1. What is TaC?
‘Teach a Child – Africa’ (TaC) is a voluntary organisation that was founded to help orphaned children from areas of Africa with a high prevalence of HIV infection, to attend secondary school. TaC was first registered as a charity by co-founder and ambassador, Pamela Steele, in England and Wales in 2007. Since then affiliates have registered in Kenya and Switzerland.
2. What makes TaC different?
TaC is a small organisation run by unpaid volunteers, including those with professional experience of working in the humanitarian and development aid sector. We work in Nyanza province, Kenya, where we have first-hand knowledge of the local community and can ensure that your money is used wisely to meet the real needs of the children.
3. Who do we help?
Our project helps orphaned and vulnerable children from Nyanza Province, Kenya, an area with a high prevalence of HIV infection. Sadly there are more needy children than TaC is able to help. Today, there are 500,000 partial and total orphans between 0-17 years in the province.
Potential beneficiaries are assessed on 4 criteria: academic; economic; social and geographic to identify the neediest children with academic potential. They are selected regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation. TaC strives to support an equal number of girls and boys.
4. Why do we focus on secondary education?
In Kenya, as in many African countries, primary education is free but secondary school education is expensive. Many parents or guardians cannot afford to pay the school fees or buy the uniform so children drop out of education. TaC enables orphaned and vulnerable children to go to secondary school so they can fulfil their academic potential and escape from a life of poverty by finding work or entering higher education.
Research and experience has shown that education is crucial in lowering the rates of HIV infection among young people and in addressing poverty and gender inequality.
5. Why don’t the extended families help orphaned children?
The extended family is Africa’s traditional support system but in many places it is unable to cope with the scale of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Many orphans only receive help from elderly grandmothers who do not have a sustainable income to pay for school fees and other basic necessities. Other children have to fend for themselves in households without any adults, often acting as the main breadwinner and taking on caring responsibilities of younger siblings, cousins and even neighbours’ children who have lost their parents.
6. Why don’t governments help the children?
Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s poorest continent and has been hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The sheer scale of the pandemic means that support from outside is vital. Many have criticised governments for not doing more but many countries struggle to provide even basic social services and are dependent on international aid to do this. Whether because of corruption, poverty or neglect, the children have not received the help they need and TaC may be their only hope.
7. How much does it cost to support a child for one year?
The cost of sending a child to boarding school for one year is around £500. It includes the cost of the uniform, books, health checks etc. as well as school fees. The actual amount can vary from one school to another and from one year to another. Some schools may be cheaper but do not provide the same quality of education.
8. How much does TaC spend on administration?
TaC is a voluntary organisation so your money does not pay anyone’s wages. However there are overheads associated with fund-raising and managing the projects but we budget 90% of our income to provide direct support for the children.
9. Who funds TaC?
To date the majority of our funding has come from individuals like you. It’s your gifts that enable TaC to bring hope to the children by giving them the education they need to fulfil their dreams.
10. How is TaC governed?
TaC was first registered with the Charity Commission in the UK. Since then, affiliates have registered in Kenya and Switzerland. Each affiliate is governed by a national board of trustees, some of whom have experience of working with NGOs including Oxfam, World Vision, Future Internationals and UNICEF. Affiliates work together in close cooperation guided by a memorandum of understanding.
11. How does TaC guard against corruption?
To ensure that our country office spends your money effectively, we have a simplified and robust process for financial reporting. Our money goes directly to the schools without passing through any other hands, not even the governments. That way, we reduce any chance of corruption, fraud or misuse of our funds.