A few years ago, when I was working with a foundation that gives grants to organizations working with children and families affected by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, I received the following report, exactly as it appears below, from a Zimbabwean grantee. (I have however removed any identifiers.)
In determining whether to give them a second small grant, aside from the original proposal and financial report, this was all I had to go on. They had not received a site visit from our organization and one was not soon anticipated.
I ask you to ponder only one question as you peruse the brief report for yourself—would you fund them again?
Let me know why or why not in the comments section or by tweeting @intldogooder #wouldyoufund. A synopsis of the foundation’s funding guidelines for renewal grants is included in the text box. (Click here if it’s not totally visible.)
Spoiler alert! You won’t find out whether I decided to fund them or not until my next post.
Organization X is a registered Community based Organization that seeks to address the problem of HIV and AIDS in the X Community of X District. Through community participation, Organization X has managed to carry out the following programs by December.
PLANNED PROGRAMS FOR OPHAN AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN
Purchasing of Nutrition aid
Maintenance of OVCs [orphans and vulnerable children] homes
Payment of school fees
ACHIEVEMENT OF PLANNED ACTIVITIES
Nutrition aid that included mealie meal [corn/maize meal] and Kapenta [dried fish] was purchased and distributed to 130 OVCs. Caregivers for the OVC worked tirelessly to facilitate the distribution. The challenges to this program included transport since the activity was done during rain season and some areas were note easy to access because of poor roads. The food was useful to the children since the area is drought prone.
Maintenance of OVC Homes
Two child headed families were provided with shelter as two roomed flat houses were constructed. The building material such as bricks were provided by the community We had a challenge of shortage of thatching house [roofing material] so we decided to build two roomed for two child headed families.
Payment of school fees
Organization X paid school fees for 117 Orphan and Vulnerable Children. The number of children who need school fees keeps on increasing as most families were not open in fear of stigma and discrimination.
Blankets were purchased and distributed to 89 Orphan and Vulnerable Children and it was well timed as Zimbabwe had an extended winter season.
Five Orphan and vulnerable children were trained in basic hairdressing and were supplied with chemicals for starting income generating projects business in home hair dressing. They are doing fine as we continue monitor the activities.
Activities carried out by Organization X have much impact to the life of children because we managed to train children in basic skills in hairdressing and are doing their income generating activities and more children are indeed requesting for more programs of the same nature.
One Project officer by the name of X was recruited in order to meet the demand of the programs. The organization still has its Programs coordinator, Consultant, Finance and administration officer, three field officers and a community mobilizer.
CHALLENGES TO THE PROJECT
The roads in the area are so bad especially when it is during the rain season. Fuel shortage and inadequate transport has hindered implementation of activities.
The number of male OVCs is low when it comes to skills training, as most males prefer going to work in South Africa as illegal migrant.
If we were to conduct activities like skills training what we are going to do differently is to try and come out with packages that will attract more males counterpart to some of these activities. Exchange visits to other partners are to be done and support the income-generating activities by issuing starter grants and monitor them. Uniforms are to be issued in order for children to attend lessons being smart.
In future Organization X will try to make sure that more Orphans and Vulnerable Children receive skills training so that they start income generating activities projects that are sustainable, that is carpentry, wielding and building.
Maintenance of eight OVC homes
Provision of nutrition aid
Payment of school fees up to University level
FEEDBACK FOR DONOR
The awards process is generally very fare and communication between the two organizations is quite good. Besides financial support for OVCs program, Donor X can help strengthen Organization X’s capacity by providing things like learning materials for children, office equipment and information on other researches from other organization. The information will add greater value to Organization X OVC activities.
Person X were provided with a flat roomed house.
Some of our activities are to carry to the next financial support since it is a continuos program. The economic situation has a negative impact to our projects, which forced us to carry forward activities since the inflation rate is ever increasingly.
So…tell me, would YOU fund them again?
Share what you would do if you were the grantmaker in the comments section or by tweeting @intldogooder #wouldyoufund. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Stay tuned to how-matters.org to see what happened…