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Ridderen til kamp mod vindmøller

Finally I have to apologize for the poor layout, but it proved to be very difficult to make a proper “clean up”
(Originally it was arranged with “Jumps” to other sections, as a proper homepage)

Of course, you are more than welcome to contact me giving comments and raise questions: thorkilsoee@gmail.com

Yours faithfully
Thorkil Søe

PS.
The essence of this old and abandoned project may best be described by the following paragraph, taken from the original description of the project:

At a hospital – it is one of the Marie Stoppers Hospitals – there is a signboard with the Swahili text: “Watoto ni Taifa la Kesho”. It translates into “The Children are the Citizens of Tomorrow”. It should be understood, that we aim at more than just survival. – We aim at giving the children a realistic chance of being useful “Citizens of the Future”.

20 million children without parents –
We can make the difference.

In 10 years time 20 million children in Africa will be left without parents and some of them with a hopeless future. We can not just let it happen. THEREFORE:

You have entered the homepage for what we have called ChildVillage.
Here you will find the description of a project in which we will combine self-reliance and low costs in order to reach as many as possible of the children in need.

Please read – you will see the beginning of a road to the future. We can provide some light in the tunnel.

The CHILDREN, they are the future, and they need help to be able to help themselves.

This proposal for a project will show you a new way forward. – Probably the only way if we shall help more than just a few children and if we shall start a true good spiral.

Very short: The key to success and to help for more than just a few is:

  • Provide total help before the children have lost contact with the positive aspects of life, their siblings and the positive quality of the modest African tradition
  • Let us be careful with our resources. And also: We should not spoil the children in a life of luxury

We need your help – not only for money – but also for good advices.
Read our proposal, make your judgements and give us your valuable comments !!

Our Mission
The vicious circle where poverty creates hopelessness and hopelessness creates poverty has got a new and awful dimension in Africa where millions of children will be left as orphans in a situation where neither the society nor the traditional family structure can bring them forward to an acceptable life.

The aim of the project, we will bring forward, is our aim to help children live a life of hope, where they can support themselves and hopefully support others.

It is easy to say and it is even easier to say, that we want to help as many children as possible.
Of course, if our resources were without limit, we could make something, which would satisfy even the most demanding ambitions.
However, we must face the realities and look for what can be done in order to help more than just a few and still provide more than “just survival”.

Family Care and Community Based Help has been and will be always be the backbone of help to children in the African society.
It should therefore be emphasized that Family Care and Community Based Help will always be the first option, if it is available and if it is good. The proposed project should not replace Family Care but only step in where Family Care and/or Community Based Help is not available, has been misused or is obviously not adequate.
Unfortunately there are many children from these categories. Much more than the proposed project can absorb. The growing number of street children is only the visible tip of the iceberg.
Under the waterline – almost hidden from view – you find more than 50,000 children who live in “child-headed” households, without support from adults, the 300,000 who live by worn out grandparents and the more than 10,000 who die every year from malnutrition and/or trivial deceases. – Lastly, they will at least get peace in their grave – even if they do not get a grave.

We have worked through many details and have got to something, which is more than a compromise. What we are proposing is both innovative and ambitious.
We have got acceptance and praise from all involved authorities.

Well over 100 people have participated in shaping the project, and informal contacts have been established with old and new friends, all wishing us success, and interested in providing advice and help.
Authorities:
Useful discussions and promises for all possible help has been obtained from Local Village Leader, the “Diwani” Ms. Ninyiro Ushianga and among others from the following officers in Tanga Region.

  • Capt. G. H. Mkuchika, former Regional Commissioner, Tanga Region.
  • Capt. Jaka Mwambi, Regional Commissioner, Tanga Region.
  • Ms. Evelyne Hija, Social Welfare Officer, Tanga Region.
  • Mr. Mussa Dengo, Land Officer, Tanga Region.

At the national level, help and encouragement has been obtained from:

  • Hon. H. Bakari Mwapachu, Member of Parliament for Tanga Rural and Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
  • Mr. Donald M. Charwe. Assistant Commissioner for Social Welfare.
  • Mr. Fulgence S. Ntiruhungwa, Ministry of Labour, Youth Development and Sports.
  • Mr. P.O. Mtei, President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government.
  • Non Formal Education (NFE). Previously: Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET) – A department under the Ministry of Education, dealing with alternative education for the approximately 50% of the children in Tanzania, who have lost their chance for formal education.
  • Mrs. Rustika Tembele, Coordinator, Tanzania Commission for AIDS.
  • Dr. Jonathan M. K. Lwehabura. The Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation.

