SAMA is a 3 year project. What will happen after three years?
While SAMA has been outlined as a three year project aimed at benefitting girls, boys and communities around the world, we are committed to supporting projects that can be sustained in the long term.
One of the key competencies sought when considering potential partners for SAMA, was that the organisation had a strong focus on the monitoring and evaluation of its programs - both for the life of each project and after its implementation. Plan shone through in this area due to their holistic approach to operating sustainable, well measured programs. Plan uses thorough monitoring and evaluation techniques that measure the quantitative, qualitative and longitudinal results of each project.
How can I get involved?
Keep an eye on our SAMA web page for ways that you can help out. For now, feel free to like us, share us, tweet us or make a donation.
Also, if you are interested to know more about the plight of girls and gender inequality around the world, consider checking out some of these sites:
Why is SAMA focused on early education?
Intrepid believes it is important to support early childhood and education projects, with a particular focus on girls, because we recognise that the right to education is a fundamental right. Education is one of the most effective development investments and is key to building the capacity of individuals, families, communities and nations. This is most relevant for marginalised or disadvantaged groups and is the primary vehicle by which such people can effect the kind of generational change that breaks the cycle of poverty. People with an education, even a basic one, are able to access information about rights that impact on every aspect of their lives.
What about other important issues like health care, human rights and illiteracy?
The Intrepid Foundation (TIF) has been supporting projects in a range of areas including health care, human rights, child welfare, education and environmental and wildlife protection since it began its work in 2002. In the past decade, TIF has distributed over $AU2.5 million to a variety of not-for-profit organisations and grassroots organisations in the regions in which we operate. TIF also provides ongoing support to several international NGOs including Amnesty International and Médicins Sans Frontières, and has the capacity to respond to emergency appeals around the world.
What is the difference between SAMA and The Intrepid Foundation?
The Intrepid Foundation is a registered charity in Australia, set up to gather and distribute funds contributed by travellers. SAMA is a 3-year project of Intrepid Travel, which sits alongside SAMA as a fully Intrepid-funded initiative. SAMA and TIF share many of the same goals and in 2013, SAMA will be raising additional funds for several TIF projects, which have been selected for their gender, education or women's health focus.
Will Intrepid take passengers to visit any SAMA projects down the track?
This is quite a sensitive issue, as foreign visitors can have both positive and negative impacts on both the projects themselves and the local communities. In many cases it can be disruptive for both children and families. We must respect the local communities' choice to have us visit them. There are also logistical factors to consider - Plan targets poor and remote communities and sometimes these are not easily accessible all year round. Arranging project visits also takes staff away from their core duties. Intrepid will weigh up the benefits on a project-by-project basis, however we do hope to include a group visits to at least some SAMA projects down the track.
What does 'AusAID dollar matching' mean?
One of the reasons we decided to partner with Plan for several of our projects is because of their ability to add value to our donations from AusAID - the Australian Government Agency for International Development. This means that for every dollar donated to SAMA, Plan can receive up to $5 more from AusAID. For every dollar contributed to Plan's Priority Projects supported by the AusAID NGO Cooperation Program by the end of each financial year, AusAID gives up to $5 more. If Plan receives more than is required for any financial year, the donations in excess will be applied to subsequent years of the project or to other Priority Projects.
How are the early learning projects Plan runs sustainable?
All projects are planned, designed and implemented with sustainability in mind. For example, they:
- Promote development of toys and learning materials for children that are low cost or no cost, using locally available materials.
- Ensure that investments in educational products and capacity development will be widely used after the life of the project.
- Use direct implementation to ensure that more resources reach the community and that the implementers are people who will continue living and working in the community.
- Provide intensive technical assistance which will be reduced over time. This is designed to move communities toward relative independence and to enable Plan to test whether the program can be sustained by the community and at what cost to quality and impact.
- Work with local communities to ensure that programs are relevant and designed to reflect local context, culture and priorities for children, and inclusive of positive indigenous knowledge, language and practices.
- Empower and mobilise parents (both mothers and fathers) to provide care, protection and stimulation for children and to demand services and support from government as primary duty-bearers.
- Work with all levels of government to improve early childhood wellbeing outcomes.
Do the Plan projects involve the local community and government?
Yes they do - from small villages and communities through to national level. Government and community partners are involved in project planning, design, monitoring, training and capacity building activities. This participatory approach ensures that project activities are relevant, effective and sustainable in the long term.
So why did you choose Plan, an already established development agency? Wouldn't it have been better to support a more grassroots organisation?
A detailed analysis was completed internally of many different NGOs and aid organisations and, after meeting with several potential partners, Plan was identified as the one which most closely aligned with our project mission. Here are a few reasons why we chose to partner with Plan:
- their Because I am a Girl campaign which highlights in the 70 countries Plan works in, the importance of investing in girls
- their holistic approach to gender equality in education which includes both girls and boys
- their track record of running sustainable, well-measured programs and 75 years of experience in International Development
- their strong connections with communities, community based organisations and different levels of government in each program country
- their ability to add value to our donations with AusAID funding
- the high-level support offered through their global offices and networks
- their ability to provide engagement opportunities for Intrepid staff
- they are an AusAID (Australian Government Agency for International Development) accredited NGO which provides the Australian public with confidence that the Australian Government is funding professional, well managed, community based organisations that are capable of delivering quality development outcomes.
Why can't I donate via PayPal?
Setting up donation payment gateways is quite a complicated process. To ensure your donation dollars reach the desired project most efficiently, the existing Plan payment gateway is the best solution for all AUD donations, while Ammado is the most suitable for all other currencies. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're having any issues donating and we'll do our best to remedy it.
At the Laos project, will teachers earn an income or will the schools be community-run?
In Laos, preschool and primary school teacher salaries are paid by the government. However, many areas do not qualify for a government preschool so Plan is working with the government to provide support to those communities. In the case of primary schools, Plan always works with the government system and seeks to improve access, equity, quality and support for learning so that children have improved learning outcomes.
In terms of preschools, Plan supports the formal preschool sector if one exists, or if not, will seek to demonstrate to government a low cost, community-run model for early learning centres which will be replicable by government. Even where there is a government preschool system, this rarely reaches disadvantaged communities who are the targets of Plan's work. Plan's work in early education focuses on improving access, especially for children who are still falling outside the net (e.g. children disadvantaged by gender, ethnicity, disability, poverty and environmental factors such as emergencies). Plan also improves the quality of programming through support for innovative caregiving and teaching, learning methodologies and low cost resourcing.