Kosrae, FSM– With non-government organizations continuing to push for recognition by some governments in the region at least in the tiny state of Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia, three local NGOs have expressed satisfaction with the recognition given to them by the current state government. The Kosrae Women Farmers, the Kosrae Conservation Organisation and the Kosrae Youth Development Association revealed this when they met with some members of the FSM Forum Compact Peer Review team on 19 November 2012.
Among the issues the Forum Compact Peer Review team discusses with governments in the region, is the dialogue or consultations they have with other stakeholders including NGOs and the private sector in the government’s budgeting and planning processes.
“At the beginning we were seen as competing with the government’s environmental agency but over the years this current administration has seen us as a partner and has given us a lot of responsibilities,” said Andy George of the Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organisation (KCSO).
President of the Kosrae Women Farmers, Ms Divina Nena explained: “After the seed funding of $1,700 donated by AusAID when we started one and half years ago ran out, we signed an MoU with the Department of Resources, Economic and Agriculture to meet our operating costs.”
“Over the last couple of years, we have been invited to take part in the meetings of traditional councils, the state government’s planning committees and recently we have reached agreement with the municipal mayors and the state Governor that the youth will provide manpower and the government will provide the means for any project that it wants to undertake,” said Hans Skilling of the Kosrae Youth Development Association. With recognition from the Kosrae state government, the three NGOs are making inroads to enable their members to contribute to the development of their communities.
“Since we started, we can see progress with women getting interested in planting their own vegetable gardens with the Kosrae Women Farmers supplying their farmers. Our long term objective is to get families to eat more vegetables and reduce the incidence of lifestyle diseases including diabetes,” said Ms Nena.
She added: “Women can make a difference in our lives but what we need is support from the government. We are grateful that the state government has recognized our group as an NGO just last year. The Kosrae Women Farmers can make a difference to the health of families and be able to contribute to the families’ income.
The Kosrae Youth Development Association has in the meantime decided that its members will engage as volunteers in whatever project they are involved in their communities.
The Association has also been given the task to organise the Annual Liberation Day Celebrations this year in one of the Kosrae municipalities giving a chance for the youth to be involved. During their consultations in the state of Kosrae, the FSM Forum Compact Peer Review team also met with leaders of the Kosrae state including the state Governor, the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Means and Ways Committee. The team also met with representatives of various departments and the private sector.
The FSM Forum Compact Peer Review team also consulted with the other states including Chuuk, Pohnpei and Yap.
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