PROFESSIONALISM & SUSTAINABILITY
We believe in leverage. Thus our approach is very simple - transform the organisations we support, empower them to provide the best care and support for underprivileged children, and make them sustainable so that they can in return help thousands of children, year after year. We do this by building capabilities for these organisations in key areas.
Our Leverage Model
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” says the old Chinese proverb.
This is our approach to reach thousands of underprivileged children.
Thus, instead of simply deploying funds to satisfy immediate needs, we focus on making investments into the capabilities of the organisations we support. The ultimate objective is to make these organisations most professional and self-sufficient, empowered to provide the best care and support for thousands of children in need,
There are six key capability areas, which we believe are essential for organisations that provide care and support for underprivileged children. Our resources, financial, human, as well as intellectual are deployed in these areas. Through the continuous work that we are doing, our teams are building up a repository of best practices and out of the box solutions, that we leverage throughout our network of organisations we support.
Key Capability Areas
Source of Income
One of the key capabilities is to ensure that the organisation is financially stable and funding is secured long-term. While strengthening the donor base and implementing a professional donor management programme is one of the capabilities, we believe that the most sustainable way is to secure its own source of income for the organisation. What the specific source of income can be for an organisation, depends on various factors. A model that has been proven to be very successful is to build a school. Operating its own school provides a couple of benefits. Besides providing an income through the school fees, their own children can attend the school taking care of their basic education needs. In addition, the organisation is providing a valuable service to its community by offering high quality education at an affordable price.
We work closely with the organisation, the local community and authorities to understand what model is most suitable, can be implemented with low risk, and provides the required financial support to the organisation to fulfil its mission to care for children in need.
Shelter & Care
Providing children with a safe, secure and loving environment is one of the basic services any of the organisations we support. Financial, human, as well the intellectual resources are deployed to either upgrade existing facilities or construct new facilities to provide a real home for children that caters for their needs. Architects, engineers as well as construction workers help us as volunteers to give children in need a home that they feel safe, secure and can develop.
Health & Nutrition
Ensuring that children eat well and healthy and receive required medical care is another basic capability where we support. A lot of our support here is to build awareness and equip the organisations with the right knowledge and tools. While in the long-run the organisations should be able to cover all costs for nutrition and health on their own, we give financial aid over certain periods or connect to other partner organisations who can provide financial or in-kind support.
Basic & Higher Education
Basic and higher education is one of the key areas that help to provide the children with a real opportunity for a better life and to realise their dreams. Securing the funding for scholarships or to cover related expenses is one of the key support areas. Where possible we leverage existing programmes of NGOs and partner organisations to give access to basic and higher education to the children of organisations that we directly support.
To support the education needs of the children we impact, we initiate a book collection programme called Project BookMATTERS to equip homes, school and local communities with well-equipped libraries. The goal is to help underprivileged children in Southeast Asia further their English literacy development.
Operations & Service Delivery
In the area of operations and service delivery we focus on professionalising administrative functions such as accounting and reporting, as well as improving the quality of direct services to the children by leveraging best practices. Implementation of standardised processes and internal audit procedures to ensure that improvements indeed happen is a key part of our support. We leverage our pool of volunteers to help setting up required infrastructures such as e.g. social media accounts and content. For very specialised areas such as therapy and counselling programmes, we leverage existing programmes of other NGOs and partner organisations to upskill the organisations we support.
Once local organisations are empowered to provide great care and support for children in need, they can take the next step and reach out to their communities to help address fundamental issues that leaves children neglected and abandoned. Areas such as family preservation, family reunification and family expansion are important services these organisations can provide to their local communities.
A new Home!
OUR ENGAGEMENT MODEL
We engage in a very structured approach with the organisations we support, with a clear objective in mind. Our ultimate goal is to transition the organisations we have supported intensively over a period into a partnership model, where they do not require our intensive support anymore, and only leverage on our intellectual properties help them to continuously improve their services to children in need.
Our engagement model has four distinct phases that organisations we support go through. The risk profile of the organisation helps us to determine when an organisation is ready to exist our intensive support.
Phase 1: Assessment
Our journey with a new organisation begins with a comprehensive risk assessment to identify the areas where the organisation is at highest risk and requires support. This is done through a serious of interviews with key stakeholders as well as some site visits to verify certain information and get a personal picture of the organisation and how it is operated. We apply an internationally established framework on risk management for NGOs.
Once the risk profile as been reviewed and endorsed by the beneficiary organisation, our team develops the risk mitigation plans and establishes a roadmap with clearly identified implementation projects, timelines, and efforts required (financial, human resources, intellectual resources).
This work is predominently done with consultants who join us as volunteers through our Consulting Heroes Partnership Programme.
Phase 2: Intensive Supoport
Once our due diligence process has approved the organisation, we mobilise and deploy resources to implement the projects as per agreed roadmap. Our financial planning process determines the funding commitments we can do for the following periods and to which extend additional funds needs to be raised to build up required capabilities.
We work closely with our beneficiary organisations to ensure that the most critical projects get implemented first wherever possible. Recruitment of skill-based volunteers goes hand in hand with this process, to ensure that the right expertise is available when needed.
Every beneficiary organisation has an assigned Little Heroes’ Dreams coordinator. This person is also monitoring the progress of the implementation projects as well as evaluating how well capabilities have been created and are effectively utilised on the ground.
Phase 3: Transition
Once an organisation has reached a stable and mature stage, where most or all of the agreed implementation projects have been implemented and capabilities have been created, the organisation will be transitioned out of our intensive support into a partnership mode.
Phase 4: Partnership
While no more major financial resources will be deployed for our beneficiary organisation in this stage, they still continue to benefit from regular knowledge transfer helping them to continuously improve their capabilities and quality of services offered to the children they care for and support. In addition, they take over a mentoring role for other beneficiary organisations who are entering our intensive support and can learn from their journey and experiences.
OUR PARTNER MODEL
We can't do what we are doing without the support from other organisations that provide services in specific areas. We are continuously expanding our partner network and connect our beneficiary organisations to our partners, providing them access to existing and established programmes.
We want to concentrate on what we are good at and leverage existing programmes and services from other NGOs. We are very active in finding new NGO partners who can provide services to our beneficiaries in key capability areas such as education, nutrition & health, and community outreach.
Our tie ups with leading consulting companies allow us to deploy high-skilled volunteers to do the required capability assessments and design of roadmaps for our beneficiary organisations.
One of our key investments is in constructing dormitories and school buildings that serve as a key source of income. We partner with developers who provide us with cost-effective turnkey solutions.
We partner with local foundations who support us with co-funding in our projects and who link us up with other key partners within the communities we operate in.
Banks provide us with bridge financing solutions to support the implementation of our roadmaps.
Consulting Heroes Programme
Since the capability builduing portion of our programme is one of the most crucial components, we rely on the expertise and skills of consultants to deliver it professionally. Little Heroes' Dreams is proud to partner with world class management consulting companies to provide high impact volunteering opportunities that set up our beneficiary organisations onto a path of success.
Download the programme info here.
Our Consulting Heroes Partners