The programmes we implement with our partners last from five to eight years. The aim is to bring about a major change over that relatively short period: children and families who scarcely had any prospects due to poverty and social isolation must look to a promising future. How do we achieve that?

We set out our answer to this question in our Theory of Change, the theoretical conceptual framework that underpins our approach.

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When will children have new opportunities for the future? The diagram, which must be read from the inside out, focuses primarily on the child. The child must be healthy and receive good education. The child must also be able to develop socially and emotionally, have a healthy self-image and be aware of the talents he or she has received from God. That gives rise to hope and dignity.

For this the child's environment must fulfil certain conditions. For example,the parents must be able to provide sufficient family income, the child must be able to go to school, and so on. In order to achieve this we apply a number of principles in our working method:

GROUP WORKING

We often work in groups, such as selfhelp and youth groups. We see a lot of benefits in that. To begin with, social isolation is one of the major causes of poverty. Learning to work together and build on each other’s strengths is therefore enormously valuable. Moreover, children, young people and adults in groups have access to much more knowledge and information. That all promotes self-confidence and mutual encouragement. In addition, the group approach fits in perfectly with the African and Asian context. Finally, the results achieved in a group are more effective and longer-lasting.

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

We support our partner organizations by gathering, developing and sharing knowledge. For example knowledge of the development of children or of working with young people and how parents can support them best.

PART OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Children, young people, families and entire villages are part of a wider environment. Our programmes are influenced by all kinds of factors, such as government policy, socio-cultural aspects, etc. Help a Child helps to reinforce structures at local, regional and national level, promoting self- reliance and balanced development. That increases the ownership and sustainability of our programmes.

More information about our Theory of Change? Download the explanation.