Annual Report 2021
Sustainable economy & evidence based impact
A shift of paradigm
Message from the CEO
As fellow human beings, many of us feel that the earth’s resources should be distributed fairly.
At the same time, if we donate money to aid organisations, for example, it may feel uncertain whether the grant will really be useful. The development goals set in 2000 were not achieved in 2015 as planned. Instead, new goals were set with the hope that they will be achieved by 2030. But in reality, the number of extremely poor people in Africa is increasing at a breathtaking rate, 150 million more extremely poor persons in 20 years. It is unacceptable. We have an aid budget from the OECD of USD 150 billion a year, Sweden and several other countries have provided aid for 60 years.
The society is making great progress in many areas, but not in this area. Being extremely poor is extremely difficult. We live for the day.we are worried and there are no opportunities to change the situation. Cecilia wants to give these people exactly that, opportunities, to change their situation themselves. But she does not want to do it in a “feel-sorry” way, she wants to work professionally and generate measurable and sustainable results. She wants to create a large and powerful organisation that has good finances, secure income, qualified staff, a professional way of working and high standards. Cecilia also wants to work with vulnerable people in an equal and respectful way. Therefore, cooperation must be based on mutual and well-defined benefits. Cecilia claims that she is working for a paradigm shift.
Well, it’s not an easy task, albeit an honorable one. But Cecilia is convinced that it will work, and she does not give up. She has worked day and night for 15 years with this in focus. She has founded a voluntary organization Action10 and a social enterprise Human Rights & Science (HR&S). During these 15 years, a lot has gone wrong, but Cecilia has developed a strategy to effectively learn from her mistakes and to adjust the business to the new knowledge. Action10 and HR&S are independent flexible organizations that can be quickly and efficiently adapted to new findings. A lot has also generated good results. HR&S now has local offices in eight sub-Saharan countries and has reached 10,000 people in extremely poor environments with products and services that improve their living conditions in various ways.
Cecilia’s strategy includes establishing a network of scientific researchers, innovators, social entrepreneurs and decision makers who together reach out to people in need with the products and services they have expressed need for. She has developed a management strategy that she offers the management of institutions with relevant actors. The management strategy takes into account the specific conditions prevailing in sub-Saharan countries.
Cecilia has also established local support packages for researchers, innovators and social entrepreneurs which include training, expert advice, contact with suppliers from Europe, networks with relevant actors, access to computers and internet, co-working space and corporate loans. These two activities, management strategies and local support packages, work together to reach out to the extremely poor but also to other vulnerable people who lack opportunities. However, not all local support packages are fully developed yet, nor have we established cooperation with all the actors we seek contact with, but this is understandable because change takes, and must take, time.
Strategies, networks and local support packages are in place, but on a limited scale, so now we just want to grow. We want to reach more people and offer more products and services. We intend to become an actor who makes a real impression, who takes many, many people out of extreme poverty in a sustainable way. Cecilia offers you to contribute, you are welcome to participate in a unique and innovative program that puts your fellow human being in focus and that is only satisfied if there is scientific evidence for sustainable improvements. A paradigm shift based on collaboration with, and respect for and understanding of, people in other places and in other environments. You are welcome to help us grow and become a member of the HR&S family. We welcome you who want to deepen your knowledge and you who want to contribute. We welcome monthly donors, philanthropists, and companies with corporate social responsibility (CSR) operations.
31 December 2021
Assoc. Prof. Cecilia ÖMAN
Founder and CEO of HR&S, Founder and President of Action10
2015 – 2020
Financially the period 2015 – 2020 has been characterized by bootstrapping and volunteer work. The founder has contributed with capital when income was low. The income consisted of three consultancy assignments and one Major Giver donation. One Major Giver donation created the foundation ActionInvest capital, which was invested and regained. The expenses were limited to fees for co-working space, bank, website, telephone and insurance. Investment capital for business loans through ActionInvest has been kept at the EUR 10,000 level every year.
Also 2021 has been characterized by bootstrapping and volunteer work. The founder has contributed with capital to manage the company costs. The expenses were limited to fees for co-working space, bank, website, telephone and insurance.
