A month or so ago, we embarked on a discussion with our sponsors and members. We asked them: “What values should Vulnerable Children Society exemplify?”
We put up a poll on our website, and then brought it up for discussion at our annual general meeting. It was an interesting process, because we took into account what our members are thinking, as well as the priorities of the board. For example, the directors’ first priority was that our actions have a big, lasting impact. Our members definitely prioritized accountability, transparency and sustainability, which we think was greatly influenced by the shutdown of Imagine Adoption and Fay Fund corp. going on hiatus.
In the end, we came up with four principles that we are proud to call Vulnerable Children Society’s values. We will use these values to help us make decisions, and guide our actions and priorities. With no further ado, here they are!
Sustainability represents our long-term committment to vulnerable children in impoverished African countries. We have set ourselves up to for the long haul, from our governance to our financial structure. Our decisions are as responsible as we can make them, with positive social and environmental impacts.
Compassion makes the foundation of why we do what we do. Compassion isn’t feeling sorry for others who are less fortunate, or some kind of righteous benevolence. Instead, we have a grounded understanding that, with a slight twist of fate we or our loved ones could be in their place; we have a responsibility to act for those who are vulnerable and in need of help.
Transparency is the way that we are accountable to the children we help, our partners and our supporters. Of course, we ensure appropriate confidentiality and privacy for the vulnerable children and families we exist to help. But constant and two-way communication with our partners and supports allows us to make informed decisions with our stakeholder’s concerns in mind.
Impact ensures that the children and families’ needs are met, our sponsor’s money is well spent, and our partners’ wisdom shapes our priorities. We believe that each child has value, and so our impact is measured in accordance with our mission: if we have provided for the welfare or enriched the lives of a child, then we have been successful for that child.