Community Foundation Leaders from 15 Countries Meet in Namibia
March 28, 2002 -- A select group of individuals at the forefront of building and strengthening the philanthropic infrastructure for causes such as poverty reduction, women's equality, overcoming HIV/AIDS, children's rights, and environmental protection met this week in Windhoek, Namibia for a conference to explore and identify tools and practices to improve the effectiveness of grantmaking foundations in developing countries.
Senior Fellows Ismid Hadad (Kehati Biodiversity Foundation, Indonesia), David Smith (Business and Environment Management Services Ltd., Jamaica) and Julio Tan (Foundation for the Philippine Environment), and Synergos President S. Bruce Schearer share experience on the management and impact of environmental foundations.
These individuals, known as Senior Fellows, are part of an initiative of The Synergos Institute that allows them to enhance their skills for use in their own organizations and become active resources for community foundations worldwide. Synergos supports these leaders by creating an intellectual and geographical meeting ground for peer-to-peer learning, resource sharing and capacity building. In so doing, Synergos has formed an ongoing network of individuals and organizations to build indigenous capacity and fight for social justice. The Fellows are from countries as diverse as Zimbabwe, the Slovak Republic and the Philippines.
Nelson Colón, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, launched the meeting. Joy Mills-Hackmann, Vice Chair of the Southern African Grantmakers Association and other Fellows from Southern Africa shared an overview of philanthropy in their region. The meeting's flagship session gave the Fellows an opportunity to present real-life case studies of their experiences for peer review. Senior Fellows also led workshops in their area of expertise for several representatives of the public and private sectors in Namibia.
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