ActionInvest raised SEK xxx. Funds were distributed according to the Table ActionInvest below.
Working at locations were corruption is social norm, rule of law is not efficient and social support structures does not include foreigners requires special accountability attention. We work with agency for change, volunteer approach and direct and longterm benefit motivation.
Lessons learned & Informed decisions
Funds are raised on a continuous basis by Action1o. The purpose with the fundraising is to create a platform for cross-cultural awareness as well as generatting a capital for business loans. The ActionInvest is also used to reimburs external and professional auditors and can be used occasionally to reimburse coaches small, in case the local HR&S branch cannot afford. Ove the years, sinces the launching of Action10 in 2009 a number of programmes have been supported.
Villages in Togo. The first and one of our flagships is the support to villagers in Togo. The focus is on local small scale businesses, and local partners requesting collaborations are ususally female farmers selling crop and value added products from the farm; food, drinks and grinded crop, but also other businesses run by women mainly hairdressing, medical drugs, animal husbandry and small villages shops. A few men is also requesting collaboration, maybe support to sell their cotton. The programme has included also other components such as education and health care, and has changed programme manager two times. The programme supports 200 – 300 parallel businesses with business loans, business management training, keeping funds safe, and weekly consultation.
Reintergration in Liberia. Another flagship programme that started early, our second programme, is reintegration of former child soldiers (FCS) in Liberia. Our partners has always been IDEFOCS and we have supported IDEFOCS to interact with the FCS in ghetto areas in Monrovia and collect their ambitions, we have bought farm land in a fishing village and within the programme IDEFOCS has cleared the farmland, started agriculture,build a water pump, and build a home with five bed-rooms where FCSs can live and farm while becoming drug free and ready to join the society. The next step is to be able to offer trauma counselling.
Teaching English language to adults in Nigeria. We have been supporting various initiatives by SpellAfrica in Nigeria to train adults in the English language and have successfully empowered adults in general. The programme had difficulties to become financially sustainable, as the students were not able to pay for the education, eventhough we tried creative solutions. Thus, this programme is on hold for now.
Chusa saloons in Uganda is a potential flagship where girls from the slum area Kamwoya who had left school were trained to become hair dresseras and are now setting up their own saloons. Dolas Creation in Kenya is opertating withtin the slum area Kibra and is locally producing and selling fashion clothes. Amani Women Group is managing as saving and credit institution in a small village in Kenya with a democratic governance.
The programme LINK-UP empowering early education and PanaPads producing sanitary pads were programmes with potential but which closed themselves down as a result of external and internal challenges.
|Monthly Givers||63,577||64,173||74,516||74,495||72,186||81,297||71,14||42 501||38,955||44,923||25,971||12300|
|Corporate Donations||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||8 000|
|Projects and Events||0||0||15,614||433||260||1,13||2,443||5 275|
Management & Operation Report
HR&S Local Branches
RISE Support Centres
The focus of 2020 was to strengthen each RISE Centre with very competent coaches and auditors. Four coaches and one auditor were assigned for each Centre, and a lot of effort was invested in training and team-building. With support from the coaches, all programmes were reviewed and areas requiring strengthening were strengthened. During 2020, HR&S has strengthened the RISE Support Centres and our team of coaches and auditors in Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Togo, and Uganda. HR&S has also negotiated a new Centre in Burkina Faso.
Our collaboration operations were managed by eleven development institutions in six countries in Africa. The implementation of programmes was successful and also challenging; lessons were learned were fed into the organisation by adjusting our tools and strategies. HR&S has during 2020 strengthened our on-line communication with our partners.
As a conclusion from 2020, HR&S is content with what we are doing and how we are doing it. The frame of operations is laid down and the aim from now on is scaling.
HR&S has also empowered the relation between HR&S and Action10 through streamlining. Action10 was run by 52 volunteer staff members during 2020. The financial fundraising result for 2020 was SEK 96,498 and the Action10 administration costs represented 4,2 % of the funds raised.
Our partners in the target countries are local social enterprises or associations. Our partners are in charge of the tasks and operations on ground. HR&S collaborated with eleven Country partner organisations in six countries during 2020.
