Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario (ODECO)

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Public Statement 2013

Fortalecimiento del Proceso Plataforma Cumbre Mundial de Afrodescendientes
Type of organization Nongovernmental organization
Country Honduras
Duration  9 Months
IAF funding   $49,990
Counterpart committed $28,000
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 18 Afro-descendent organizations from Argentina, Belize, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Peru, Spain, United States and Venezuela
Indirect: African descendent populations throughout the Americas
Primary program area Education/Training

Organizational background:
ODECO is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with Afro-descendent communities to furthering their rights and reduce their marginalization while respecting their cultural diversity. Founded in 1992, ODECO became legally constituted in 1994. It has held 14 nation-wide meetings for Afro-descendent youths and 10 for women of African descent. It has worked with Afro-Honduran communities to obtain title to land land and has developed 11 master development plans with Afro-Honduran communities. ODECO took the lead in founding the Organización Negra Centroamericana (ONECA) whose mission parallels ODECO’s but whose scope extends throughout Central America.

ODECO comprises an assembly that meets annually and a board of directors that deals with the major policy issues. A director oversees daily operations. ODECO has received support from the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation and Inter-American Development Bank. In 2001 it received $70,841 from the IAF (HO-234) for a conference where Afro-Central Americans shared their experiences with grassroots development. A second award (HO-243), totaling $295,700 awarded in 2007, supported its Afro-descendant Human Rights and Leadership school.

Project Objective:
To develop Cumbre Mundial de Afrodescendientes (PCMA) into an organization with coverage of the issues that impact African descendants in the Americas and with the ability to combat pervasive exclusion and advocate for the rights and needs of Afrodescendants.

Project Description:
ODECO work with PCMA’s international committee work to develop a proposal for a university managed for and by African descendants, advocate a permanent Afro-descendent forum within the Organization of American States, draft an agenda for the near-term and a plan to raise the resources to fund the work, and become legally constituted as a nonprofit. The project should involve 100 African descendants representing 18 organizations.

Rationale for funding:
The Americas lacks an advocacy organization that is managed by and represents the hemisphere’s Afro-descendent population. This is a unique opportunity for the IAF to support the emergence of such an organization in the form of the PCMA, which can be expected to work on grassroots development as well as protect the rights of Afro descendants and reverse the exclusion.

Learning Objective:
This project should provide insight into the ability of an organization of African descendants to effectively represent and advocate for the diverse Afro-descendent populations of the Americas.