Description Indications Assumptions
Principal Goals 1 Expansion of the project
Better childhood and better 2 Better quality of life and Alternative 1
future for orphans hope for the future for a Positive evaluation
in Tanzania large part of the Future support from
orphans in Tanzania donors
Immediate Goals 1 Better childhood and better 1 Better nutrition and Alternative 2
future for 100 orphans health Very positive evaluation
2 Establish a society where 2 Better education and Very good response from
these orphans can receive results of education donors
necessary support 3 More self-respect
3 Demonstrate how 4 Existing co-operation
co-operation and in family groups is 1 Children and staff work
self-reliance will create maintained together for the common
self-respect and economic 5 Active self-reliance goal
efficiency 2 No major negative
Results 1 100 children will get a good 1 Buildings, infrastructure discussions
start for their future life and agricultural
2 The value of the project can activities
be demonstrated 2 Few “drop outs” 1 Pioneer-spirit is established
3 Education within the project 3 The children have got and maintained
4 Support for extensions can useful knowledge 2 No larger negative discus-
be sought locally and Sources: Reports, tests, sions and/or complaints
internationally interviews and inspection about economic
Activities 1 Small scale ChildVillage is decisions and/or spartarian
established conditions of life
2 New family-groups are
established
3 Locally recruited adults 1 Motivated staff can be
(pensioners and widows) recruited
are activated 2 All staff understand that
4 Children getting self-respect even a moderate use of
and hope for their future luxury will destroy the
5 Education within the project children’s understanding of
Inputs 1 Necessary site for buildings self-reliance
and agricultural activities 3 Children applying for
2 Basic foodstuff participation are fully
3 Material for education aware that support from
4 Equipment for the project donors does not guarantee
5 Equipment for children and a life in luxury
staff 4 Support from local and
6 Staff (mainly pensioners and national authorities
widows from Tanzania)

Education How ?
Education is a very important part of the child’s development for its future as a useful member of society.
Of course, there are examples of people who did even very well in their life without having received what we call “proper education”. But this is the exception and should not be used as an excuse for neglecting this part of the development.

Several times we have been asked how we will build a school and how we will accommodate and pay for teachers, and out of necessities we have been forced to answer, that we will not be able to provide what is regarded as a proper school.
The reasons are many and it is the basis for the following discussions:
Primary Education:
It is noted that Tanzania, as well as other developing countries, has adopted the policy of compulsory primary education and that the international donor society has pledged to support this move.

However:
We will start with the sad news:
We must face the facts and realise that for the near future there are several difficulties when it comes to implementation; and it is anticipated, that the educational system in Tanzania will be very hard pressed when it comes to the policy goals and there are difficulties, especially when it comes to finding qualified teachers:
It must be realized, that many of the best teachers, who graduated in the past, but did not get employment in the profession, now are economically better off in employment outside the profession.
Almost half of the children of school going age are not attending school.
It is: They have not got the chance for proper education.
If these children shall have formal schooling, the number of active teachers should be almost doubled.
Most schools are understaffed with too many students in the classes. Often students are “just” asked to do private studies.
An alarming number of teachers die from AIDS, leaving the educational system with too many holes to be filled.
Whenever a graduated teacher will be employed in the proposed project, he will be taken away from something else and in this way the total national outcome will not improve.

All these are the realities faced not only by Tanzania and not only by our project.
It may look as everything is hopeless and that we should just give up.
OK the situation is DESPERATE and we must look for solutions, which otherwise would be unacceptable.

Then: What may be regarded as the good news:
The Ministry of Education has embarked on a courageous initiative where children, who have “lost the chance” get what may be described as alternative education in a new environment: Non Formal Education (NFE), previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).

First of all: The traditional prestige has been abandoned: No school uniforms, “traditional buildings” of cheapest absolutely local material. Motivated staff is given a short course and can as a matter of fact provide good service.

This project is still under development and it is the aim of the ChildVillage Project to cooperate with the NFE/COBET project – hopefully to the benefit of both parties.

A few details related to the ChildVillage project have already been agreed upon:

Teaching Staff:
As mentioned in other parts of these writings, the main part of the staff will be pensioners and widows and it is expected to recruit suitable new and retired teachers. The latter will be given a reduced workload.
These teachers will, together with their wives/husbands, at the same time act as “substitute parents”.

Legal status of the school.
The education in the project will, just as other activities, by necessity be funded by donations. The school in the project may in this way be regarded as a “private school without school-fees”; only for children in the project.
At a later stage, it may be considered also to admit other children and even to give “Adult Literacy Education”.

Syllabus and Methods:
In order to obtain a relevant syllabus and efficient methods, it is expected that the project will utilize experience gained and material developed by the newly started programme: Non Formal Education (NFE); previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).
This unit, which is under the Ministry of Education, will provide basic education to the almost 50% of the children in Tanzania who, for different reasons, lost their first chance for primary education.

Classrooms ?
As discussed in other parts of this writings, the buildings will be relatively small one-room buildings with a fairly big veranda.
In the costal tropics, such a veranda will be the “everything-room”.
With small groups, teaching will easily be accommodated in the veranda. As a result, there will be no need for special classrooms.

All children will start at the same level.
It should be remembered that children, who will be admitted to the project, will be those who have already lost the chance for formal education.
In this way all children start at the same level. This will ease the teaching and, especially, the preparation of teaching materials.

