Name of GRIC Partner Organization: Pastoralists Integrated Concerns – PICO
Name of Interviewee: Jeremiah Kutanya: Founder and Executive Director
Pastoralists Integrated Concerns (PICO) was founded and registered in 2019 as an indigenous pastoralist, independent community-based and non-profit organization working to address issues that primarily affect pastoralist women, youth and children and the larger community in the five pastoral zones of Kajiado West sub-county region ― Magadi, Mosiro, Keekonyokie, Lodokilani and Ewuaso Kedong’.
At PICO, we attach a great importance to the active participation of youth, children, women, families and communities in the identification of their needs and subsequently in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects that empower the community. We consider voices and views from all beneficiaries of the project. We work in the key sectors of education and, livelihood, environmental conservation and climate change, social empowerment, and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
We connected with GRIC through a referral by a community non-governmental organization based in Kajiado town. GRIC was looking for grassroot organizations operating in Kajiado County that they could sub-grant and build their capacity to get-off the ground. We enlisted for the planned GRIC assessment. After a couple of months, the assessment materialized, leading to a year’s journey to date.
Our journey with GRIC.
It’s been one of its kind. We’ve learnt a lot of new technical skills such as monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), level-based instruction, board of management capacity building, and parental/youth/alumni engagement and gender mainstreaming in education program. On resource mobilization, the journey yielded a one-year seed grant, support with an additional professional Fellow, training on local fundraising and consideration for the Keep Kenya learning program facilitation. The 1-year partnership journey has brought us new partnerships with METIS and Seagal Family Foundation. We have also managed to develop some organizational structures such as the program team and organization board.
Highlights of our organization’s partnership journey with GRIC
It’s like magic. We have moved from unknown in the map of organizations, to a fully-fledged, autonomous and promising entity! When we met with GRIC a year ago, we only had a registration certificate, energy, consistent passion to serve the community and a mind-blowing idea. There were no structures, no systems, no bank account, no office and virtually everything else basic for existence of an organization.
I was very green in programming, management and proposal writing and budgeting. When GRIC sent me a proposal format to develop the first proposal in late 2020, I didn’t know where to start. I hardly could differentiate terminologies such as outcomes, indicators and inputs. None of my team members could! GRIC has been like a big brother to us. Holding our hands without criticizing and not judging our limited capacity. They have been friendly and accommodative, taking us through the proposal development process through learning by doing. That good rapport has been sustained all through the program period.
The numerous capacity building sessions that GRIC offered were timely as we really needed such skills. The local fundraising training shaped our ideas when thinking of resources sustainability, training in MEL helped us look at the big picture of the program, while the financial management skills have helped us ensure that the available resources are appropriately utilized.
Jeremiah Kutanya, founder and Executive Director-PICO