CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ADVOCACY & LOBBY MISSION – CALM Africa
THE CHILD SPONSORSHIP POLICY
Every Child Matters
Children’s Rights Advocacy and Lobby Mission
P.O. Box 12360 Kampala – UGANDA
Tel: (256) – 772 784 497 /774 416 384
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
CALM Africa is mandated to promote Education for all children regardless of their status. Children are entitled to access Primary, Secondary, Vocational skills training and University Education. The Government of Uganda has given due attention to basic education, resulting in substantial increase in primary school enrolment, particularly for the poorest and the girl-child. The CALM Africa Child Sponsorship Policy shall contribute to the improvement of provision of quality Education to children especially those living in difficult circumstances. This policy will inform programmes, legal and administrative actions that affect the safety, well being and development of children through Education.
The process of developing this policy has been consultative and participatory involving a cross section of duty bearers and rights holders. Much appreciation is extended to the CALM Africa team, CALM Africa department of Child Protection, Government officials, partner schools, the community and children for their contribution in this process.
We call upon all stakeholders, duty-bearers and rights holders to constantly use this policy as a guide for improving the well – being and accessibility to quality education for children in Uganda.
The population of Uganda is estimated at 34 million persons and is projected to double by the 2025 because of the high population growth of 3.4% per annum. The population is young with more than half below 18 years of age and only about 2% being above 65 years of age. A fifth of the population is below five years, while a quarter is of primary school age (6-12 years).
Poverty prevents the enjoyment of basic human rights, security and well - being. The rapidly increasing population of Uganda coupled with the low resource base has put significant pressure based on the delivery of basic social services, particularly to children. Poverty remains high and its prevalence varies by population group, region, and rural/urban divide. In Uganda 38% of the population live in absolute poverty with children constituting 62% the poor. The number of children who live below the poverty line is likely to rise due to high fertility rate, HIV/AIDS, other preventable diseases and insecurity. Other causes of poverty include limited access and control of productive assets especially by women, limited utilization of improved production technologies, large families, alcoholism, unemployment, underemployment, lack of markets, inadequate opportunities for children and lack of information.
Education as a means of fighting poverty and reducing vulnerability is one of the top priorities for children. The Government has given due attention to basic education, resulting in substantial increase in primary school enrolment, particularly for the poorest, quintile and girl – child.
Unfortunately, there has been a decline in primary school retention in the past few years due high dropout rates. Furthermore regional, rural, and urban disparities still exist in school enrolment with a higher proportion of children enrolled in urban areas and the relatively more prosperous central region. The main barriers to access and full participation of children in education include; costs of scholastic and basic requirements, cost of post primary schooling, disability, ill health, early marriages, teenage pregnancy, sexual harassment, heavy burden of house chores, distance to school, insecurity and poor nutrition or no meals both in schools and at home inspite of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme, 3% of primary school age children were not in school. In addition, many more children who were in school were not consistently attending classes. Consequently, the transition rate from primary to post primary and tertiary levels has been law and very few children are now likely to complete primary and continue to higher levels of education.
Existing Laws, Policies and Institutional Framework:
Uganda has shown its commitment to the welfare of children through adoption and implementation of both national and international policy and legal instruments that concern children. Two key legal instruments in this regard are the constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995) and the Children’s Act (2003).
CALM Africa Legal Framework:
The Constitution of CALM Africa (2006) is the overriding operational legal frame work for ensuring that the rights of children and the surrounding community are protected. The constitution provides special protection in general and vulnerable children in particular. It emphasizes the observation of children’s rights, knowing and caring for children by their parents or guardians, access to quality education, access medical treatment, and be protected from all forms of exploitation and abuse.
This also rhymes with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990), The OAU Charter on the rights and welfare of the Child (1990), Uganda Children’s Act (2003), the Uganda National Council for Children statute (1996), the National Youth Council Act (2003), the Penal Code Act (Cap . 160), Local Government’s Act (1997).
Child Sponsorship should seek to encourage stronger understanding of cultural differences, based on the assumption that the relationship between sponsor, child and community is between individuals from different experiences, cultures and faiths. Child Sponsorship have the potential to raise awareness in sponsors and, with time, move them from a concept of “charity” towards recognition of the dignity and strength of poor people and the need for basic rights to enable poverty to be overcome. The link should also actively involve them in our campaigns to influence governments and institutions at local, national and international levels. Child Sponsorship provides the opportunity for supporters to grow in their awareness of global issues.
Policy Guiding Principles
The purpose of the policy is to provide standards for CALM Africa to ensure that the implementation of Child Sponsorship is aligned with the organisation’s values, mission and strategy. The Policy is both an essential part of CALM Africa’s core activities, and also an integral part of the strategic plan. Children require special attention in form of access to basic social services more so education and health. The policy provides the frame work for responding to the concerns and needs of children who need sponsorship into school.
Focus on Rights Based Approach:
The main focus of our work is empowering communities to demand appropriate services from their government and other duty bearers in the human rights framework. CALM Africa makes certain commitments on how the child and community will be partners in the process of empowerment and capacity building, how this process will be carried out, what rights will be ensured for children and the community, what funds are being raised and how they are spent and what changes the programme will seek to bring about in their lives. CALM Africa is responsible on how the sponsor’ contributions will be spent, the expected outcomes as a result of this partnership, how they can engage with the child and community, how they can influence in their own country and what communications they will receive.