Innovative material:
Some groundbreaking material is under development. It will enable motivated children to help as part time assistant teachers – of course teaching small groups only.
It is difficult to teach – some teachers will never really learn it and some people are “born as teachers”. With proper help and material and with a very narrow syllabus “unqualified” staff has been seen to do a good job.

Social Awareness:
As discussed in connection with “Small Steps Towards Democracy”, the family-groups should have time and opportunities for creation of a feeling of democracy through decision-making.
At the same time the “Substitute Parents” should discuss and thereby help teaching the very difficult subject, which is usually known as “Social Awareness”.

Further developments:
After the first major evaluation, which is scheduled to take place after about two years, it is expected to start skill-formation, thereby training larger and motivated children in one narrow practical subject. It may best be described as “Mono-Technique”, aiming at Brigade-Activities as introduced in Botswana by Patric v. Rensburg and described in his book Report from Swaning Hill.
Education How ?
Education is a very important part of the child’s development for its future as a useful member of society.
Of course, there are examples of people who did even very well in their life without having received what we call “proper education”. But this is the exception and should not be used as an excuse for neglecting this part of the development.

Several times we have been asked how we will build a school and how we will accommodate and pay for teachers, and out of necessities we have been forced to answer, that we will not be able to provide what is regarded as a proper school.
The reasons are many and it is the basis for the following discussions:

Primary Education:
It is noted that Tanzania, as well as other developing countries, has adopted the policy of compulsory primary education and that the international donor society has pledged to support this move.

However:
We will start with the sad news:
We must face the facts and realise that for the near future there are several difficulties when it comes to implementation; and it is anticipated, that the educational system in Tanzania will be very hard pressed when it comes to the policy goals and there are difficulties, especially when it comes to finding qualified teachers:
It must be realized, that many of the best teachers, who graduated in the past, but did not get employment in the profession, now are economically better off in employment outside the profession.
Almost half of the children of school going age are not attending school.
It is: They have not got the chance for proper education.
If these children shall have formal schooling, the number of active teachers should be almost doubled.
Most schools are understaffed with too many students in the classes. Often students are “just” asked to do private studies.
An alarming number of teachers die from AIDS, leaving the educational system with too many holes to be filled.
Whenever a graduated teacher will be employed in the proposed project, he will be taken away from something else and in this way the total national outcome will not improve.

All these are the realities faced not only by Tanzania and not only by our project.
It may look as everything is hopeless and that we should just give up.
OK the situation is DESPERATE and we must look for solutions, which otherwise would be unacceptable.

Then: What may be regarded as the good news:
The Ministry of Education has embarked on a courageous initiative where children, who have “lost the chance” get what may be described as alternative education in a new environment: Non Formal Education (NFE), previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).

First of all: The traditional prestige has been abandoned: No school uniforms, “traditional buildings” of cheapest absolutely local material. Motivated staff is given a short course and can as a matter of fact provide good service.

This project is still under development and it is the aim of the ChildVillage Project to cooperate with the NFE/COBET project – hopefully to the benefit of both parties.

A few details related to the ChildVillage project have already been agreed upon:

Teaching Staff:
As mentioned in other parts of these writings, the main part of the staff will be pensioners and widows and it is expected to recruit suitable new and retired teachers. The latter will be given a reduced workload.
These teachers will, together with their wives/husbands, at the same time act as “substitute parents”.

Legal status of the school.
The education in the project will, just as other activities, by necessity be funded by donations. The school in the project may in this way be regarded as a “private school without school-fees”; only for children in the project.
At a later stage, it may be considered also to admit other children and even to give “Adult Literacy Education”.

Syllabus and Methods:
In order to obtain a relevant syllabus and efficient methods, it is expected that the project will utilize experience gained and material developed by the newly started programme: Non Formal Education (NFE); previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).
This unit, which is under the Ministry of Education, will provide basic education to the almost 50% of the children in Tanzania who, for different reasons, lost their first chance for primary education.

Classrooms ?
As discussed in other parts of this writings, the buildings will be relatively small one-room buildings with a fairly big veranda.
In the costal tropics, such a veranda will be the “everything-room”.
With small groups, teaching will easily be accommodated in the veranda. As a result, there will be no need for special classrooms.

All children will start at the same level.
It should be remembered that children, who will be admitted to the project, will be those who have already lost the chance for formal education.
In this way all children start at the same level. This will ease the teaching and, especially, the preparation of teaching materials.

Innovative material:
Some groundbreaking material is under development. It will enable motivated children to help as part time assistant teachers – of course teaching small groups only.
It is difficult to teach – some teachers will never really learn it and some people are “born as teachers”. With proper help and material and with a very narrow syllabus “unqualified” staff has been seen to do a good job.

Social Awareness:
As discussed in connection with “Small Steps Towards Democracy”, the family-groups should have time and opportunities for creation of a feeling of democracy through decision-making.
At the same time the “Substitute Parents” should discuss and thereby help teaching the very difficult subject, which is usually known as “Social Awareness”.