Programme management partners
Our collaboration operations were managed by eleven development institutions in six countries in Africa Senexel in Burkina Faso, Amani Woman group and Dolas Creation in Kenya, IDEFOCS and Little Bassa community in Liberia, SpellAfrica and NoveleQ in Nigeria, S.E.VIE and M Yawo community in Togo, and 256 Creative Arts as well as Ubuntu Art House in Uganda.
Active assignments during 2020*
During 2020 we worked actively on 20 assignments.
On total has HR&S, over the years, been involved with around 50 different assignments.
- The goal is to scale by attract more researchers, innovators, social entrepreneurs and supporters that agrees with our ambition and core-values. (Networks)
- HR&S will also empower the work with the Strategy for Change concept.
- More, during 2021 will Action10 create its own crowd-funding platform.
- HR&S acknowledges how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guides towards a fair and equal partnership. Even though the GDPR concerns EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, HR&S states that it is fair to let the protection of personal information concern partners in all continents. Also, in line with our own ambition and core-values are we happy to acknowledge successful conclusion of the negotiations of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the launching trade deal 1 January 2021.
- Two more target countries, Zambia and Burkina Faso
- Basic education with sustainable economy & children abuse prevention Togo
- Community services Kenya
- Ghetto interventions & survey addressing former child soldiers Liberia
- Waste management in slum areas Liberia
- Promoting local handicraft by former child soldiers; knitted items glass-pearl items Liberia
- Botanical Reintegration Village Liberia
- Back2Shool Nigeria
- Promoting local handicraft; Shea butter Togo
- Promoting local handicraft; West African fabric tailored items Togo
- Early pregnancies prevention & tailoring training Togo
- Research management workshops; Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali
- An office established ready to create central laboratories with sustainable economy Nigeria
- Offering light and homework support in rural areas in the evenings Togo
- Installing sustainable solar-panel businesses in villages Togo
- Adding value to crop Liberia
- Improved irrigation Togo
- Installing sustainable milling businesses Togo
- Radio call-in to ask questions to stigmatised citizens Liberia
- Promoting local handicraft; baskets, jewelleries Rwanda
- Promoting local handicraft; jewelleries and cards Uganda
- Promoting local handicraft; tailored clothes in fabric East African style Kenya
Country Partners in 2021
We have been collaborating with twenty different Country partners in eight African sub-Saharan countries during 2021.
- Senexel: Boubacar SENOU, CEO and Founder
- Amani Women Group: Mama SHIRU, CEO and Founder
- Dolas Creation: Frederick ATING’A, CEO and Founder
- Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS): Morris MATADI, CEO and Founder
- Little Bassa Community: Chief of the Village
- SpellAfrica: Erezi EDOREH, CEO
- NoveleQ: Karniyus GAMANIEL, CEO and Founder
- Association Solidarité Enfance et Vie (S.E.VIE): Francois KLUTSÉ, CEO and Founder, Délali ADEDJE, CEO Assistant
- M.Yawo AHIAKPONOU: Yawo AHIAKPONOU, Programme manager, Adjo Martina AHIAWONOU, Programme manager adviser & Business manager, Filomene KOGLO, Programme manager adviser & Business manager
- 256 Creative Arts: Edward BUTIMBA, CEO and Founder
- Ubuntu Art House: Bernard OMONY, CEO and Founder
THE YEAR AHEAD
Sustainable Economy &
Ahead, in 2022, HR&S will empower
Sustainable economy & Evidence based impact
We have a set of Targets for 2022. We work through them firmly together, so that each Branch have their own activities and milestones, in perfect relation to their own programme.
Establishing relations with potential Institution management partners in our target countries.
We will establish links within the management at institutions in SSA countries, seeking relations with individuals with agency for change and do persona research to empower the relations. We will involve our network members to support with identifying persons to be our ambassadors at the management level at their own institutions. We will prove our performances through free seminars where we present our services and our previous results. We seek to understand the challenges of the institutions and propose how we can support with addressing those challenges. We present a reasonable price for the services that we offer. Then we remain in professional contact, invite to events, and update on our activities.
– Team-leaders identify names on door openers in their own institutions. Indicator: ten names.
– Network coordinators reach out to the network members for names/door openers. Indicator: ten names.
