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U.S. Embassy, Fund of the Americas organize Capacity Building workshop for NGOs

Economist Roberto Fernandez leads workshop to assist Uruguayan NGOs in their grant writing endeavors

June 2, 2004


Roberto FernándezThe U.S. Embassy, Montevideo, and the Fund of the Americas in Uruguay organized a “Seminar on Capacity Building for NGOs” to assist Uruguayan Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in their grant writing endeavors. The workshop was held May 25th in the Fund of the Americas headquarters.

The workshop was led by renowned Uruguayan educator and economist Roberto Fernández, who has extensive experience in both the formulation and evaluation of development projects. More than 30 representatives of Uruguayan NGOs attended the seminar.

Dr. Alba Peralta, president of the Fund of the Americas, and David Foran, assistant political officer at the US Embassy, opened the conference.

"Any group that you approach for assistance, be it governmental, corporate, or a foundation, will require a written justification before awarding money," Foran explained. "The words you put in front of these people may be the only opportunity to make your case for help. The importance of a well thought out, well written proposal cannot be overstated.”

Dr. Peralta emphasized that so far the Fund of the Americas has financed more than 102 projects throughout Uruguay, bringing the total to nearly US$5.5 million.

The Fund of the Americas was created in June 25, 1993, through an agreement between the U.S. and Uruguayan governments to promote activities that would help to conserve, protect or improve management of Uruguay’s natural and biological resources in a sustainable and ecologically safe manner, while at the same time promoting improvements in the field of child development.

Before lunch, Ms. Gabriela Boyer, representative of the Inter-American Fund (IAF) for the southern cone, lectured on the institution. The IAF, a foreign assistance agency of the United States government, responds to innovative, participatory and sustainable self-help development projects proposed by grassroots groups in Latin America and the Caribbean and the organizations which support them. Since 1972, the IAF has made 4,464 grants for more than US$557 million.

According to Ms. Boyer, one of the most important tasks of the IAF is “to form alliances between grassroots organizations and non-profits, industry and local governments with the purpose of improving not only the quality of life of the most needy, but also to improve participation, responsibility and democratic practices.”

Boyer mentioned that the IAF is currently calling for project proposals which, to be eligible for this round of funding, will be due June 30, 2004.


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