Our ability to meet our obligations to sponsors will be extensively influenced by the nature of the communities with whom we are partnering with and their understanding of the Child Sponsorship processes. Therefore it is important that they have a complete understanding of the policies and that they are complied with. This will ensure the funding relationship is sustainable. The Child Sponsorship process and funding mechanism must be understood and accepted by the partner community and other key stakeholders, including the relevant authorities. This understanding with stakeholders must be sufficient to ensure that difficulties do not later emerge when the linking activities are carried out and that programmes remain able to meet the obligations to supporters.
General CALM Africa Responsibilities
CALM Africa shall be responsible for protecting the data about the sponsor. In case the a sponsors data is required to be used in other way that is different from the sponsorship programme, then CALM Africa through the Director shall in writing to seek permission from the sponsor (owner of the data).
Child photographs are provided for the supporter at the onset of the Child Sponsorship programme and updated photographs sent at least every year. When collecting photographs, permission must always be sought before taking a photograph and the purpose clearly explained.1
Once it has been established that children can no longer continue in the Child Sponsorship programme, either because they have left the project area, have died or we can no longer fulfils the reporting requirements, the sponsor must be informed within that reporting period. The status of all children – linked and pending – must be verified during every child message collection period.
This is to ensure that we do not continue to solicit money from the supporter in the name of a child who is no longer part of the Child Sponsorship programme.
Criteria for Choosing a Child:
- Any one is free to choose a child after looking into the information about the child as put on the sponsorship list and after consultations with the Officer in charge of the sponsorship program.
- A child should not have more than one sponsor.
- A sponsor who has chosen a child should communicate to the organization immediately after making the choice so that further steps are taken.
- The head of sponsorship scheme should help a sponsor to identify a child they would prefer to sponsor.
- Any CALM Africa staff can recommend a child to be included on child sponsorship list.
- The Director and head sponsorship shall take the final decision on approving a child for sponsorship.
- Selecting a child shall not be based on age, colour, sex, physical appearance, height, tribe or origin etc but shall depend on the urgency presented for sponsorship.
Responsibilities of the CALM Africa Sponsorship Department:
- Identify, assess and approve a child for sponsorship.
- Make periodical reports to the sponsor about the progress of the child.
- Make official communications to the sponsor in case of urgency or any changes.
- Officially communicate to the parent/guardian about the sponsorship of their child. This shall in writing.
- Organise meetings with the sponsored children and meetings with the parents/guardians.
- Coordinate all sponsorship related activities within the organisation.
Responsibilities of CALM Africa staffs:
- CALM Africa staffs shall protect the child from all forms of abuse such as; physical abuse, Emotional abuse, Sexual abuse, Child Labour and Neglect. In case of actions of child abuse, a staff should duly deal with it as per the child protection policy or immediately report to designated authorities.
- Cooperate with other staffs/departments so as to work as a team.
- Respect a child’s right to retain his/her data and personal privacy.
- Give monthly reports to the head sponsorship about the child that was attached to you.
- Do not receive money for sponsorship on behalf of the organisation. Instead ask the sponsor to pay through the CALM Africa accounts section, make direct transfer to the CALM Africa account, or pay through CFU. Please see the CALM Africa Finance Policy
- Do not communicate to a child’s sponsor without seeking consent from the Director and Head sponsorship.
- No CALM Africa staff shall take a bribe from a parent/guardian in the guise of finding sponsorship for a child. If done then the staff in question shall be terminated from the organisation.
Responsibilities of a Caretaker/Parent or Guardian
- Take good care of the child especially at home and other areas outside school authorities.
- Periodically check with the head sponsorship and senior field officer to see the progress of the child.
- Provide for the child the school requirements and other needs as required by the child.
- Follow school programmes and attend school meetings when invited.
- Report cases of child abuse to CALM Africa and other responsible authorities.
- Periodically report the welfare of the child to CALM Africa and the school administration.
Responsibilities of a Child under the CALM Africa sponsorship scheme:
- Being obedient towards the rules and policies of the organization.
- Attending school regularly.
- Performing well at school to avoid disqualification.
- Attending organization’s meetings whenever called upon.
- Being obedient to all workers of the organization
Reasons that may lead to disqualification of a child before completion of studies:
- Falsification of information about the child’s background.
- Duplication of a child’s academic report, recommendation, certificate, testimonial or transcript.
- Duplication of any official document from the organization.
- Deliberate refusal to study by the child him/herself.
- Constant poor performance of the child.
- Involvement in any form of crime.
- Absenteeism of the sponsored child for more than 6 months.
- Disrespect or any form of abuse of the official of the organization by the sponsored child.
Responsibilities of a sponsor
- Offering support towards the academics of the child chosen.
- Knowing the academic performance of the child chosen.
- Communicating to the child through the Sponsorship Officer or Headmaster
- Selling the good name of the organization.
- Linking other sponsors to the organisation.
Financial expenses to be met by the sponsor
Each sponsor shall contribute school dues as determined by the school where the sponsored child is. Information regarding school dues will always be obtained by the schools in question and passed on to the sponsors in time by the Sponsorship Officer.
The sponsor shall always pay for the following as determined by the school administration:
- Schools fees
- Feeding at school
- Some Scholastic material such as pens, pencils and books.
Visitation of the sponsored child by the sponsor
The sponsor living outside Uganda is allowed to come to Uganda to visit his/her child if he/she is willing and able to do so but this has to be done after informing the organization.
First Edition: July 2013