Bex is often asked: “How do you choose which children to take into Child of Hope?” It’s a serious question and the answer is evolving and improving year-on-year. A lot of parents in the slum want their child to get a free place at the nursery school, thereby accessing all the other Child of Hope programmes (healthcare, food, primary education, income-generating opportunities for families, clothing and welfare).

Well, we won’t provide a place to a child where her family could actually afford to send her to school themselves. So, over the years, we have developed a process of assessing the homes and families that the children come from in order to ascertain if the family is suitable. Our staff use a form containing various questions that give a clear indication of how poor a family actually is. For example: How many members in the household? Can the (oldest) female head/spouse read and write with understanding in any language? Does every member of the household have at least one pair of shoes?

The welfare team visits the homes in pairs and simply writes down the answers, which are then scored and compared against other families’ answers back at the office. Local officials and pastors can recommend families for a placement, but they still have to undergo the same assessment.

Spot checks are carried out on some of the answers by a staff member outside the welfare department, as an anti-corruption method. Many families have attempted to bribe our officers in the past in order to achieve a placement for their child!

After the analysis and comparison of ‘scores’ for the families, it becomes easier to see who is most in need and therefore most suitable for a place at school. No-one has to use their judgement and no-one is biased by a ‘cute-looking kid’ or a manipulative parent!

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