Further developments:
After the first major evaluation, which is scheduled to take place after about two years, it is expected to start skill-formation, thereby training larger and motivated children in one narrow practical subject. It may best be described as “Mono-Technique”, aiming at Brigade-Activities as introduced in Botswana by Patric v. Rensburg and described in his book Report from Swaning Hill.
Low Costs See How
Limited funds and an overwhelming number of children in need of help.
The situation can best be described as DESPERATE

Therefore it is the aim of our project to stretch the available funds as much as possible in order to help as many children as possible. However, we also want to give the children a start in life, in such a way that they can continue their life when they leave the project and hopefully help to start a positive circle for themselves and for the country.

It may look, as if we want to eat the cake and still have it.

Before you turn to the cost-estimate we will show some of the discussions through which we came to a solution where we will drive forward on the road without falling into any of the two ditches.

  • We must avoid expensive and luxurious projects for prestige.
  • At the same time we must create something, which is more than “just survival”.

A lot of important discussions have centred around this problem and it is the reason for the following:

How Perfect? – How Good? – How Much?
First it must be realized, that the very few children who can be helped by the project will only be a drop in the ocean. It can even be argued, that the project will be a failure if support for future duplication will not be available.

The Dilemma:
In many aspects of life, it may be argued, that a demand for THE PERFECT will destroy the chances for THE GOOD.
This dilemma is the reason for the following discussion, which may easily be regarded as unfinished.

The too perfect, as seen in some prestigious, but well-intentioned projects, will easily give the children a false start in life.
The perfect is where you, for instance, provide beautiful uniforms, first class accommodation, fully qualified teachers etc.
It will unfortunately drastically reduce the number of children who can be helped.
The good is where all of us would like to aim, if the situation was not desperate.
The just good enough will probably indicate a situation, which is better than the alternative, which is “nothing”.
Among other things it will involve:

  • Adult contact and acceptance.
  • Contact with and acceptance by other children in the same situation.
  • Adequate accommodation.
  • Nutritious food.
  • Medical help, including dental treatment and, if necessary, spectacles.
  • Education and experiences, which will prepare for a future “matter-of-fact life”.

(Where possible, special attention will be given to identify and help the few special gifted and very motivated children.)

As mentioned many times: The situation is desperate and we may therefore be forced into solutions, which may otherwise be unacceptable.

Further: Whatever we do, we should not create a situation where the children live in fear of the day when they are “out of paradise”.
Instead it is hoped that some children will say: “When I grow up, then I will —–”

As an oversimplification we may ask: “Which type of shoes?”

    • As most town-children like to use for churchgoing, parties and for discos.
    • Strong black leather shoes with white socks, as demanded at most schools in the towns.
    • Rubber boots, as sometimes used during the rains.
    • Sandals.
    • Flip-flop (“Kanda Mbili”).
    • “Masai-shoes” from old car tires.

No shoes, as actually seen in the village, also by many school-going children.

The final question will therefore be:
Where do you want to place the priorities?

Our priorities have already been discussed. Your question will therefore be HOW?

Three of very many details will just be highlighted:

Hard work and self-reliance is part of the positive African tradition in the rural area and will be maintained in the project.

Buildings, also for the staff, will be “traditional”, using local materials and experience.

Widows and pensioners will form the bulk of the staff.

The cost-estimate in the following is based on realistic assumptions and has been discussed and approved by several competent persons.

All costs are listed in TZS x 1000 as per 2003 November. (USD 1 ≈ TZS 1000), and have been calculated for 250 children in a five year period.
The cost-estimate has been build up in five units:

1. Unit Costs for START of the Project
2. Number of Persons involved in the Project
3. Unit Costs for RUNNING of the Project
4. Costs Specified as PER PROJECT PERIOD
5. Costs specified as PER ITEM

The first three units are input data from which the costs in the two last units have been generated.
Control of Donated Recourses

The ChildVillage project is a newly established identity and can therefore not refer back to past activities and past use of donated funds.
However, the two collaborating organizations: Tanzania Scouts Association and WAMATA have long experience and a good track record in handling recourses from donors.
Also the Patron and the Trustees, who will have the power to inspect the project, are people of integrity and position.

Both the Trustees and the ChildVillage Steering Committee will do everything in their power in order to ensure proper use of recourses from the donors and to maintain the basic principles of low costs and active participation by the children.

The Trustees and the ChildVillage Steering Committee will therefore make it absolutely clear, both to the children and the staff, that donor support will be withdrawn and that the project will be closed down if funds are misused.

