Something we ask those who are in the work of civil and social organizations is why there are so many NGOs that are not working together, who are focussing on their own issues and localities? Why not join forces?
This has been one of the key questions that has guided the work being done at SERES in recent months. In response to this question, we have approached both non-governmental society organizations and local governments to establish letters of understanding with the aim of uniting efforts.
In many organizations there are attempts to make alliances, to find partners who share the same vision and wish to share their work with others. But in many cases these conversations do not become formalized; often we are coordinating a one-time activity to reach a wider audience, which is a step in the right direction. But we can miss a great opportunity to build a long-term alliance that would expand efforts.
That’s why we are very excited that we have recently signed several memorandums of understanding with civil society organizations and local municipalities in El Salvador, such as Global Platform El Salvador, ActionAid and the Municipality of Jujutla. Each MOU has a specific function that is adapted to what we are both willing to share, perform and aim for together.
For example, Global Platform is now offering grants to SERES youth participants so that they can attend courses within programs such as Gender and Leadership, Citizen Journalism and Media to the Street, among others. In addition, we are working collaboratively to implement the Mobile Platform, where they will take their courses to rural communities to allow for improved access.
With ActionAid, we are excited to coordinate more community meetings with the youth of Suchitoto and others involved in ActionAid work. In these meetings, youth will develop community action plans for sustainability, and together we will work together to ensure their implementation.
With the Municipality of Jujutla, they have offered us space to hold SERES Transformative Sustainability Leadership community conferences, focusing efforts on youth from identified and prioritized communities as part of municipal planning.
In each of these agreements, we have established that together we will expand our activities, programs and commitments in our annual planning in the coming years. This strengthens the work done by each institution, creating long-term relationships and uniting efforts in pursuit of a common vision.