Some awful Warnings

When it comes to select children, I unfortunately have to start with some very negative comments.

  • When – without warning or invitation – I visited the SOS village at Zanzibar.
    I found that only very few children were there.

Although it is difficult for me, I must give room for this terrible experience.
It burned a hole in my hard, a hole that will never heal.
Please read the link above and do your best not to be pulled down into this situation.

When I somehow refused to give up, my friend – it was the UN-man from Lesotho. Lesotho
He told me that I should be very careful and not accept somebody coming, saying:
“My father told me to come here and say that he is dead and then you will give me nice food”.

Still it should be possible

I think the following may help to avoid too many mistakes.

  • The staff screening the children should under no circumstances be anything but African.
  • The interview should be recorded at least in audio.
    In this way it is possible later to say and show:
    “But look, it is what we told you and what you said.”
  • In the interview the children should be made to understand, that life is tough and a lot of other children will be more than ready to come. If “you do not like it.”
    (As professor Engelund said at the first lecture, when I had just started my studies at the Technical University.)
  • Explain to the children:
    “Are you strong?” – “Are you fit for a hard life?”
    Here I take the opportunity to refer to the memories of Golda Meir. (She later became the prime minister in Israel)
    – – – We wanted to join a Kibbutz and was met with these questions
    “Although my husband was not really fit – I was a strong and dedicated Jewish Woman.” – – –
  • Somehow there should be procedures for children not cooperating and just misusing the opportunity.

Who should have priority?

If you ask me, I think that those having the best chance of getting something positive and giving something positive to the project should be:

  • Child headed family groups.
  • Probably also family groups headed by a sick / dying mother or a worn out grandmother / grandfather.

Unfortunately not:

  • Young prostitutes or semi-criminal street children.
    It is not because they don’t need help.
    But – sorry to say – there will be too much risk that they will spoil the “spirit of the project”.

Unfortunately: Much too many qualified children have to be turned away.

An awful parallel

Doctors and nurses have been instructed:
In case of a major accident or a military conflict.
You shall start helping those having the best chance of recovery and give some painkillers to the rest.

It is not what we like, but it is reality.


When I was in Tanzania, I had some children in my care.
300,000 would have knocked on my door if they could come in.
It is the harsh realities.

Tribes – Language

In my opinion it is important that the children come from different language groups in such a way that Kiswahili will be the natural “medium of communication”.


Similarly I would like to stress, that Tanzania is a multi-religious society.
For this reason it should be aimed at an equal distribution between religions.

Church Mosque

It is my strong opinion that there should not be special buildings to be used, only for religious purposes.
If somebody will offer funds for such a building, I think it would be the best to say:
“No – Please use the money for better food or more children.”

And, if children or staff will demand special buildings for worship.
I think the answer should be: Find another place.


It is important that funds are not drained away from the project.
For my opinion: Se