We are transparent and accountable
We adhere to best practice guidelines as outlined by the Charity Commission
We have robust anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies
We publish our annual accounts, reports and independent evaluations of our work for shared learning
All AfriKids staff, in the UK and Ghana, are trained in and fiercely proud of our transparency and accountability commitments and uphold this at every level, from collecting receipts for every refuel of a fieldworker's motorbike to submitting our accounts to the Charity Commission every year.
We were proud to be the first African charity to win the Third Sector Excellence Award for Transparency and Accountability in 2007
We promise "Value for Money" to all stakeholders
We are committed to ensuring every penny our donors entrust us with is spent responsibly and in honouring the best interests of our beneficiaries. Our Value for Money policy outlines how we manage this.
Our local stakeholders in Ghana include everyone from our beneficiaries, to their community leaders, local authorities, national government and even international policy makers and funders. All relevant parties are consulted in the design and delivery of our child rights and community development programmes, ensuring we are best serving the needs and interests of the communities we serve and the children they protect.
We are committed to best practice and strive to be industry leaders
Our operations and governance systems in the UK and Ghana are carefully designed by referencing industry guidelines, benchmarking against peers and ensuring compliance with relevant law and authorities.
Working towards our goal of AfriKids Ghana's self-sufficiency includes developing a comprehensive policies, systems and processes framework to underpin their strategy, enabling them to be robust, flexible and maintain their integrity as a model of best practice.
Both AfriKids UK and AfriKids Ghana are regularly consulted by industry peers and stakeholders who consider us to be a model of best practice for sustainable international development. AfriKids Ghana are widely considered to be the go-to delivery partner for child rights work in northern Ghana, integral to the civil society of this region and its role in achieving the country's poverty reduction strategies and national development plans. With this position, AfriKids Ghana have attracted direct funding from a number of sources including UNICEF, the UK Government Department for International Development and the International Labour Organisation.
We listen, empower and sustain
Our philosophy is to:
LISTEN to what communities know they need,
EMPOWER them to make the necessary changes themselves, and to
ensure absolute SUSTAINABILITY in everything we do
We believe that if it's not local, it's not sustainable
The charity you see today as AfriKids grew out of a handful of local people in northern Ghana who had identified needs in their local communities and were working to address them with little or no resource. The charities were established to formalise these activities and facilitate the vital funding they required to develop and grow as needed. These humble grassroots beginnings laid the foundation for the work we do today - always locally-led with extensive stakeholder consultation on all that we do and with local communities being the agents of change - from local chiefs heralding the end of the Spirit Child Phenomenon to mothers working with AfriKids' livelihoods team to build their household income and support their families without AfriKids' support. We have made major strides in improving the child rights environment of northern Ghana and improving the socio-economic landscape of the region to provide genuine prospects for the next generation, and all of our success is owed to local people working together to transform their lives and communities for good.
We believe that charity should never breed dependence
We believe charity should never breed dependence, but be a helping hand when it's needed most; a stepping stone to a long-term solution that doesn't rely on aid. All of our programmes have clear exit strategies, from tailor-made support plans for each child working towards being independent adults, to looking at the longer-term solutions for the interventions AfriKids provides, like working with Ghana Education Service to absorb schools we have helped establish. Supporting AfriKids is not a drop in the "African aid ocean", but a smarter way of giving, an investment in critical support now to leverage real and sustainable change that is breaking the cycle of poverty and reducing the need for charity tomorrow.
AfriKids' have a bold ambition: to achieve the self-sufficiency of AfriKids Ghana so that AfriKids UK is no longer needed. This is one of the major steps we are taking towards reducing reliance on aid, though of course, the ultimate goal is that AfriKids Ghana is no longer needed either.
We "Say no to Pity"
We are determined to change the face of development work in Africa. We are proud of the major achievements we have made in improving the child rights environment of northern Ghana and the socio-economic development of this remote region. We work with incredible people who want to be the agents of their own change - determined to lead dignified, self-sufficient lives, caring for their families and giving back to their communities.
