Events / News

Published on 18/12/2020

CRS-USCCB and Helvetas of Guatemala sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to benefit CLD communities

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Paul Townsend, Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (CRS-USCCB), and Henk-Jan Gerard, Country Director for Helvetas Guatemala, recently signed a MoU to benefit Communities Leading Development (CLD) communities. The document was symbolically signed through a virtual meeting amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

Helvetas Guatemala and CRS, through its CLD project, have identified the importance of vulnerable families’ integral development in the Western Highlands, good governance, access to basic services and women’s empowerment. The MoU will facilitate joint initiatives focused on improving the quality of life of rural communities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, responding to their needs and strategic actions, seeking their economic empowerment, better integration with agricultural chains, and better access to adequate water and sanitation services.

Helvetas Guatemala is an NGO that facilitates the participation of populations in the Western Highlands so that they become protagonists of their own development, strengthening their identity and capacities within democratic processes based on human rights.

CRS/CLD and Helvetas Guatemala will together promote the integral development and strengthening of self-management capacities and empowerment of rural communities, civil society organizations and government entities, in order to strengthen local and institutional development, emphasizing the social inclusion of the most disadvantaged populations, such as the rural indigenous population, women, youth, and children.

Joint efforts will also promote the sustained financial development of women and men, by strengthening the participation of smallholder groups in agricultural and livestock value chains, providing technical assistance and support in technical and organizational processes, and supporting the establishment of commercial links. The cooperation will also contribute to improved water management, sanitation, and hygiene services, by strengthening the local institutional capacity of municipalities through their Water and Sanitation Offices and community-based organizations.

Under this MoU, CRS-USCCB and Helvetas will collaborate in the implementation of their respective programs in the municipalities where both organizations work together to coordinate actions that contribute to common objectives, avoid duplication of efforts, and achieve greater benefits for communities and municipal governments.