Capacity building with LABU staff workers

Report of the Evaluation Process - Participatory Workshop  (Lower Assam Relief & Rehabilitation Project 2012)

Date : 1st February, 2014
Venue : Old Office Building CBCNEI, Guwahati Assam
Time : 8:30am-3:00pm
Participants              :  LABU leaders, BBCA & BBAid staff & Beneficiaries 
Resource Persons  :  Rev. Kabi Gangmei, APBAid, Shillong
                             Mr. Joshi Tuisum, Action Aid, Guwahati
                                                     Mr. Sushil Narzary, CMAI, Shillong
Organized by      :  APBAid, Shillong

Objective: The main objective of this consultation is to enhance the skills of LABU development workers in relief situation which will become an integral part of APBAid and LABU’s capacity building process. 

Welcome and Introduction: Mr. Anderson Tokbi, Project Officer APBAid greeted and welcomed the participants. He then gave a brief introduction of the programme and highlighted its objective which was followed by introduction of the resource persons and the participants.

Devotion: A short devotion was led by Rev. Kabi Gangmei. He shared on the theme “Jesus walked on the water” based on Matt. 14:22-28. The participants were blessed and encouraged as he emphasized on the following points:
  • There is no place in the world without challenges. But God has created us in such a way that we are to overcome these challenges and hurdles and win over it.
  • People who look at this with negative perspective end up disappointed and give up life.
  • For Christians, challenges are opportunities and in order to win this we are to be with the Lord.
  • Fear is the biggest enemy of us. But we should not run away from it but rather take risk in life. As Peter asked Jesus to help him walk on the water, we should also trust Him and take courage and seek His hands. Then we can win against the wave and conquer the fear, hardship and every odd circumstance that we encounter.
  • “Think big, set your minds big”…for “Nothing is impossible for God”

Evaluation Report & Interaction:

The evaluation report of the project was presented by Mr. Joshi Tuisum after which there was a time of interaction basing on the report. Limitations and challenges faced during the implementation of the project as well as the strongpoint were discussed which will be helpful in further strengthening of the organization. (See for detail in the report)

Project Strategy and Networking: A session on the topic Project Strategy and Networking by Mr. Sushil Narzary was enlightening. He talked about why human beings need symbiotic relationship. We are social being and therefore our existence is based on interdependence.  Some of the points that he gave emphasis to are:
  • How do we adapt to change, as there is a change everywhere around us?
  •  Networking- its principles 
  • Why do we need Networking?
  •  Project Strategic Plan; how it differs from annual action plan
Discussion and Lessons Learnt:

Throughout the sessions, certain issues were raised and discussed which have benefited the participants. The participants were also given the opportunity to discuss on their (organization’s) weakness and strength. 

Here is a sum-up of the discussions and the lessons learnt.  

Finance: The need of improvement in budget proposal (include specifics; budget breakup) and systematic accounting system. There was also a proposal to invite professionals to train the leaders on all financial matters

Proposal Writing:

The members discussed on the process of proposal writing. It was suggested that proposal should be thoroughly discussed among the leaders of the organization so that all the leaders will be aware of the proposed project. Therefore, involvement of all the LABU leaders right from the planning process is important.

Target Communities: Though it was understood that there was a financial limitation to cover large number beneficiaries, some felt that LABU should have penetrated beyond the Christian and tribal communities. As a Christian organization, it will also set an example to people of other faith if we help the needy irrespective of caste, creed or religion.  

Peace Making: 
The need of the hour is peace. Many peace initiative programmes are being carried out but the question that was raised is “What platform should be used for peace making with the Muslims?” Therefore, the need to influence the decision makers to help in peace building was felt.

Strength: All the Baptist associations that comprise LABU such as BBCA, RBCU, ABC and ABCAA have a unanimous opinion that cooperation and fellowship of the local churches is their strength. This is one important resource for strengthening the organization.

Weakness: Financial constraint is one of the common problems that these associations face. People are mostly poor and because of which the churches are also poor financially. Lack of good and potential leadership is another weakness of the organization. |

Immediate need of the organization (LABU): LABU needs to be strengthened and empowered. Therefore, specific training is needed for the leaders. It also needs to be reviewed and so the suggestion for the organizational assessment was made.

Lastly, it is felt that the partnership ministry and good fellowship of these Baptist unions with other organizations, agencies and ministries are the opportunity for the growth of LABU

 Thereafter, the meeting is closed with prayer.

 Report compiled by

Mr.Joshi Tuisum and Dr (Mrs) Achem Tuisum
Guwahati, dated  Feb 1, 2014