Having completed all the tasks we have set out to do , Uma and I have been doing a bit of post mortem on how we have done things, as well as what are the pressures and gaps in what we are doing.
One of the issues is around putting the existing children on a waiting list. At present we have 5 children who are without sponsors (Probably less by the time I return to UK). The main reason which the sponsor cease tend to be around the inability to continue payment for whatever reason. We decided that we will put the children in an order of priority, then we'll see what happens.
We reviewed each child in terms of progress and future potential, taking into account the support or lack of it from the parent/s. The case of K, the 12 year old girl whose mother runs an illicit bar came up.I have put forward a very clear picture in my previous blog. Its about the fact that her mother is only interested in what the sponsor can provide materially. We established during the home visit that Mum is not concerned at all about the child's welfare or future. It is highly likely that she'll end up not able to continue her schooling in the future,for whatever the reason. Are we likely to waste the sponsor's money given what we know now ? In view of the number of our children that are without sponsors, shouldn't we switch the money to a child who has potential and a greater chance of achievement with good parental support?
On the one hand, are we playing god and deciding a child's life on just pure merit? It is not her fault that her mum asks her to serve behind the bar, and been touched by lewd and drunken old man. Yes, its breaking our child protection policy (for UK
), but this is Nepal.But then do we just leave her to her fate? with sentiments like its tough, but its Nepal, or do we still do what we can until such time when we can no longer help her?
The flip side of the coin is that the much needed money for schooling could be so helpful to one of the other unplaced children. During one of our home visits, one of the mums almost pleaded with us to help her son. The son is going to school, but with the low family income of 3,000 rupees (27 pds approx)per month, the educational expenses place a great burden on the poor mum. Having visited and witnessed the dire home condition,we can be certain that this is a case of genuine hardship. Should this child be helped at the expense of the 12 year old K? It would certainly mean better outcome and money better or well spent ,if one were to take a long term view.
We are clearer on our position regarding another child.Mum has been trained as a driver for foreign agencies who work in Nepal. She is in the process of looking for a driving job.We both agreed that we will like to switch the sponsorship from her daughter to one on the waiting list next year when mum has started working.This case is more clear cut fortunately. Of course it does not mean that mum won't be upset by the change if and when the time comes...
Having slept on K's case, we both accept that the sponsorship will continue for the foreseeable future. We will provide all the educational material at the start of the October term as per all our other children. However, it will be reviewed in January 2012
We welcome views and feedback from all sponsors, donors and Friends on the aforementioned issue.