Thursday, December 12, 2013

Where are they now—the Center for Community Development

Another longtime and good local NGO is about to close its doors.

Here is how the CCD describes itself:

The Center for Community Development and Education is a local Non Governmental Organization based in Aceh, Indonesia. CCDE was established on 30 November 1993 with the initial purpose of helping women throughout their lives. Women (in general) in Aceh are still living in a marginal position, discriminated and vulnerable and often end up as victims. This unjust treatment has brought many women into poverty. They are poor in education and have less access to economic resources. Therefore, Center for Community Development and Education was established to offer alternative responses to the problems faced by women in Aceh

Before the tsunami hit Aceh, CCDE was located in Kajhu, Baitussalam sub-district, which was one of the most severely tsunami-hit areas in Banda Aceh. CCDE which worked in 6 districts in Aceh - in South Aceh, South West Aceh, Nagan Raya, Great Aceh, Banda Aceh and Central Aceh - lost literally everything on the morning of December 26, 2004. The office building and the women's training centre building were washed away and with them all the office infrastructure, records and equipment. Even worse, the director and staff of CCDE were not spared the severe loss of beloved marriage partners and children. In addition to CCDE's material damage, 10 women's groups, comprising more than 300 women, vanished together with their houses and enterprises. The disaster forced many others temporarily to stop their operation. 

Now after the tsunami, CCDE is trying to wake up from the damage. It has started its activities again step by step. CCDE must rent a small house and purchase some office equipment and recruit new staff and new volunteers. CCDE has had some support from Oxfam, Swiss Contact and some donations from the Netzkraft Movement in Germany. Now CCDE is organized by 13 members consisting of a director (male), a program coordinator (female), a finance manager (female), an administrative officer (female), a teller (female) 3 field staff (female) and 7 volunteers (female).

I asked JMD to find out if they were still operational. Here’s the Director’s response:

I contacted this Local NGO but they are no longer at this address. I did find a staff member, though, and he told me that currently they don’t have any donors. They have a business that helps run the NGO operation, but it only has one staff there. Unfortunately the Director does not come to the office very much anymore. I will try to return to their office and hope I can meet with their director. 

What can I say? Local NGOs are not thought of very highly here. There is a lot of money for projects implemented by international NGOs who then hire local subcontractors, but to actually get a local NGO, no matter how successful or well-loved in the past, back on its feet and operational again? Forget it.

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