bank account, and involved local communities in all our program activities. We were also gender sensitive. It was mostly women who formed part of our leadership and despite our Christian evangelical background, we worked with everyone without discrimination. We did this to position our CBO to compete for donor support. However, each time we submitted proposals to donors, we were turned down for lack of technical ability to manage their funds.

James Oonyu shares a moment with community members of Liregu Christian Grace Ministries.

We had no resources to hire technical staff to write “professional” proposals or to pay for an expensive annual audit, which are core requirements from donors. Some of the managers of well-established organizations did reach out to us to help us grow, but they also put across very tough conditions--they asked for bribes! Once one of these representatives drove 350km just to come to share with us how he could approve our proposal if we agreed to hand over a quarter of the funds we asked for to him once funding was approved. He was so disappointed when we refused that he promised to “kill” our CBO. However, his plan failed!

The biggest practical challenge most CBOs face is lack of technical capacity. Many of them are initiated by local communities without relevant skills. However, they so well understand needs and culture of their community and they even know right approaches to address their pressing problems. However, many CBOs lack understanding of how to design achievable projects, fundraising, and financial management. To me, the relationship between CBOs and the donor community must begin from building their capacity first before funding is provided. If not, they will inadvertently “steal” from the project funding they are given to build their capacity and meet their administrative costs.

These are just some of the many challenges sincere CBOs on the ground face, which frustrates the process of building strong relationships with donors and other larger organizations.


James Oonyu is a development practitioner with eleven years of experience working to empower local communities in Uganda. He is a Founder and National Director of Liregu Christian Grace Ministries, a faith-based community development organization based in Lira, Uganda. He has also worked as a project administrator at Adam Smith International, an international advisory firm working throughout the world to help reform and improve economies and institutions. He holds a merit postgraduate certificate in research methods of Centre for Basic Research in Uganda and a 1st Class Honors degree in development studies from Ndejje University.


This post originally appeared at:


Related Posts

Searching for Closure: A Kony2012 Postscript


How to build strong relationships with grassroots organizations, Part 1 of 3

Capillary Philanthropy: Businesses, local NGOs, and the future of aid

The Marginalization of CBOs by Development Actors: A Perspective from Zimbabwe

Would YOU fund this organization?

The Nhaka Foundation

The Nhaka Foundation

Case studies profile Kabissa members that inspire our volunteers and the entire Kabissa community. They are meant to provide Kabissa’s members with key learnings and spark ideas and discussion.

In this case study, we tell the story of The Nhaka Foundation, a Zimbabwean organization committed to caring for the neediest members of society, orphans and other vulnerable children by providing them with food, education and health care. 

User login

Forgot password?