As the Stand for Vulnerable Organization is continuing its multi-dimensional development works, challenges and lessons were accompanying in parallel. Therefore, SVO has been taking all the challenges as sources of opportunities to learn for its future work. Some of major challenges and lessons are discussed hereunder:
- Mobilization of resources from internal and external sources
Working on the minds of people is the most difficult part of our work since they are continuing looking outside their environment for usual handouts regardless of the relentless training given to them. They repeatedly acknowledge the change of their attitude from the paralyzing ailment of dependency syndrome. As challenges and successes are parallel to each other, SVO is influencing the local people for the possibility of enabling them to change their wholistic life styles through continuously working on their mind with endurance that is transforming gradually but surely.
The attitude of target beneficiaries was very challenging to be self- supportive since their mental set up is already built with handouts that were provided from different charity organizations. When they are skilled about self supportive strategy, they are always eager to hear about relief or anything about handouts. We observed, therefore, that changing the mind of people cannot be a day workshop or one month training, but requires day-to-day activity of enabling the target communities to exercise and practice a positive change through painful and endurance coaching. It needs commitment and sacrifice. However, we have proved and learnt its possibility from our already existing projects.
- Staff turnover
In a dynamic environment with different opportunities for professionals, the project faced difficulty in attaining willing and self-committed staff to serve the community. The most challenging issues lie on the capacity of the organization to pay them proportional salary in line with their working contribution. As alternatives are emerging to the workers with little payment, they resign that urges the organization take extra time and resources for vacancy announcement, recruiting and training.
- Conception of donors
Many partners could not see the practical development work on the ground but were demotivated by SVO’s lack of office and other physical set ups such us buildings when they come and visit. We believe that office physical set up and background relations are important. However, a growing small NGOs need to be recognized from their efforts to true development work on the ground.
- Shortage of resources
The expansion of existing self help groups (SHGs) and their benefiting from the project has increased acceptability of the project by the target communities and this in turn has increased demand the community members to be organized in to self help groups. The increase of this demand has led the organization into another challenge due to lack of financial resources to cope with the communities’ need in this regard. We observed that even successes are challenges by themselves that require extra resources for their management. Therefore, strengthening nets that can catch all success fish required building of the capacity of SVO. From these past lessons, SVO is strategically preparing itself not only to increase but also to appropriately manage its successes.