Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Birthday PatrĂ­cia!

Patricia moved to London in 2000 to work in Investment Banking. After eight years covering areas ranging from equity research to leveraged finance, she left the industry to pursue other interests.
Today she devotes much of her free time, accumulating the functions of ALG Treasurer and relationship with the regulator Charity Commission, apart from the usual task of Fundraising.

"We all have time and love within us to give to those who need it most. The ALG allows us to see the direct impact of our help. It’s also very gratifying to see the explosive growth in recent years. There is still so much to do that it is sometimes difficult ease up ... but slowly with small gestures we can make a better world!"

Thursday, October 22, 2015

ALG promote Gender equality!

Are you looking at the inclusion of girls in “A Little Gesture” programmes? In many African countries girls are treated as “2nd class category” and neglected when it comes to education, food, etc. If a family has a limited resources, they would prioritize these resources for boys first, only later for girls. Is there any way you are looking at this “gender equality” aspect in your programmes and your spending? Do you know how many girls as opposed to boys are benefitting from the programme? 

Gender equality is a key forward looking focus for us. In the last 2 years, we have increasingly asked partners that when new children were added it was our strong preference that these were girls. It is widely recognised that girls have more difficulty to progress as they are the ones collecting water, doing household chores, working in the farms, taking care of siblings and the house, especially if they become orphans. They are also the most vulnerable ones because of early pregnancy. We do recognise however that the layer of the population where we operate is equally disadvantaged for boys and girls and therefore the local partners have trouble selecting out the boys. Our split is roughly 50/50, and it may vary by project. 
Having said that, and because our success rate tends to be lower with girls, we are looking at a few initiatives to increase our focus in girls. We have literacy programmes which are attended 99% by girls, our income generation projects are directed mostly at girls, we are looking at the potential to support former girls students that want to return after having a family and also at creating community groups that can support girls in the difficult years to avoid abandonment.

The programme we raised for in the royal parks is a key one for school retention for girls as providing feeding in school goes a long way in parents allowing kids to stay in school.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ALG in Mozambique!

Who has the ownership of the programme? I mean here: do the local Mozambique people decide on where they are spending the money and which kids are supported? Are the Mozambique people working on the project? Who is the local manager/decision maker/advisor? 

We work with local partners who are deeply ingrained in the community. Each sponsored child is selected by them and if at any time the child no longer need support or no longer meets requirements, the partner may remove the child, under our agreememt.
Furthermore, it is to the local partner to let us know of additional needs. A common one is when the family needs a new house/hut, then they will identify it, budget for it and ask us for support. As a small organization we try and stay nimble to respond to these requests in a timely manner.
As a note, the local partners have junior technicians who work with them on the programme, visit the families, ensure kids are in school, gather information, etc. These are typically young people or young mothers from the communities. 
For the school feeding programme, currently ALG’s largest single project, the request was sent to us by the local partners post the 2013 floods. We had some initial resistence in light of the size of the yearly commitment but were convinced by the local nuns that really this was key for the school's success. 
This is what ALG donors interested in nurturing valuable relationships with the community ask us. We act as fundraising and admin arm for the local partners so they can focus on what they do best, at the same time as we establish key monitoring and supervision which is key to give donours comfort of what we are sending money to.