Further, from the ChildVillage Constitution we quote the following:
Here only parts, which may be regarded as relevant for this area under discussion:
Powers and Duties of the ChildVillage Steering Committee
6.1 The ChildVillage Steering Committee will be in charge of the day to day running of the project(s) and shall:
1) Ensure, that the basic principles of low costs and self-reliance are maintained in the project(s).
2) Ensure, that funds are not misused in the project(s).
6.2 The ChildVillage Steering Committee shall maintain strict control of the project(s) resources. This will involve the following:
1) A banking account or accounts shall be operated jointly by four persons approved by the Board of Trustees and to operate the account(s), the signatures of two of these four persons must be obtained.
2) All payments shall be authorized by the ChildVillage Steering Committee.
3) The ChildVillage Steering Committee shall prepare the accounts, expose all donations and secure auditors yearly reports.
4) On the Internet site http://www.ChildVillage.net, the ChildVillage Steering Committee shall thereafter post detailed accounts, details of all donations together with the auditors report.
5) Keep donors informed on the progress and on the use of donated funds.
From Powers and Duties of the Board of Trustees:
5.1 To set out policies and guidelines for the ChildVillage project(s).
5.2 To approve plans and budgets presented by the ChildVillage Steering Committee.
5.3 To receive and consider implementation reports from the ChildVillage Steering Committee. This will include accounts and auditors reports of the organization and its branches, if any.
5.4 When necessary to request a representative of a donor agency to attend a Board meeting.
5.5 To appoint an inspector to evaluate the project or part of it.

Besides this, it is expected that the donor community will set up or appoint an independent mechanism for scrutinizing progress and in particular the use of donated funds.

ChildVillage Cost estimate

The cost estimate in the following has been build in five units:
1) Persons involved in the project. (Found just below.)
2) Costs for establishing of the project. (“Unit costs for START”.)
3) Costs related to the RUNNING of the project. (Also unit costs.)
4) Costs specified per “PROJECT PERIOD”. (Generated.)
5) Total costs for a five years period. (Generated.)
The data in the two last units are generated from the previous three units in such a
way that changes to the input data automatically will reflect on the resulting data
in these two last units.

All costs are specified in TZS x 1000
(TZS 1000 approximately equal to USD 1)

PERSONS involved in the project
Length Persons in the periods
Period of the Children Scouts Staff Hired Labour
period (Kibarua)
Average Child- Average Man- Average Man- Average Man-
months months months months months
Start 6 Activities during START of the project will be planning and preparation
Establishing 6 20 120 20 120 4 24 20 120
Expansion 21 210 4,410 8 168 13 273 15 315
Evaluation 3 250 750 4 12 13 39 7 21
Continuation 24 250 6,000 2 48 13 312 5 120

60 11,280 348 648 576

The project described in the following was originally thought up by Thorkil Soe.
Later several people have been involved in different ways and the project will be managed by a joint committee of WAMATA and Tanzania Scouts Association.

Thorkil Soe, who is an engineer, and a retired Sen. Lecturer from University of Dar es Salaam, is a resident in Tanzania. Among other things the project has been inspired by the cooperation with 3 children now in his care.
WAMATA is an independent NGO with more than 10,000 members. The main objective of WAMATA is to fight against AIDS and the discrimination against AIDS-victims.
In addition to its own contributions in relation to the proposed project, WAMATA will be able to draw on help from many other organizations.
Tanzania Scouts Association, with a membership of more than 80,000, is integrated in the World Organization of Scout Movements. Its roots go back to the time before the independence of Tanzania. There are Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rovers, many with both pioneer spirit and pioneer experience. They would like to give a helping hand now and then.

The ChildVillage Organization is an independent NGO with the following management:

Patron:
His Excellency Alhaj Ali Hassan Mwinyi
(Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania)

Trustees:

  • Mr. Baraboma Mubondo, Head of WAMATA’s Dar es Salaam Office.
  • Mr. Gosbert W. T. Njunwa, Chief Commissioner, Tanzania Scouts Association.
  • Mr. Charles Kapungu, Ass. Chief Commissioner with Special Duties, Tanzania Scouts Association and Contact Person to the ChildVillage Project.
  • Mrs. Rose Lugembe, Principal Secretary in The Prime Ministers Office.
  • Dr. Jonatan M.K. Lwahambura, The Nyerere Foundation, Dar es Salaam.
  • Dr. Daniel Marwa, Consultant in Primary Health Care and Medical Demographics. Formally with the UN-system.
  • Capt. Jaka Mwambi, Regional Commissioner, Tanga Region.
  • Ms. Evelyne Hija, Social Welfare Officer, Tanga Region.
  • Ms. Ninyiro Ushanga, Leader of the local Village Community (the “Diwani”)
  • Ms. Mary Moyo, Student at Zanaki Secondary School.
  • Mr. Henrik Bjørner Søe, Director for Business Development, Copenhagen Airport.

Coordinator / Secretary:
Thorkil Soe

ChildVillage Steering Committee:
Will be elected by the Trustees and will be in charge of the day to day running of the ChildVillage project(s).
Inspirations
You may very well ask what has inspired us and what has been the background for the project we now want to implement.
It is a difficult question and we will not even know the full answer. Therefore the following is only a small part of the answer.

However, one thing is sure: The situation for countless orphans is desperate. This we can understand, even when, as a matter of facts, the human mind is not really fit for comprehending the realities behind large numbers. (Just think about the distance to the stars.)

