OUR MISSION, VISION, VALUES & THEORY OF CHANGE
The Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) is a Malawian non-profit organization founded in 2003, working in Alliance with the Federation of the Rural and Urban Poor. CCODE was established to enhance the living conditions of the poor in Malawi by empowering them to change their lives.
Our Mission is to be a leading institution in empowering organizations of the poor in Malawi to be socio-economically self-reliant through capacity building initiatives.
To empower poor communities to become materially and intellectually self-reliant.
We want to empower poor people’s organizations. In doing this, we promote self- reliance, which restores integrity among communities. The drive for our work is that it should enable poor people’s organizations to be proactive, to initiate and actively participate in development. We believe this can be realized through community ownership of development solutions. We promote partnerships because long-lasting and sustainable solutions cannot be delivered single-handedly but through mutual partnerships. We believe in the power of knowledge. As we provide our demand-driven support to communities, we seek to engage with them and utilize their indigenous knowledge while collectively seeking solutions to their challenges and celebrating their successes. We take an inclusive approach that empowers especially women and children. In any situation, we ensure that we are responsive to community needs and for this reason, we exercise flexibility in our programming. We work with organizations of the poor because we believe that together we can achieve more through the unity of purpose. We take responsibility for our actions and we value results and time. We are a transparent organization that is accountable to all its constituents.
For a long time, solutions to poverty in Africa and Malawi in particular, have taken grassroots communities as passive recipients of aid. In this context, communities have not seen external support as catalytic to their efforts and the battle against poverty as their own struggle. Rather, the poor people have placed such responsibilities in the hands of their governments, development organisations, and other external agents. The result of this has been a colossal failure of development aid, perpetuation of dependency, worsening poverty and decline in self-help initiatives.
We want to see more poor people positively transforming their lives. Development is an empowering transformative process that is people-centred and corrective to power imbalances. To achieve this transformative change, it is imperative to build a critical mass of the ordinary people, develop their capacity and confidence so that they can constructively participate in bettering their circumstances. In this way, more people will fully enjoy their lives and realize their dreams and pursuit of happiness. For this to happen, communities need to organise themselves for a common cause and purpose, to understand and identify their needs and spell out their critical path to their desired destiny.
The work of CCODE is that of support and capacitation of communities to effectively engage in dialogue in the pursuit of their needs. Our working philosophy aims to conscientize and empower communities to understand their circumstances and unravel their barriers, and to take charge of social change process. This is a shift in paradigm, from viewing communities as mere recipients to active players in development.
We organize communities with a common purpose to engage with resource-wielding authorities and demand the change they want to see and be a part of. We work with the organisations of the poor so that communities collectively break barriers that hinder them from realizing their dreams and aspirations.
We strengthen community leadership, networking, information, and community-to-community learning because this inspires organisations of the poor to take a leading role in improving the lives of the poor at any level of the poverty spectrum. Because we believe in the power of information, we promote, community-driven situational analyses, profiling, mapping and other participatory data gathering tools, allowing proactive and better informed communities citizens that understand their challenges in a deeper way.
We build a critical mass of communities that can effectively engage with authorities and influence responsive, accountable, transparent and equitable service delivery. In this regard, we believe communities should have more space to engage with other stakeholders, continuously learn, experiment, and showcase what they are capable of doing. In showcasing solutions to poverty, community social capital and self-help attributes must be promoted and strong partnerships with other institutions must be harnessed. The first people to invest in community projects must be communities themselves. In this respect, we look at external support and strong partnerships as catalytic to community efforts.
CCODE understands that communities can neither do everything by themselves nor can any duty bearer take this huge task single-handedly. Thus, CCODE works in alliance with the Federation of the Rural and Urban Poor, an organized social movement of poor people’s organisations and plays a critical role in community mobilization, social awareness, and critical engagement of duty-bearers. It is through this alignment of work we empower people to transform their lives.