Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you do not see your question answered, please contact us. We would love to talk to you more about Kitechild, our partners, and projects.
How many children are you helping?
1500 children directly benefited from Kitechild projects in 2020 — this despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which did slow and postpone a number of projects. In our more than 10 years of work as an organization, we have directly assisted more than 3,500 children.
How many people are employed by Kitechild?
Kitechild’s team consists of a group of dedicated volunteers, including the founders and board of directors. The only paid full-time employee is the Kenyan Program Manager. Occasionally consultants and contractors are hired for short-term support.
How many partners do you have and where in Kenya are they located?
In 2021, we partner with 8 organizations in 5 counties in Kenya: Nakuru, Kajiado, Nairobi, Kiambu, and Taharanthi. We are open to working in other countries as we find organizations, which fit well with our approach and values. Learn more about our partners here.
How do you choose partners?
Kitechild establishes long-term partnerships with community-based children’s organizations in order to ensure that the projects are locally-led, meeting their identified needs with practical solutions which the partners can maintain. We work with many children’s residential centers (or “orphanages”), which have been identified to us through Kenyan government Children’s Officers, other partners, or trusted individuales. We carefully select ones, which have good quality of care practices and are looking to improve their caregiving, and which do not promote voluntourism, a practice that can be dangerous and unhealthy for the children in care. Partners must be willing to actively participate in planning and implementing projects which address specific needs and fit in their organization and community. They must establish buy-in at the organization and have dedicated time, staff, and money resources for the project. Kitechild does not “give out” free stuff; we work in collaboration with partners.
What is Kitechild’s relationship with the Kenyan government?
The Department of Children’s Service (DCS) within the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Services is responsible for children’s residential homes and safeguarding children. Within the DCS, there are regional children’s officers. Kitechild has worked with a few of these children’s officers to train partners on reintegration of children back into their families and communities. A couple of Kitechild partners were introduced and referred to Kitechild by a children’s officer, so while we have no formal relationship with the Kenyan government, we are working in tandem with government officials on the ground.
What do you mean when you say that your work is community-based?
Our partners are all community-based organizations. They are primarily funded through donations, they work on the community-level of society, and they are anchored in their communities, by staff, culture, and action.
These partners are the drivers of the change process. They are the ones who know their needs and priorities. We work equally with them to identify and create projects which address their needs in ways that are culturally-, environmentally-, and situationally-appropriate. Hence, prior to starting a project, we go through the planning process together (i.e. needs assessment, solution identification, goal setting, strategy development). The partners are equal collaborators in the process. Throughout the project, we work together on implementing the initiative and identifying lessons learned so that we labor, learn, and grow together.
How often do you visit your projects?
Kitechild’s Kenyan Project Manager meets in person quarterly or monthly with each partner depending on their needs and distance from Nairobi. Each partner provides quarterly reports, photos, and updates. The Kitechild and Partner project managers are in regular contact via phone and other digital platforms in order to share outcomes, needs, and challenges.
What accountability systems do you have in place?
We monitor the projects frequently. We do expect quarterly reports from our partners. At the start of a project, we agree upon documentation frequency and information. Kitechild is given an open visit agreement whereby the manager can show up unannounced to see the project and the bookkeeping for the project.
After three years, the project is fully handed over to the partner and is at their discretion. Kitechild is always there for mentoring and support to assist if the partner wants additional technical expertise.
How long does it take to go from fundraising to an implemented project?
There are many inputs, which factor into this timeframe: size of project, urgency, stakeholder needs, supply chain, and current events. We attempt to start a project within 6 months of the funding being secured and have the project fully running by 1 year. We provide training, oversight, and trouble-shooting to our partners for 3 years on each project before fully handing it over to them.
How much of the money raised for a project goes towards fees or administrative costs?
All of the money raised on www.kitechild.org goes directly towards the project, with no fees or administrative costs taken out unless the donor authorizes the addition of 5% charge to the donation. That means that 100% of your donation goes to the project.
Project budgets can include materials, training for partners, time and expenses for Kitechild’s Project manager to implement and monitor the project. However, we never include office expenses or credit card or transaction fees.
Administrative costs and operating expenses are covered through our annual Green Gala, specific donors, administrative grants, or specific fundraising. We believe in transparency and always strive to be clear how donations will be used.
Is Kitechild a faith-based organization?
Kitechild is a secular organization. 3 out of our 8 partners are also secular. The other 5 are of various Christian denominations. Kenyan society is heavily religious particularly Christian, tribal, and Muslim, and even government agencies and public schools make time to have prayer. We do not discriminate based on religion or religious affiliation although we ourselves are not promoting any specific belief system.
Please contact us if you still have unanswered questions. We love to talk about our work!