You asked, we've answered here in our faqs, but if we've not addressed your query below,
feel free to ask a question directly
why would I contribute to fws over other charities that support orphans?
Whoever heard of too much of a good thing? Too many people caring and reaching out to others? We believe that fws
provides another important avenue of giving to the developing world fws
has also added some specific elements to the regular orphan-care perspective; we are eco-friendly and we offer early interactive learning, health and social welfare programs. This wholistic approach
gives children and communities a considerable leg up for the future.
Another thing fws
believes brings specific benefits is our size. Being small means we can:
- Identify problems where they lie more quickly. We are in daily communication with our in-country team. A professional fws volunteer management team is on the ground, working along side the local management team.
- Get more of your donation to the actual cause (we are currently all volunteers so we don't pay any salaries). Currently 80 per cent of your donation goes directly to the cause, while 20 per cent goes to our admin costs.
- Get funds to the recipients more quickly being a small team we can decide on ideas and action them directly.
For more info about where, when and how we'll spend your contribution, visit our current projects page
how much of my contribution reaches each children's village?
Currently 80 per cent of your contribution goes directly to the cause, while 20 per cent goes to our admin costs. The Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) advises that most charities direct about 20-22 per cent of contributed funds into admin costs.
How do we keep our costs down and intend to keep them down? Currently, nobody working for fws
in Australia gets a cut of your money. When the management team of fws
worked in Tanzania, we all worked for extended periods as volunteers and we are still volunteering.
has committed to spending no money raised publicly (by people fundraising for us or during the events we put on
), on salaries for the fws
management team. If there comes a time that we will need a full-time management team to run fws
in Australia, we will look to fund those positions with Corporate sponsorships, not public donations.
That said, we do currently intend to spend publicly-raised money on stipends for our long-term (volunteering for 12 months or more) in-country volunteers. We have four positions - manager, nurse, teacher and bursar that will receive a stipend equivalent to a local wage in 2010.
- fws does not spend money on TV or magazine advertising, or telemarketing campaigns.
- fws forgoes Australian banking fees by using special community accounts.
- fws reduces printing and paper costs by running a paperless office wherever possible.
what will my money go towards, right now?
Right now we are collecting funds for key operational costs and kick starting small businesses required for Kesho Leo children's village, in Tanzania, East Africa.
how will I know that my money gets to there?
Money will remain in fws
's National Australia Bank Account (audited each year) until it is required in the recipient country; in our first case, Tanzania. Your donation will then be forwarded to our recipient country account (also audited each year) and accessed by our local manager (who submits monthly financial statements to the Australia-based fws
treasurer to monitor). You'll be able to read and see what difference your money is making as you will receive Gimme Shelter,
our e-newsletter. You can also read regular our weekly news updates
or the fws team blog.
who is managing the work overseas?fws
has long been sourcing an enthusiastic, Australian and Tanzanian team on the ground for the building and running of Kesho Leo children's village. They're there now!
A professional team of volunteers work alongside local staff in skill-specific roles, including project management, education, health, social welfare, farm management and infrastrucutre.
A core principle of fws
is to ensure that all of our children's villages are managed and staffed by local people. The Aussie fws
management team will facilitate the building of the children's village (with local builders) and will train the local management staff to run the children's village efficiently. In doing so, we aim to sustain our local management teams and help them to reach self-sufficiency over time.
why aren't you helping indigenous communities in Australia?fws
know, first hand, what international donations can help to achieve in Tanzania. We know that we can give orphaned children every chance of staying alive! We don't have romantic ideals but are simply reacting to our experiences of loss while living in East Africa. With some of the fws
team working in Australia in education and social welfare, we are well aware of the plight of indigenous health and education in Australia. We believe that, in Australia, money is not the answer. We believe a shift in our whole society's attitude is required. But we digress - in short, we know what we can achieve in Tanzania and unfortunately we are less certain of achieving so much in our own nation at this point. That's certainly not to say that we aren't open to looking at an indigenous Australia project in the future, when we have a few runs on the scoreboard.
I am travelling to East Africa. Can I visit the children's village or volunteer in some way?
, although not technically a volunteer recruitment agency, would be more that happy to have you visit, give advice on places to stay and depending on your timing and expertise, will consider short term volunteer applications. If you are really interested in volunteering for a fair while, we have a number of specific and skilled volunteer positions that we are looking for people to fill in Tanzania
Being volunteers ourselves, we hope you will find a volunteer role within fws
to suit you, but if not, we'd recommend you contact Australian Volunteers International
- they offer a terrific service.
why does fws need members?
We need members for two reasons. Firstly, so that we are recognised as an organisation of considerable size if we ever apply for assistance via AusAID. To meet those goals, we need 100 members. We've well over this number of members today!
Secondly, we'd like you to become members
because we can't tell you how many 'breakthroughs' have come to us via the word of mouth of our members – people offering ideas, skills, funding, advice...you name it, we'd be half the organisation we are without your input. So yes, please, become a member, and tell everyone about us. This is a collective effort, so please join us!
what does the future hold for a Tanzanian orphan?
Orphaned or not, Tanzanians are a very resilient people with a sense of community that we in Australia could only dream of. An orphaned child is usually taken in by an extended or neighbouring family. This is an emotional and financial burden they all readily accept. Though given the basics, the provision of education and adequate health care are often unrealistic expectations. Those not so lucky are found simply existing on the streets. Often, orphans as young as 13 will labour all day to sustain their younger siblings, taking on the role of a parent at a very young age. Any dreams of education are left behind and the future is purely about survival.
If an orphan can access education as well as the basics, they consider themselves to be blessed. "Education is the key to life" is a line we all heard kids say while we were in Africa. A child leaving Form 4 (which, in Australia, is the equivalent of the last year of high school) will receive a certificate, which deems them as employable. If employed, a future outside of basic survival exists for that child - a future where they can help finance their parents' and siblings' lives, and then their own children in time as well. For these reasons, fws
children's villages have been designed to give kids the best chance possible of future employment by incorporating bi-lingual, early learning education programs.
what's the long-term vision of fws?
For fws kids and the community
An important part of the fws
children's village is the vocational training centre that we will establish down the track. It will provide learning opportunities for Kesho kids, local school leavers interested in attaining vocational qualifications and also community members interested in up-skilling their current level of education.
When these children have finished a level of schooling that reflects their desires and abilities, they can complete their own vocational education in the training centre to ensure that they are employable.
For developing countries
's eco-friendly, early learning children's villages are a blueprint. fws
aim to see these villages operating in many developing countries. We have also been approached by NGOs in South Africa, Kenya, Sudan, Afghanistan and Cambodia. As we move forward, fws
will establish sustainable children's villages in places where we have links with local community and NGOs. We will ensure that we are building the capacity of the community as well as giving another group of children food, water, shelter, health, welfare and big bright futures.
Thanks for your interest in fws
. If we've not answered your query here,
feel free to ask a question directly