By Guillermo Correa, Argentina
Thanks to the Australia Leadership Awards Fellowship program, we gave a unique opportunity to non-government organisations in Argentina to gain skills and build their capacities internationally through training and education, exploring the sectors that the Red Argentina de Cooperacion Internacional (RACI) considers critical for the prolific development of International Cooperation in Argentina and South America.
The program highlighted the power of community engagement, which gave us a great tool to strengthen our partnerships and advocacy for social justice, good governance, and inclusive development. QUT did a wonderful job of curating the program to showcase sound practices in Australia, and indeed to link us with Australian institutions. As a leader of RACI, a network of civil society organisations in Argentina, community engagement and strategic collaborations have underscored our success as an organisation. RACI has become a stronger network and effective organisation such that we have been able to influence not only national but also regional and global policy.
We organized meetings, conferences, presentations and the establishment of contacts with different International Cooperation Agents to promote knowledge exchange and learning, and to build the capacity of both the host organization and our NGOs. However, it is to my opinion that fellowships are not only opportunities that allow selected candidates to strengthen their knowledge and contribute to the institution, but also to the integral development of our country and region. The program’s greatest achievement was bringing together national and regional associations from two different parts of the globe to foster greater cooperation and increased ability to collaborate on mutual areas of interest.
Because of this, we have also improved the way RACI personally handles fellowships. We now not only address knowledge reinforcement and organizational empowerment, but also advocate for creating channels of exchange, in order to facilitate community progress and, hopefully, build a stronger civil society.