Frequently Asked Questions
“Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
From: “The Little Prince” (1943), by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944),
There are some questions, which we often here. Here are a few answers to the most frequent ones:
What makes Kids of Africa unique?
There could be many answers to this question, and the best way would be for you to go and see yourself! Since this is may be wishful thinking on our behalf, here would be three unique aspects:
From a child’s perspective: it is the fact that we offer the most desperate, hopeless and weakest children a family and a place to call home. There are other organizations which impose health- and age requirements, which would prevent such children from being taken on
From a donor’s perspective, it is the fact that we can create more lasting benefits from every dollar donated and that 100% of your donation will be used for the children.
From a conceptual perspective, it is the fact that our organization combines the strength of families with a strong commitment to reach out into our surrounding social-, cultural- and economic community.
Do you have a religious affiliation?
No. Even though we welcome and some of us practice their religion, we always felt it was right to keep these aspects separate – at least at a board level (not in our families). However, we are proud that our village sets a positive example of how families and children can pursue different religions and still remain good friends appreciating that it is probably the same universal God which most religions turn towards.
When do your children move out?
Like in most families, we believe that these decisions are naturally taken by parents and children when a child’s roots and wings are strong enough for it to move out of its nest. In some cases such processes may create discussions. But as a principle, we expect our children to move out and begin their own lives when their physical, social and educational maturity allows them to do so. Hopefully we can prepare them well for this important transition, which we all had to make at some points during our lives.
Is your project sustainable?
Yes – Kids of Africa is widely recognized in Uganda as one of the most sustainable initiatives for long-term development aid. We dream that some day our children will take over our village: manage it and lead it to new frontiers. The European contribution for now represents mostly carefully managed resources and knowledge-transfer. But as time passes, as our children grow up and as we create local jobs, we hope that increasingly our village will become a sustainable agent for development – rather than the charity we began as.
How can volunteers apply?
We think working with volunteers is a great and mutually enriching experience! If only they didn’t leave… To make volunteering work best, we expect you to fulfil three criteria: i) a relevant professional qualification (e.g. in education, agriculture, technical, etc., ii) a willingness to spend at least six months in the village and iii) very good social and language skills.
How do I know 100% of my donation reaches the children?
This is our personal promise to you. The founders of our organization pay for all costs that are not directly used for our humanitarian work separately. If in doubt, we would rather pay extra costs ourselves than compromise the integrity of our promise. Of course, you can also ask for a copy of our audited financial accounts, which document our rigorous cost management.
Are my donations tax-deductible?
Yes, if they are made from Switzerland. We are fully registered and incorporated as a tax-exempt charity. We have also heard from donors from the UK and other European countries that their local tax authorities allowed tax exemptions of their donations even though we are not registered in any other European country other than Switzerland.
How do you evaluate your efficiency?
Coincidentally, most of our founding members look back on a managerial or entrepreneurial background. This has indeed been very valuable, especially for monitoring and improving our efficiency. We are also quite passionate about efficiency because the better we use our resources, the more we can improve the future for our children. Plus, we consider it a responsibility towards ourselves and our members and donors.
What makes children special?
When the disciples, overearnest as ever, asked Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven, Jesus pulled a child out of the crowd and said the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven were people like this (Matthew 18:1-4). Two thousand years of homiletic sentimentalizing to the contrary notwithstanding, Jesus was not playing Captain Kangaroo. He was saying that the people who get into Heaven are people, who, like children, live with their hands open more often than their fists clenched. They are people who, like children, are so relatively unburdened by preconceptions that if somebody says there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they are perfectly willing to go take a look for themselves. Children aren’t necessarily better than other people. Like the child in the “Emperor’s New Clothes”, they are just apt to be better at telling the difference between a put-up job and the real thing.