Then, of course, we also know that true sustainable development depends upon human progress.
Especially the orphans stand on the edge of a knife: Shall they fulfil the dreams of every human being or shall they “just” swell the ocean of wasted opportunities.

But you may then say:
“The street children and the young prostitutes – they are in an even more desperate situation than the orphans in the village ?”
Here the answer may very well be “YES”.
But the gruesome reality is the “cost benefit”. The cost of rehabilitating is much more than the cost of preventing rehabilitation. Also the results can be expected to be much better.
Two similar projects
However, two very different undertakings have also inspired our project. These projects have been very far from each another, not only in time and geography, but also very different in how they were set in motion.
A remarkable person, aiming at helping children in need, initiated both and they achieved astonishing results with very low input of resources.

Although what we are aiming at will differ from these projects, there are similarities and lessons to be learned.

Karen Gormsen was born 21st Feb 1880 in Vøjstrup, Denmark.
Her father was a poor landless farm-worker and already as a child Karen Gormsen decided to work as a missionary.
First she graduated and for some time worked as a nurse in Denmark. In 1906, after one year at a school for missionaries, she went to Manchuria in the northern China. There she started as a nurse / midwife at a little mission hospital. At the same time she educated Chinese nurses / midwives.

Soon she started what became the function of her life: The Children.

It had to be realized, that people had little strength for anything but just physical survival. They had little time and energy for the preaching, she thought she should do and what she went for. Of course she continued to put her Christian message into action at the mission hospital.

However, there was a little forest where unwanted newborn (mostly girls) were left to be taken by the animals. – Accept it or not – It was the only family planning available.
She collected what she found or was given. In the beginning she just made a home out of what should have been her residence.
No doubt: There must have been a strong element of “self-reliance”, because the mission was sponsored by what at this time was the poorer part of the Danish rural community.

Slowly the home grew to about 300 children with local supporting staff, receiving both local and foreign assistance and support.

With difficulties her work survived, first the Japanese and later the Russian occupation during and after the Second World War.
During “The Cultural Revolution” everything was dismantled and she was forced to leave. However, 20 years after her death, she was officially rehabilitated and she may be regarded as the best-known Danish missionary.

After leaving China, she worked for a short time in Tanzania before she became sick and died in Denmark on 2nd Dec 1960
Biography in Danish can be found on
http://www.kvinfo.dk/side/170/bio/947

Patric v. Rensburg, a South African, had been abroad “for too long” (at the embassy in Zaire). On return home, he was shocked by the Sharpwille massacre and could now understand the evils of apartheid.
He did not keep his mouth shut and just managed to escape to Botswana, where he and his wife started as teachers in a primary school. (They could easily have settled in England, but they wanted to be as near as possible to their roots, which was in South Africa.)
Later, when pressed by some boys, who had not got a place in the secondary school, he pioneered a self-help secondary school.
The boys built the school, where the same rooms were used for teaching, dining and also as dormitories.
The project has already been mentioned. It has shown that if you will, if you understand your situation and, of course, if you get a little help – Then you can achieve a lot.

Patric v. Rensburg later pioneered the Brigades for children who would have no chance in a secondary school. Here he created a lot of lasting success, using a system, which should be considered for duplication.
Brigade Activities

When children are too big for the “children’s role” in the village, they may want to do “something”. Here the Brigade-activities described in the following may be the answer.

We will first explain what a “Brigade” has been, how it started and what it is proposed to be:
A refugee from the South African Apartheid, Patric von Rensburg, was in Botswana where he started first a self-help secondary school and later the brigades.

Most successful was the “Builders Brigade” where some boys, who had no chance for joining secondary schools, worked in a “Brigade”.

The following is a short summary of the activities and the results.
(Summarized by the Initiator of the ChildVillage Project. All “from memory”.)

  • The boys were in the brigade for 5 years.
  • No certificate was given after completion.
  • One expatriate (a Swedish Volunteer) helped the group.
  • They were established as a contracting company and build ordinary simple houses.
  • The boys did all the manual work in connection with the construction.
  • The earnings were sufficient to pay for their own up-keeping and giving time off for one day per week where they learned some writing and elementary arithmetic, something for which they were now motivated.
  • The competition in the business became so stiff, that the local contractors had to reduce their prices drastically. Even after this, the Brigade made the necessary profit.
  • When the boys left the Brigade, they usually grouped together, two or three, and started their own contracting company in another location or became employed by an established contractor.
  • Almost all the boys leaving the Brigade got a better life and earning than most of those who had been lucky and clever enough to complete an ordinary secondary school.

An Electricians Brigade was also successful, whereas the Agricultural Brigade had major problems due to the scarcity of good land in Botswana. An Auto-Mechanic Brigade ran into racial problems.

The key to success has probably been:
You do what you do; you concentrate on this and leave the rest to somebody else.
Or may be better: “Mono-technique” and not “Poly-technique”.
Dear Reader

If you have had time to study this proposal for what we have called ChildVillage, we now take the liberty to ask for your help in order to bring our proposal out to those who need help: The orphans.

