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Building a sustainable future for Rwanda's children:
The Streets Ahead Children's Centre Association (SACCA)
The Streets Ahead Children’s Centre Association (SACCA) began its work in 2003. A local association, it was set up to help protect and rehabilitate street children living in Rwanda's Eastern province. Rehabilitation centres are based in Kabarondo (for boys) and Kayonza (for girls). The Head Office is in Kayonza. Over the last 10 years, SACCA has developed several programmes designed not only to support and reintegrate children back into their communities but also to tackle the root causes of child homelessness.
What they do
The association currently provides support and services to 356 children and 125 members of 26 vulnerable families who they help in various ways. Services include protection, rehabilitation, re-integration, health support and advocacy.
They reach out to children through their residential centres, with the majority of the children enrolled in vocational training schemes or in school. The centres provide education, life skills, protection, individual support and counselling, HIV education, food, shelter, health care, as well as recreational activities.
How they do it
SACCA has collaborated with local communities to develop a sophisticated community outreach programme. Designed with the input of community members and beneficiaries, the programme aims to equip local communities with the skills to better support families to care for reintegrated children and to prevent further child homelessness. So far, SACCA has reintegrated more than 1200 children back into their families.
Why did SACCA need Mango training?
The association is striving to develop a comprehensive, community-based welfare system that will span a larger geographical area, helping to keep more children off the streets. The project, to be run in partnership with district groups, will focus on a participatory approach, including the formation of community action groups for the protection of children.
They need a longer-term financing strategy to help them deliver these vital services as their Director, Mukamuyenzi Valentine, explains:
“After going through the Mango courses, I found the 'Planning for financial sustainability' course as a very important course for me to have as it was targeting people who are running NGOs how to build a financing strategy which help organizations to reach a financial sustainability, which we need in SACCA”.
Mango awarded Valentine a bursary place on Planning for financial sustainability, a course that focuses on identifying financial strengths and risks and how to build a financing strategy for longer term security and continuity.
What has changed for SACCA since the training?
Planning for the longer term
Valentine describes how they have already begun to put a longer-term financing strategy into action:
“With our donors, board and management team especially, we all agreed on SACCA’s future sustainability ideas, in which we have started to think how SACCA would get more income [for] planned activities with the aim of finishing the year without deficits”.
Diversifying income sources
She also explains how she has worked with her team to look at diversifying their sources of income and building their financial reserves for a less donor-dependent future:
“We have identified our financing options (community, donors and self financing) for the next financial year and we now know the areas to be straightened.
After the training, the ideas of looking for funds in our communities and big NGOs was strengthened - we identified sources for funding available in the area and we managed submit some proposals. We have also developed an idea of identifying our sources of income and think about savings.
In order to prevent some challenges which may occur in core costs, we have budgeted and planned for next year activities basing on available income not on expectations".
Increased focus on self-audit
All of this, she adds, is now supported by regular self-audit and follow-ups:
“This has helped the organization management team to check, follow, plan for the month (in weeks), revise and compare expenditures against the budget based on planned activities and results. We have managed to check our last quarter”
Perhaps one of the biggest overall changes for SACCA has been the introduction of budgeting and forecasting further in advance:
“...we currently carry out monitoring and evaluate our financial year based on budget lines. Weekly planning basing on budget lines and activities planned for the quarter/year”
To learn more about Mango's bursary scheme or to make a donation, please visit our bursary infomation page here.