– A list with 20 names of persons with whom we have had contact, affiliations and done persona research.
– Five, 30 min seminars where we strengthen the relations with potential partners.
– Ten powerful connections that we maintain where we have i) identified their ambitions and outcome challenges, ii) proposed activities and milestones and iii) informed about a reasonable price.
– One signed coaching agreement. We will offer free of charge 30 min seminars or one hour,
but webinars need to be paid for. The coaching we offer to the management includes webinars on the strategy for change, helping them develop progress markers for their own curricula. We shall put effort into identifying the outcome challenges and then propose how we solve the challenges through activities and milestones. In addition we can provide training for their researchers and technicians, and that is then an activity within their SfC. Not stand-alone events.
2. Ensure sufficient income to local branches.
1. From 2022 and on-wards reimbursement to team members will only be made through the branches own income.
2. Team-leaders and active members of the team of operations are not eligible for RISE Centre loans, but are able to generate an income that can be used as start-up and scale-up capital for the businesses. The benefit from the RISE Centre services free of charge
3. Internet, computers, electricity, venues, transportation etc, to provide members with RISE Centre services.
Sources of income
- Participant fee in webinars managed by HR&S Sweden and HR&S Expert Adviser.
-Support the coordination, make invitations, keep track of participants, support during the sessions, keep track of those managing the exam, as well as develop and distribute certificates.
– Four or more annual webinars. Two
webinars on the Strategy for Change by Cecilia: in March (for
researchers and technicians) and in September (for entrepreneurs and
development stakeholders). Two webinars on Scientific topics by Dr Murthy in April and October.
10 participants in each webinar = EUR 400.
- Ten percent interest from giving out loans.
– Supporting also the fundraising through ActionInvest to enable a significant capital; social media activity, sharing programme reports, photos and videos.
– Seek funds from Kwanda directly to the Branch.
-Implement accountability structures so that funds are paid pack in time and with interest (see No3).
A capital of EUR 20,000 = EUR 2,000.
- RISE Centre annual membership fee (three levels).
Offer RISE Centre services that justifies the annual membership fee.
– USD 50: Access to loans; Networking between RISE members; Local training on accounting.; Local training on the SfC and support with setting up a SfC for each business by HR&S Sweden; Access to the HR&S team of expert advisers.
– USD 200: As above and in addition; Access to computer, internet, and electricity; Access to a simple co-working space; Access to back-office services; Website and social media marketing support.
– USD 500: As above and in addition; Access to advanced co-working space; Access to venues; Access to transportation vehicles.
– Six annual RISE member events
member networking meetings where the total capital available for loans
are discussed, loans given out and loans paid back with interest in time
as well as progress markers. The agenda also includes: developing and
agreeing on membership contracts as well as ambitions, challenges,
output, outcome and sustainable impact.
Bi-annual training on accounting at each RISE Centre involving all RISE members, arranged by the accountant. Maybe one hour.
Bi-annual ocal training on the SfC and support with setting up a SfC for each business. Maybe two-three hours.
10 x 50 = EUR 500 or
10 x 200 = EUR 2,000
- Ten % of deals made between a local institution management and HR&S Sweden where the relation has been established by the branch (see No1).
3 x 10% of EUR 10,000 = EUR 3,000
- Other social enterprising type of offers by the RISE Centres, such as local training.
– All RISE members develop and maintain a SfC for their own businesses.
– 100 % accountability among RISE members.
– Local branches team members and auditors are fully reimbursement by the Branches’ income.
- Participant fee in webinars managed by HR&S Sweden and HR&S Expert Adviser.
3. Ensuring Accountability among RISE members
The “help-me” narrative must change. The RISE members must realise that this is an equal-partnership, win-win relation. That the partners shall support each other for the sake of establishing social good and move the country out of poverty as well as eradicate extreme poverty. The bottom line is setting the expectations right from the beginning to avoid unrealistic expectations. The RISE members shall not be looking for handouts, as this is not
sustainable, but should create value for them-selves AND their partners,
and thereby bring the desired prosperity. RISE-member partners are the
local branches, HR&S Sweden and Action10.
