Foundation for Community Development

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The Foundation for Community Development (FDC) "is a civic organization, with no political party affiliation, which seeks to join together the forces of all sectors of society in achieving an ideal of development, democracy and social justice." [1]

Partners [2]

Principal Partners


  • Fundações Lusófonas
  • ANCEFA - African Networks
  • Campaign on EFA
  • GCE - Global Campaign on Education


Accessed September 2007: [3]


"In the late 1970s, President Samora Machel invited David Rockefeller to Mozambique to discuss the government's opening to relations with the West. With Rockefeller was his daughter Peggy Dulany, who became friends with the President and his wife Graça Machel. When President Machel died in a plane crash in 1986, Dulany, who spoke Portuguese, flew to the funeral in the capital city of Maputo to be with her friend.

"In 1990, Mrs. Machel was Mozambique's Minister of Education. When she left that post, the "mother of the country" formed an indigenous nongovernmental organization (NGO) -- the Association for Community Development (ADC). At that time, the only NGOs in the country were foreign. She contacted Dulany, who had founded Synergos in 1986, to talk over the idea.

"Synergos had recently assisted the Esquel Group in Ecuador transform from an NGO into a foundation.

"After hearing the story of Esquel, Mrs. Machel believed that the time was ripe for such a foundation in Mozambique. A large percentage of the nation's budget came from foreign aid, but all the money flowed directly to the government or international NGOs. The goal was to create a local, indigenous grantmaking and programming entity that would mobilize local resources, attract foreign money, and serve as an intermediary between donors and communities in need.

"Synergos introduced Machel to American philanthropists and provided assistance in developing proposals for initial support. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation funded the organization's feasibility study and startup. Other funding came from the government through a debt forgiveness program. And ADC's founding members raised money inside Mozambique.

""[A]ll of us contributed money to what is now the endowment," says Graça Machel. "We asked friends, people we knew, for money, and we contacted some businesses. We wanted to send a clear message that Africans -- Mozambicans -- want to be in charge and in control, because, no matter how small the sums of money were, it was coming from Mozambican hands."

Making the Dream a Reality "In 1994, ADC became the Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique's first endowed grantmaking foundation. "It is one thing to help an individual -- another to build an institution that helps thousands," says Mrs. Machel. "The creation of the Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique was a pivotal intervention in our country."

"FDC is the only social and economic development foundation in Mozambique, funding and operating programs in nine of Mozambique's ten provinces. It develops and builds the capacity of NGOs and community-based organizations so they can be instruments of poverty-eradication and social justice. In addition, FDC mobilizes resources by building bridges between individuals, donors and the nonprofit, public and private sectors. The organization now has 30 international donors, whose funding has allowed FDC to build a strong, professional staff and develop effective, high-impact programs. It has created service delivery systems in education, health and disaster recovery, some of which the government is replicating.

"In the past eight years, FDC has mobilized more than $11 million, which has helped fund more than 100 social development initiatives. These programs have directly benefited 35,000 Mozambicans, indirectly benefiting many more. Each year, FDC funnels more than $2 million in grants to local communities.

Synergos' Partnership with the Mozambican Foundation "With funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Synergos has provided FDC with a full range of capacity building technical assistance -- strategic planning, board development, grants management, financial operations, staff development, evaluation and outreach through one-on-one interactions, as well as workshops. In turn, Synergos has learned from the FDC's experiences, using this knowledge to help other foundations around the world.

"With support from Synergos, FDC has enhanced its fundraising capability; established financial systems; and created a broad, effective outreach program to donors and other stakeholders.

"In an example of how Synergos has continued to support FDC in its efforts to strengthen its institutional capacities, Synergos Senior Fellows Sandra Libunao (the Philippines), Antonio Carlos Martinelli (Brazil), and Len le Roux (Namibia) were part of a team that assisted FDC to develop its five-year strategic plan. The process included a highly participatory evaluation, involving FDC's Mozambican stakeholders, which made "a unique contribution to FDC's experience," according to Libunao.

"The evaluation provided information on where the organization is efficient and effective and where it needs strengthening. It highlighted key successes and identified factors that need to be improved to produce lasting change. It also gave FDC a better sense of the perspectives of donors, partners and stakeholders -- knowledge that will help the organization refine its programs and services." [4]



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. The Foundation, Foundation for Community Development, accessed September 10, 2007.
  2. Partners, Foundation for Community Development, accessed September 10, 2007.
  3. The Foundation, Foundation for Community Development, accessed September 10, 2007.
  4. Achievements in Mozambique, Synergos, accessed September 10, 2007.