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Indigenous Support Development

National student movements have a greater impact if they are actively building partnerships locally - with students, graduates, churches and even companies with an interest in student development. These partnerships may involve prayer, resources, personnel and finances, but they all serve to ground the student movement in the national and local context.

For this reason building sustainable support is a strategic priority in our Living Stones Vision to 2020. Yet many national movements have become over-dependent on limited external funding, which often stunts their growth into maturity. In many countries fundraising is seen as tantamount to begging. This means some movements falsely believe that local fundraising is impossible in their context and they have little experience in this area.

The Indigenous Support Development (ISD) program was set up by IFES in 2011 to tackle this issue. Currently the work is focused on 54 countries in seven regions: the Caribbean, English- and Portuguese-Speaking Africa (EPSA), East Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Francophone Africa and Latin America.



Kehinde Ojo, Program Director for Indigenous Support Development

Kehinde was born and raised in the south-western part of Nigeria. He became a Christian in the university through the witness of NIFES Nigeria. After graduation in 1991, he served as a full-time staff worker with NIFES for 18 years in different roles and in different parts of the country. During this time he gained a BTh in Christian Life and Ministry from London Bible College (now London School of Theology) in the UK.

Kehinde was invited to head up the ISD program for IFES in 2011. He runs training programs, works with regional leaders and is writing an ISD manual. He was recently appointed Senior Associate for Resource Mobilization in the Lausanne Movement. He and his family live in Abuja, Nigeria but he travels frequently to conferences and events across the globe.


Indigenous Support Development regional leaders

Reuben Singh, former board chair of ISIVCF Trinidad (Caribbean)

Kehinde Ojo, IFES Program Director for Indigenous Support Development (EPSA)

Olena, IFES Training Secretary for Eurasia

Mombinou Dorichamou, IFES Associate Regional Secretary Fund Development and Communication for Francophone Africa

Carmen Castillo, IFES Spanish Caribbean Sub-Regional Coordinator for Latin America


Aims and activities

The Indigenous Support Development program provides training to help national movements build their capacity in developing sustainable funding at the local level and contribute to the IFES global network.

Kehinde Ojo started the work by researching current fundraising in a number of national movements in order to identify the greatest areas of need. He then developed a pilot program to train movements in fundraising. This material has since been developed and adapted for delivery at a wide variety of events: national movement trainings, courses for regional staff, seminars as part of other events, regional consultations on fundraising and strategic planning, etc.

The ISD program has targeted three priority countries within each of five regions and primarily works with representatives from these national movements. Many other countries have requested to join the program but demand currently outstrips capacity.

There is an ongoing matching grant program to stimulate grassroots fundraising in the targeted movements.

In 2016 Kehinde plans to conduct ISD training in four countries. He will continue to support the regional leaders through quarterly consultations so that they can train others in their area. He also aims to produce a full ISD training manual which will translated into four languages – English, French, Spanish and Russian.

Longer term, the program will develop an online course for national movement staff to learn about ISD and a wider training program to help more national movements mobilize more local resources.



The movement in Chad was given the ISD training in April 2012. In the financial year 2014-2015 about 70% of their budget was raised through local donors.

Three years ago the salaries of staff of Tanzania were in arrears. By May 2015, following fund development training, salaries were paid in full through local funds.

The Francophone Africa region set itself the target of raising $9,095 and recruiting 50 new donors in one year with the help of a $7,000 matching grant. They beat their target and recruited 99 new donors in the process. One staff member overcame his fundraising fears as a result of ISD and asked one supporter to contribute toward the rent of office space. To his surprise, the donor gave IFES the title deed of a land worth $40,000 and encouraged them to build a permanent office instead of renting.

Leticia Melgarejo, GBUP Paraguay: ‘We have already passed on this training to our staff workers. And we are developing a communication plan to donors and they are already responding!’

Adilson Bene, General Secretary of ABEMO Mozambique: ‘Last week was very symbolic for me. I’ve met with a donor who years ago left me traumatised because he had made fun of me when I was inviting him to give. This time I visited him, knowing that I was not inviting him to give for me, but to God’s kingdom in Mozambique through ABEMO. I felt that I overcome my fear. And what a joy it was to see his openness to the invitation to give!'

Aminta Bolaños, President of the Board of MUC El Salvador: ‘I used to pray, “Lord, I really want to see very strong finances for the movement, I just don’t know how to do it well. Would you teach me, please?” No one has ever told me before how to do it, how to ask people to be part of God’s desire to reach students for his glory.’


Planned Events 


Support this ministry

This strategic work depends on the prayerful support and financial gifts of our supporters.

Here are some ways you can pray for this ministry:

  1. Pray for increased ownership of the ISD vision across IFES national movements and regions
  2. Pray for blessings on the training and mentoring programmes among the staff and boards.
  3. Pray for guidance, wisdom, provision and protection for Kehinde, his family and the ISD team.

Please also consider making a one-time or regular gift to support this ministry.

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