Anything we write or produce about our work celebrates these people and the achievements we are making with them. We will never use images to induce pity, guilt or depression. We believe this not only degrades and belittles the plight of the people we work with and fuels negative connotations of development work in Africa, but that it is also insulting to the motivations and intelligence of our donors. We don’t want people to support us out of pity or guilt, but to be impressed and inspired by what we are achieving and to want to be part of our success story.
Our Founder Georgie Fienberg was featured on "Four Thought" on BBC Radio 4 discussing why we "Say No to Pity", hear it here.
We work with "One Child at a Time" - our support is tailor-made
Our programmes are not one size to fit all. Every child we work with has a unique story and situation and we invest time in understanding that and designing a tailored programme of support for every single one of them. We write a profile, support package and monitoring plan to address any barriers to a beneficiary's rights being met as a child. That programme might include counselling, working with their family to increase household income, helping them access healthcare, providing extra-curricular teaching support and for the 1 per cent of children we work with who cannot be resettled with family, a happy and healthy home to grow up in.
Our holistic model - working across a range of support services rather than focusing on one issue or service - means we can draw on a range of facilities, services and expertise to provide the highest quality care plans which have been independently proven to be effective. While we work to clear development plans for every beneficiary, we do not put a deadline on our support. We continue to support every child until they or their families are stable enough not to need our support anymore. Our geographical focus means we stay in touch with most of the people we work with forever, long after our financial support has ended - many of the young people we first supported with vocational training are now "master trainers", providing apprenticeships to our current beneficiaries. This is not the cheapest way to operate, but we believe it is the right way and that the extra investment we make is the difference of ensuring that change is big enough and genuinely sustainable.
We are committed to industry-leading feedback
We are incredibly fortunate to have a loyal base of supporters who have joined the AfriKids family and never left – following our journey to sustainability and celebrating with us the milestones we have achieved together along the way. People support AfriKids because we show how they can make a difference in Africa and how every penny they donate has made an impact on the ground.
Our feedback includes everything from updates on the individual children and families we support, to sophisticated Multi-Dimensional Poverty Indicators, which track the impact of our work on the economy and standards of living at the community level, monitoring what longer-term, broader change our interventions are making.
We are independently audited in the UK and Ghana every year and publish the details of our accounts on the AfriKids and Charity Commission websites for anyone to see. We encourage all of our supporters to interrogate this information, to ask us questions and to hold us to account for the things we claim to do, from our commitment to value for money on their donations to our progress towards sustainability.
We are committed to protecting and preserving a healthy environment, culture and heritage for our beneficiaries
Working in development is a complex and sensitive business. While Ghana was the first country to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (the first international child rights treaty) , it faces a number of challenges in implementing this commitment on the ground, including making changes in traditional values and practices, the quality of personnel training, resources for service delivery, stakeholder collaboration, and community knowledge of the legislation. AfriKids plays an invaluable role in bridging these gaps between policy and practice.
Working to change traditional beliefs and practices is a difficult process which requires sensitivity and an approach which tackles the elements of local customs which pose a threat to human rights while respecting and upholding the elements of culture and heritage which are positive and conducive to local development. Many of the issues we tackle have seen a range of previous attempts from government and other NGOs without success, and AfriKids’ unique model of working with local people – AfriKids Ghana’s staff are all from the communities they serve and many grew up with the challenges they now address - to intimately understand the issues and lead changes which local people trust and actively participate in.
For example our ground-breaking work in eradicating the Spirit Child Phenomenon was led by a committee of Right to Life Promoters - child rights ambassadors who previously supplied lethal “remedies” as a “solution” to children perceived to be evil spirits and who are now active advocates for child rights and the first ports of call for their communities to report any cases of "Spirit Children" being identified, so that they can be intercepted by AfriKids. Community advocacy, education in healthcare and working with families to care for the special needs of any children are some of the ways AfriKids has provided a viable solution to this problem.
AfriKids’ unprecedented success in abolishing Spirit Child infanticide culminated with a community-led declaration of the end of the phenomenon in one district – an action which led neighbouring chiefs to come forward and request similar interventions in their own communities.
AfriKids in the UK and Ghana operate "do no harm" environmental policies and reduce, reuse and recycle our waste as far as possible.