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Finland financial boost for three projects

Three local organisations have received funding from the Finnish Embassy’s Fund for Local Cooperation. The signing of three funding agreements between the Embassy of Finland and the Civil Society Foundation of Namibia (CSFN), Namibia Art, Craft and Design and Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) took place earlier this week.
The total funding of the projects is about N$ 5 million. The fund supports the eradication of poverty and economically, socially and ecologically sustainable development of Namibia in line with the goals of the Fourth National Development Plan. One of the aims of the fund is to ensure that human rights, in particular the rights of the most vulnerable, are effectively implemented.
According to Ambassador Saloranta, the Fund for Local Cooperation is a local funding instrument administered by the Embassy. It has supported work towards the promotion and realisation of human rights and democracy in Namibia for nearly 11 years, complementing other funding instruments made available by the Government of Finland.
The Civil Society Foundation of Namibia (CSFN) was granted a total funding of 220 000 Euros for a one and a half year project which is aimed at strengthening the community voices towards development thereby, creating a more democratic and accountable society.
Established seven years ago, the foundation focuses on grant generation, management and disbursal to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), thus strengthening the civil society, especially non-governmental organisations working at grassroots levels. “The fund will help the foundation to unlock additional support from the private sector,” said Santos Joas from the CSFN.
Another key objective of the Fund for Local Cooperation is to support employment creation and socio-economic development at large. The Embassy granted funding for two recipients that focus their activities on sustainable socio-economic development. The first grantee, Namibia Art, Craft and Design was funded to the tune of 35 600 Euros for a project that aims to assist Namibian art and craft makers to improve their production capacity and to remain competitive in relation to handicraft products offered in the mainstream environment, both in Namibia and in the region. The funds will be used to strengthen the capacity of  business owners at the Namibia Crafts Centre.”We anticipate at least 50 staff members and owners to participate in the training course and that each business will have an online presence at the end of the project,” said Monica Koep from the centre. Omba Gallery was one of the recipients who also benefited from the fund.
The second grantee, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) was given 104 600 Euros. The aim of the Embassy funded project is to scale up the operations of CCF bushblok factory which produces green source of energy in the form of a fire log and creates jobs in the marginalised community. “The funds will be used to train people on how to harvest and what not to disturb while harvesting, hence job creation will be provided,” said Bruce Brewer from the CCF. Brewer noted that the de-bushing project is important to intensify livestock overgrazing in the Okakarara constituency because it eliminates lands that cattle would otherwise be able to graze on. He said that of the 26 million hectares affected by bush encroachment, 10 million hectares is severely affected.

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