Reach the Children provides underprivileged children opportunities to become self-reliant by strengthening families and communities. We accomplish this mission by taking a community development approach to AIDS Prevention, Education & Health, Micro-Enterprise, Orphan Care, Water & Agriculture and Community Empowerment Initiatives.
Every penny of your dollar donated to Reach the Children goes to benefit the children. All administrative and overhead costs are covered by private donations so 100% of your contribution will support direct program benefits. We commit to maximize the value of your contributions to help the needy children we serve and minimize any expense that does not directly provide benefit.
We value your trust in us, and so we promise to keep confidential the identity of all donors on our mailing lists. We do not rent, sell, or exchange these lists. We always strive to be responsible in our management, truthful in our advertising, and cost-effective in our fund raising.
Over the past years, in numerous development attempts, a multitude of aid organizations have inundated Africa with loans and donations, all hoping to alleviate suffering there. With these millions of dollars spent, Africa still struggles with disease, unemployment and underemployment, poverty and malnutrition. Where has all the money gone? In many aid organizations a significant part of donors’ contributions end up paying for consultants, trainers, and administrative costs. Reach the Children is unique in that the organization pays no salaries. Again, administrative costs are covered by outside funding.
Our projects are based on principles of self-reliance with a “teach them to fish” premise. We apply these principles at all levels: individual, project, and institutional. Reach the Children will only support projects that can achieve self-sufficiency within a reasonable time frame. Reach the Children will not begin implementing any new project until a detailed self-sufficiency plan has been approved. In evaluating proposed projects for funding, high priority is given to programs that will become self-sustaining. Programs that would require perpetual donor support are strongly discouraged.
Reach the Children is particularly concerned with sustainable development. Institutional dependency is just as damaging as individual dependency. Some of our projects can be inherently self-sustaining. For those who cannot, we have launched local commercial ventures that partner with the humanitarian projects in each of the areas. The proceeds of the commercial projects sustain the nearby humanitarian efforts. In the process, the local economy is also enhanced with the direct benefit of jobs and the indirect benefits of multiplied economic activity.
Reach the Children recognizes the interlocking nature of development issues – that good health, education, and employment are all necessary features of sustainable communities. We acknowledge that a community that lacks any of these aspects will not be successful in the long term. With this in mind, Reach the Children commits to follow up single projects in a community (e.g. schools) with additional programs (coordinated by Reach the Children or in partnership with other groups) that are aimed at comprehensive development. Additional projects will be undertaken within a reasonable timeframe and where necessary. Our efforts are most effective when there is a deep penetration into the interlocking aspects of a family and community, rather than a broader but shallower approach.
Reach the Children promotes and encourages rural development. To help stem the tide of rural-urban migration, Reach the Children supports the growth of sustainable rural communities by creating and promoting schools, agricultural projects, industry, micro-finance and/or other needed programs in rural areas. Reach the Children believes that the urbanization, if not stemmed, will be devastating for many African families and ultimately for the countries in which they live.
Reach the Children may also undertake urban projects, though this will not be the focus of our efforts. The primary function of urban projects will be to establish a physical presence and begin networking in new areas. We plan to use these urban contacts to network back to villages.
Reach the Children affirms the need to compensate for existing inequities by making a conscious effort to support women and girls in our programs. The ravages of poverty continue to afflict many, but all of us should be concerned with the alarming feminization of poverty. Reach the Children will continue to advocate for women at macro levels in our work with the U.N. and other networking as well as in our on-the-scene anti-poverty initiatives and programs.
Reach the Children gives priority to the following types of programs: constructing primary and secondary schools, partnering with existing schools that share Reach the Children’s commitment to principle-based education, providing school supplies to these schools, and advocating national and international educational policies that will benefit children. We also support adult education programs, especially where the use of our educational facilities can be leveraged. Reach the Children is committed to finding appropriate ways to make its educational programs open to all, without regard for ability to pay.
Forty million children in Africa are not receiving basic education. Reach the Children will strive to help as many children as possible have the opportunity for education. Reach the Children will help implement repeatable, sustainable, self-reliant, and responsible educational programs.
Economic self-reliance is of critical importance to families and individuals. Most of Africa has high unemployment rates. Training and education, including vocational training, is critical to success. Reach the Children will offer and support vocational training programs for older youth and adults. Micro-credit loans are an important tool for those with an entrepreneurial interest.
Reach the Children believes that good health is essential. To facilitate this, Reach the Children will focus on preventative health strategies such as providing vaccinations, immunizations, and other services. We will find feasible ways to provide, or to facilitate the provision of, affordable, sustainable, and quality health care in the areas where we are involved.
Reach the Children also believes in quality health-care education. Basic health and hygiene information can be powerful tools for preventing illness. We commit to actively make accurate health information available in the communities we serve.
Reach the Children accepts funding from private and public sources, including individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments. We will not accept any funding, however, that would entail or imply the compromising of the principles of our organization.
Reach the Children uses 100 percent of its donations on direct program benefits. We will accomplish this by soliciting private donations to cover administrative costs and other overhead.
In keeping with our policy of using our funds as effectively as possible, we will, wherever possible, spend resources within the countries where we are facilitating development. We will, however, maintain quality and effectiveness as our highest priorities.
