Children are at the heart of everything that Plan does. Plan is a child centred community development organization, who work with children, their families, communities, organizations and local governments to bring about positive change. When children and adults work together as part of the change process, it is more likely that programs will be successful and sustainable.
Plan’s work is linked to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which spells out the human rights of all children, including the right to: survive; develop to the fullest; be protected from harmful influences; abuse and exploitation; participate fully in family, cultural and social life. Listening to what children have to say about their rights, needs and concerns is key to this approach. They encourage and help children to take an active role in finding solutions to their problems and realizing their full potential.
Through its fieldwork, Plan assists over 1.2 million children in the world, relying on the support of more than 1 million individual donors. In Brazil about 22,000 children are sponsored and this sponsorship is used to develop projects in local communities.
Sponsorship procedures are based upon a formal mail logistic. Due to this and to several protection policies sponsors only get to communicate with the children sporadically, and the delay is substantial – 4 months each way. As well, the information being exchanged between each party is not promoting awareness about development issues – as a result sponsors don’t have a clear picture of the work done by Plan – or where their money is going.
Money from Sponsorship primarily goes towards supporting the many community projects that Plan has running at any particular time. And these projects are vital for the betterment of the local community. Should sponsors be more aware of these projects, and the difference they make, they would no doubt be more educated about the issues at hand, but also hopefully more committed to their relationship with Plan and perhaps more willing to renew their sponsorship, or even sponsor more children in the future.
In order to get on track, Plan has engaged negotiations with Google to set a partnership alliance to provide the digital platform for an on-line Child Sponsorship. The aim of this placement is to develop an online communication strategy to start a dialogue between sponsors and the children, as a result increasing communication about the local activities and providing the young people with an opportunity to raise awareness of their projects, and give them a louder voice.