Grants available for refugee organisations

A number of community-based refugee organisations in Cape Town are racingto meet the deadline for a project rolled out last year by the European Union

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Photo of Bea Abrahams speaking to refugee organisations
Project coordinator Bea Abrahams of the Cape Town Refugee Centre speaks to community based refugee organisations. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare

Community-based refugee organisations need to submit applications for funding by 11 February. The Enhanced Civic Understanding and Engagement Project aims to develop the capacity of the refugee organisations in the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal to advocate for their constituents and improve their social and civic participation. If it is successful, the project will spread to all the provinces.

At a meeting on 28 January at the Cape Town Refugee Centre (CTRC) in Wynberg, Phaladi Kotsie, social cohesion and advocacy manager, advised organisations “to work hand in hand with ward councilors”.

Cutting cost, for example for venues for meetings, would be one advantage.

Advocate Vhuyani Shwane, director of the CTRC, says local government is working closely with them. “In the meeting we held last year the local government was interested in the project and have promised to offer us venues for training purposes,” he says.

The budget for the project is R6,2 million; 51% is sponsored by the EU while CTRC has to raise the other 49%.

“11 February 2016 is too soon for us to make a meaningful proposal. We need to consult with our communities and later come up with a competitive proposal,” said Salim Bavugamenshi of the Rwandan Refugee Community of Cape Town.

But Bea Abrahams, the coordinator of the project at CTRC, said, “It is unfortunate we cannot extend the dates, since it will affect all other dates. We have to work within the the time frame of the CTRC.”

The dates are as follows: submissions by 11 February, site assessments between 18 to 23 February, selection of finalists by 25 February, and the finalists announced on 29 February. By 15 March, 25% of the budget is expected to be paid upfront.

Organisations that attended included the Human Restorative Rights Group based in Kraaifontein; the Rwandan refugee community based in Maitland; the Somali Association of South Africa, based in Bellville; and the Burundi community in Kenilworth.

Grants will range from R25,000 to R65,000 for the selected refugee organisations – five from Western Cape and two from KwaZulu Natal.

For a refugee organisation to qualify it has to meet some basic criteria as well as any EU regulatory compliance checks. The organisation should be registered as non-profit with the Department of Social Development; and have a 5-year track record.

Interested organisations can visit the Cape Town Refugee Centre in Wynberg or go to its Facebook page for more details.

This article originally stated that dates and timeframes were set by the EU and not the CTRC.

TOPICS:  Immigration Refugees

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