Reach the Children also pledges to give high priority to programs that make use of labor-intensive technologies, in order to facilitate a wider and more equitable distribution of income, while maximizing benefit to the local economy.
In all its fiscal decisions, Reach the Children is committed to extending comprehensive, long-term benefit to the widest possible number of families and individuals, within a community framework.
Reach the Children is committed to creating and maintaining a Board of Directors that represent geographic and intellectual diversity and who support the goals of the organization. We strive to attract board members who bring knowledge, experience, and/or public presence that will facilitate the accomplishment of Reach the Children’s objectives. These individuals will be primarily external to the day-to-day execution of our programs and external to the loyal volunteers. The Board will have responsibility for oversight of the strategic direction and implementation of our objectives.
Reach the Children will maintain a working operational management body (currently called the Core Team) that is responsible for day-to-day execution of our programs and for tactical decisions and direction.
Reach the Children will welcome advice and counsel from an Advisory Board whose members have special expertise in areas of interest and benefit to the organization.
Reach the Children affirms the need to remain involved with and/or partner with other non-governmental organizations to facilitate the accomplishment of its development objectives. These associations are needed in order to ensure that appropriate levels of knowledge and experience are brought to every aspect of Reach the Children’s projects.
Further, in order to make its voice heard on matters of development policy, Reach the Children commits to remain engaged with the United Nations and its agencies. We recognize that our development efforts cannot be successful in the long-term without advocating child-friendly and family-friendly national and international policy changes in Africa. Additionally, as part of its operations, Reach the Children will operate for-profit subsidiary firms or ancillary organizations. The objective of these firms will be to contribute to the local African economy by generating ongoing community employment. All profits realized from these ventures will be used for reinvestment in Reach the Children development projects. Reach the Children may also partner with other for-profit enterprises to realize its development objectives.
Finally, Reach the Children will not engage in any partnership with any organization that may cause Reach the Children to compromise its principles.
Reach the Children strives to achieve high levels of positive public exposure in a cost-effective, responsible manner. We commit to cover our publicity expenses with minimum impact on Reach the Children funds. In our publicity materials, we will emphasize our guiding philosophy – that both the giver and the receiver of a gift are benefited.
Reach the Children is not sponsored or endorsed by any religious or political organization. At every level of our programs and administration, we accept and encourage the participation of all without regard to race, language, gender, or religion. At the same time, we respect the right of donors to specify how their donation will be used if they so desire; some of our programs may therefore be restricted to specific groups.
Reach the Children recognizes that adequate shelter is a fundamental part of comprehensive development. In the areas where we are working on projects, we will partner with other organizations that can facilitate the creation or improvement of local housing.
Reach the Children recognizes that sub-Saharan Africa is home to a growing number of orphans, due to AIDS, conflicts, and other factors. We commit to finding effective ways to improve the life chances of these children through education and placement within schools and/or families. We emphasize the need for family atmosphere wherever possible by establishing Sustainable Homes for Orphans, rather than orphanages. There may be other incentives we can offer, such as micro-credit priority for those who take in orphans, etc.
Reach the Children affirms that agricultural development is the cornerstone of rural development. We will partner with local, regional, national, and international agricultural experts to bring improved knowledge and techniques to rural communities. We will also facilitate the efforts of other organizations that may want to provide seeds, tools, or other materials to African farmers. Along with our commitment to improving agriculture generally, we also commit to providing meals for students who attend our schools. We will accomplish this by locating self-sustaining agricultural projects at or near the schools.
People engaged in this work do so because of a desire to serve, rather than to be recognized. Anyone involved with Reach the Children is discouraged from taking any personal credit for success or service and is encouraged to give credit to the Lord and direct attention to the larger Reach the Children organization. The work is bigger than any specific person or persons. There are occasions where some personal recognition will further the work of the organization. In these cases, the individual(s) is requested to respond in a way as to promote a spirit of service and support of those we serve, not of self-aggrandizement.
Reach The Children has standard processes to implement our various programs. We base these processes on principles of self-reliance, sustainability, respect for the dignity of the individual, comprehensive rural development, affirmative action for women and girls, and support of the traditional nuclear family. This includes family-friendly policies so that children can be part of an environment where they can experience love and trust and learn how to deal well with other people.
Following these principles, we give as much autonomy as possible to regional direction, country direction, and project direction. We offer guidance and advice at each level as needed or requested and accountability at the ground level. The Board of Directors is asked to provide strategic direction and give advice and judgment on the effectiveness of program implementation. Country Directors are responsible for program development in their countries and are accountable for success. Project Managers and Program Directors are responsible for their projects and programs and are accountable for their success. Through a system of reporting procedures all responsible persons are accountable for the fiscal health of the areas of their responsibility.
We cannot solve all the problems or help everyone. We are like the child on the seashore trying to save as many starfish as we can. We commit to maximize our effectiveness and behind-the-scenes influence to help others into a position where they, too, can save a few more starfish. There are mutual benefits to service. The Giver and the Receiver both receive benefits and blessings. “There is an interdependence between those who have and those who have not. The process of giving exalts the poor and humbles the rich. In the process, both are sanctified.” (Marion G. Romney)