Imagine ignoring a young mother’s pleas for help in raising an income, because you came to build a school, not to offer other kinds of help. The school is built but the most needy cannot afford to attend. I have seen this.
Imagine not bothering to talk to communities about their problems because you build wells and that is all you do. Why bother talking if you only have one product? I have seen this many times too.
No doubt some might praise such approaches for being focused. But this is what you might call the dark side of ‘focus’. Doing one thing and doing it well sounds good in principle but faces problems in practice. People trapped within poverty do not lead ‘a la carte’ lives. Their problems are complex and interconnected. However, there are effective ways to provide help without losing focus.
Children in Crisis’ focus is on children living in environments that most find too uncomfortable or unsafe to work in. Our aim is to protect children from abuse, exploitation and discrimination, to support them to read, write, think, pursue their life goals and to contribute positively to their communities. Our focus is on the outcome – we must always ask “are we achieving change in these children’s lives?” We should never focus solely on the instruments that we use.