Your help may be suggestions and proposals – Although our work has been considered in details and has been discussed with many competent persons, we will always need your comments and corrections.

However, in order to get forward to realities – realities for the children in desperate need – we will also need your financial support. This support of yours will be used to help the children and give them a start in life. For some it may be a start for a better future for themselves and even for their country.

It can be seen, that the project has not yet started. Therefore, for the time being, your help can only be in the form of pledges, which will be utilized when we have enough resources to make a realistic start.

At a hospital – it is one of the Marie Stoppers Hospitals – there is a signboard with the Swahili text: “Watoto ni Taifa la Kesho”. It translates into “The Children are the Citizens of Tomorrow”. It should be understood, that we aim at more than just survival. – We aim at giving the children a realistic chance of being useful “Citizens of the Future”.

On the other hand it must be emphasized that we want the children to maintain a lifestyle, which they can sustain as “Citizens of the Future”. We – the somehow privileged – may regard this lifestyle as unacceptable. However we must face the realities and do what we can for as many children as possible.

This is how or project differs from other projects and this is why we ask for your help.

Our e-mail address is info@ChildVillage.net
Our postal address is P.O. Box 945, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The telephone No. for the Coordinator, Thorkil Soe is +255 (0) 748 402277
You got to this homepage through http://www.ChildVillage.net

Proposed constitution

ChildVillage

Constitution

Introduction
As a result of the AIDS-pandemic, many children find themselves in a hopeless situation. Out of more than 500,000 orphans in Tanzania, a conservative estimate is that 50,000 live in child-headed families and that 300.000 live with worn out grandparents, who try to create an alternative “big-family” for up to 20 grandchildren.

The situation can best be described as being desperate and the ChildVillage Organization will combine the strength of, among others, WAMATA and Tanzania Scouts Association in order to mitigate the situation by helping children in desperate need before they “are lost” as street-children and later in what may be worse.

ARTICLE 1
Name of the Trust, Status and Place of Registered Office
1.1 The name of the organization shall be ChildVillage.
1.2 The organization shall be a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), non-partisan, non-profit-making and without exclusive connection to any other organizations.
1.3 The Organization will have power to sue and be sued in its corporate name, and subject to the conditions and directions contained in its constitution, to hold and acquire, by instrument under its common seal, to transfer, convey, assign and demise any parcel of land of interest there in.
1.4 The organization shall have a common seal. This seal shall show two children holding hands, as seen on the front page of this document, and shall bear the name: ChildVillage. It will only be affixed to documents in the presence of at least two trustees.
1.5 The registered office shall be in Dar es Salaam and the postal address shall be P.O. Box 945 Dar es Salaam.

ARTICLE 2
Objects of the Organization
The aim of the organization is to provide help to children, where family care and community based help is not available, or not adequate, and the objects of the organization are:
2.1 To help as many children as possible; and to mitigate the unbearable conditions, which many children find themselves in, when their parents die.
2.2 To maintain a lifestyle, which the children can sustain later in the rural environment, when they will leave the project.
2.3 To demonstrate how self-reliance and cooperation, among children, will result in maximum efficiency when it comes to use of available resources.
2.4 To develop a system where family-cooperation and self-reliance in sibling/family-groups promote self-respect and at the same time open for better use of available resources.
2.5 To demonstrate the above-mentioned system to other social welfare institutions and
2.6 To secure funds for continuation, expansion and duplication in the form of similar projects.

ARTICLE 3
Functions of the Patron
The functions of the patron shall be:
3.1 To safeguard the existence of the Organization.
3.2 To assist and advice on matters on continuation, development and fundraising.

ARTICLE 4
The Board of Trustees
There shall be a Board of Trustees and the number of Trustees may not be less than 9 and not more than 15
4.1 The Board of Trustees shall appoint the following persons to hold office: Coordinator/Secretary, Chairperson, Treasurer and Deputies.
4.2 The Chairperson and Depute shall be appointed from among the Trustees, and shall have voting right. The Coordinator/Secretary and the Treasurer will only have voting rights if they also hold position as Trustees.
4.3 Persons elected as Trustees or elected by the Trustees, shall hold office initially for 3 years; but may be reappointed.
However such persons shall cease to hold office or being a Trustee in the following circumstances:
1) Upon death.
2) If imprisoned after conviction of a criminal offence.
3) If detained under the Prevention Detention Act 1962
4) If deported under the deportation ordinance for a period of six months or more.
5) Upon written resignation.
6) If adjudged by a majority of trustees to be of unsound mind.
7) If adjudged to by a majority of trustees have misused the office held.
8) If absent from 3 consecutive meetings without reasonable excuse; and additionally, as specified in par. 3.6 below, not reflecting on proposals for decisions, as circulated by the Steering Committee and not being represented by a stand-in.
4.4 Ordinary meetings of the Board of Trustees, together with members of the ChildVillage Steering Committee shall be held in not more than four month’s interval.
4.5 Extraordinary meetings of the Board of Trustees, together with members of the ChildVillage Steering Committee shall be held on request by: Either the Patron of the organization, the Chairperson of the previous meeting or at least two of the Trustees.
The ChildVillage Steering Committee shall be given at least three weeks notice in order to convene such meetings.
4.6 Quorum necessary for the transaction of business of the Board of Trustees shall be two thirds of the Trustees present.
If a Trustee, in writing, has appointed a stand-in; such a stand-in will count both for voting and the necessary quorum.
Such a stand-in may be another Trustee or an official of the ChildVillage Organization, WAMATA, Tanzania Scouts Association or another official from the organization of the trustee appointing the stand-in.
Such authority will be considered if sent in writing, as mail, e¬mail, by fax or by SMS
4.7 Resolutions and decisions of the Board shall be by simple majority of the Trustees present, including approved stand-ins. Whenever the patron is present at a meeting or has given authority to an approved stand-in, his vote will also count.
In the case of an equality of votes, the Chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.
4.8 The Board of Trustees shall appoint new Trustees where and when it sees necessary.