Important also is to identify the right RISE membes, who will act with agency for change and intrinsic motivation, who will become role-models.
Activity: Each Centre has a certain amount of capital to pay out as loans. Within the Centre the RISE members are made aware of the size of this capital how the capital is distributed between them. The Centre shall create a good and supportive atmosphere where the RISE members support each other to manage their business, generate profit and pay back in time and with interest, by giving advice and provide supportive actions. Full transparency is created among the RISE members on how loans are paid back. If someone is not paying back, less will be available for the other RISE members, for the coming batch of loans. What we are targeting is the motivation to pay back, so that the loan-taker her-self and the other RISE members can benefit as much as possible, but also a sense of responsibility for the well-being of the local branch AND for HR&S Sweden. In case there is an external challenge, maybe drought for a farmer, then everyone will have to accept decreased capital, even though everyone will suffer from less capital.
Milestones: In RISE Centre meetings the members are made to realized that the money to be giving to them is a loan to be paid back, and that the amount given out as loan will be deducted from the principal amount at source. They are made to understand also that they will cross reference each other in the group, that is to say that if any member of the group default in repayment, the entire group will be held accountable. If they are faithful in repayment, they will be qualified for applying for a higher loan. They usually repay the principal on a monthly basis.
The members are made aware that the purpose is for their businesses to expand and for more RISE members to be added to the community and thereby strengthening the team.
4. Measure and report evidence based impact
collaborate around social enterprising to ensure a sustainable and also
to ensure delivery of social good. The evidence based impact compiles
information on the social good that we have delivered. We benefit from
scientific methods to report evidence based result and we thus to not
seek to report on success stories.
We copile per year:
- No of webinars
- No of potential customers – Institution managements in our stewardship programme
- Number of webinar participants and Certificates given out
- Number of webinar sold to Institution managements.
- Number of active RISE members
- Number of customers of RISE members; extreme poverty, others…
- Number of persons supported through the customers of RISE Centre members; extreme poverty, others….
- Level of accountability at RISE Centres.
- Sustainable impact
- Income to branches.
- Number of entreprises becoming self-sustained.
5. Ensure efficient Branch procedures
– Equal partnership with foreign agencies, shall not also be a “help-me” mindset, but a win-win mindset.
– Develop, sign and respect correct agreements between i) branches and HR&S Sweden,ii) between branches and local team members, iii) between branches and RISE members.
Ending the aid era is a blessing. Moving from looking for donation and a
“Help-me” attitude to a proper equal partnership will empower all
stakeholders, and create independent, self-sustained
and proud institutions. The question changes from how can you help me
to how can we help each other. This stake-holders in Africa must reflect
over how their partner in Europe shall also benefit, or the partner in
Europe will eventually disappear. There is a mind-set of looking for a
muzungo or an African living in Europe and then exploit this person as
much as possible. Love scamming is becoming and industry even.
- Establishing relations with potential customers, Institution managements in our target countries.
– 10 powerful connections that have been established through our branches we maintain where we have i) identified their ambitions and outcome challenges, ii) proposed activities and milestones and iii) informed about a reasonable price.
High turn-over of Volunteer staff
Outcome challenges: 2021 has been a difficult year concerning the turn-over of volunteer staff. This consumes a lot of effort for the organisation to often have to introduce new volunteer staff. ” we volunteer to join, but when we have joined we do not volunteer to wor”. In 2022, we will look more closely in to this challenge.
The Activity is to: 1. assign the right candidates. It must be persons with a sense they shall deliver. Not to just join meetings, talk, comment, socialize, but to get their hands on the realities. To ensure progress markers are met. 2. Action10 board must focus on how to keep volunteer staff that has signed in. We will do a survey to identify what motivates them and then reward them accordingly.
We are for ever thankful to all of our coaches, auditors and programme management partners in out Target Countries in Su-Sahara Africa,who fight for development in a professional way, often under challenging conditions. We appreciate you and we admire you. We appreciate our Advisory Board for guidance. We are also grateful to the amazing team of Action10 volunteers that manages the ActionInvest programme on a volunteer basis. We thank the financial contributors of Action10.
We are grateful to out Senior Expert Advisers.