ARTICLE 5
Powers and Duties of the Board of Trustees
5.1 To set out policies and guidelines for the ChildVillage project(s)
5.2 To approve plans and budgets presented by the ChildVillage Steering Committee.
5.3 To receive and consider implementation reports from the ChildVillage Steering Committee. This will include accounts and auditors reports of the organization and its branches, if any.
5.4 When necessary to request a representative of a donor agency to attend a Board meeting.
5.5 To appoint an inspector to evaluate the project or part of it.
5.6 To declare null and void any decision made or directive given by an officer, if the Board determines that the decision or directive:
1) Does not serve the interest of the organization or
2) Is likely to be prejudicial to the good name of the organization or
3) Is beyond the powers of the officer or
4) Was made under duress or undue influence or
5) Has been improper, dishonest or impartial.

ARTICLE 6
Powers and Duties of the ChildVillage Steering Committee
The executive body of the organization shall be the ChildVillage Steering Committee, which is combining strength of the two founding organizations, namely: WAMATA and Tanzania Scouts Association. Both being Tanzanian NGOs.
6.1 The ChildVillage Steering Committee will be in charge of the day to day running of the project(s) and shall:
1) Ensure, that the basic principles of low costs and self-reliance are maintained in the project(s).
2) Ensure, that funds are not misused in the project(s).
3) Hold meetings whenever deemed necessary.
4) Prepare and circulate progress-reports and minutes from meetings.
5) Follow up on and implement decisions from Board Meetings.
6) Keep records of all major decisions and activities.
7) Monitor progress and funds spent.
8) Keep the Trustees informed of all major decisions and events.
9) Call for ordinary and extraordinary Board Meetings, as specified in par. 4.4 and 4.5 above.
10) At least three weeks before such meetings the ChildVillage Steering Committee shall circulate minutes from previous meeting(s) together with report of progress, agenda for the coming meeting and the Steering Committee’s proposals for decisions.
6.2 The ChildVillage Steering Committee shall maintain strict economic control of the project(s). This will involve the following:
1) A banking account or accounts shall be operated jointly by four persons approved by the Board of Trustees and to operate the account(s), the signatures of two of these four persons must be obtained.
2) All payments shall be authorized by the ChildVillage Steering Committee.
3) The ChildVillage Steering Committee shall prepare the accounts, expose all donations and secure auditors yearly reports.
4) On the Internet site http://www.ChildVillage.net, the ChildVillage Steering Committee shall thereafter post detailed accounts, details of all donations together with the auditors report.
5) Keep donors informed on the progress and on the use of donated funds.
6) The financial year shall be from January the 1 to December the 31
6.3 The ChildVillage Steering Committee shall propose strategies for raising funds and the acquisition of sponsors or donors to supplement and expand the activities.
All major decisions related to fundraising shall be presented to the Trustees for approval.

ARTICLE 7
Sources of Funds
7.1 Voluntary contributions from individuals, institutions and organizations within the country or from outside the country.
7.2 Funds allocated or granted to it by the government of Tanzania or by national or local government bodies and/or organizations.
7.3 Income from the investment of funds, obtained as above, or from income generating activities.

ARTICLE 8
Amendment of the Constitution
8.1 Nothing in this constitution may be amended or abrogated except by a resolution of at least two thirds of the Trustees present at two successive meetings by the Board of Trustees. Such meetings shall be held at intervals not less than 3 weeks and not more then 5 weeks. These meetings should be held after the proposed amendments have been circulated to the members, following the same rules as for Extraordinary Meetings as specified in par. 6.1 point 10 above.
8.2 Any amendment or addition to this constitution shall be in line with the aims of the organization and must follow laws and regulations of the country.

ARTICLE 9
Dissolving of the Organization
The organization shall be dissolved under the following conditions:
9.1 By legal order.
9.2 The dissolving of the organization has been approved by two successive meetings of the Board of Trustees, called and governed by the same rules as specified in par. 8.1 above.

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