Q&A’s

GENERAL

WHAT DOES THE FIG TREE CHILDREN DO?

There are over 12,000 orphaned or vulnerable children in Sierra Leone. These children live in poverty and struggle every day to survive. Most of them don’t go to school. The Fig Tree Children raises awareness and funding for projects that help care for these children.

We raise funds and work with Caritas, Freetown and AFEWY (Anerdan Foundation for the Empowerment of Women & Youths) who locate children needing support. We raise awareness for the child and find a sponsor for each of them. We help each of the children by helping them to receive access to basic healthcare, food, hygiene items and schooling.

Our charity’s approach is to use low-cost, highly effective solutions that work dramatically to improve children’s lives and is currently funded by private donations.

WHERE DOES THE FIG TREE CHILDREN OPERATE?

The Fig Tree Children supports projects in Sierra Leone but we are located in Fig Tree Pocket, West of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

HOW IS THE FIG TREE CHILDREN DIFFERENT FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS?

The Fig Tree Children is an organisation based in Brisbane which is helping to raise funds and awareness for projects to help provide care and education to orphaned and vulnerable children in Sierra Leone

We are different in two main ways:

The first difference is that we are making a difference to children’s development, nurturing and futures at a grass roots level, one child at a time.

The second difference is that we believe no child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. The Fig Tree Children works to support children in Sierra Leone regain their right to a family life, basic healthcare and education.

WHAT COUNTRIES DOES THE FIG TREE CHILDREN WORK IN?

The Fig Tree Children currently only works in Sierra Leone. We are focused towards finding a sponsor for each of the orphaned and vulnerable children in Sierra Leone. With there being over 12,000, this is a large enough task and if successful then we would certainly consider extending the project to reach other countries in need.

THE FIG TREE CHILDREN IN AUSTRALIA

WHAT DOES THE FIG TREE CHILDREN CHARITY DO IN AUSTRALIA?

The Fig Tree Children is a non-government organisation established in 2014, based in Brisbane, Queensland. We are one of a few organisations around the world who play a vital role in generating fundraising revenue, public support and awareness for orphaned children in Sierra Leone.

We also host events such as music gigs and movie nights to raise additional funds.

WHERE DOES THE FIG TREE CHILDREN GET ITS MONEY?

The Fig Tree Children in Brisbane is currently funded entirely through voluntary contributions and from the proceeds of events we organise. The current main sources of income are individuals.

The Fig Tree Children receives donations as a one off or regular contribution and through its sponsorship program. This program is designed to provide long-term care for orphaned children.  Regular donations support long-term programs to provide essential services to improve the lives of all the children participating in these programs.

HOW MUCH MONEY DO WE SPEND ON ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS?

Our current approach is to use low-cost, highly effective solutions to keep overheads to a minimum allowing for a higher percentage of donations to be given to the programs helping orphaned children in Sierra Leone.

So far every dollar donated to The Fig Tree Children in Australia:

  • 97.3 cents go directly to program expenditure. The 2.7% difference is the fee Paypal charge.
  • Currently, the accountability and administration for SMCH Charity in Australia is funded by Jane Shakespeare and Jeremy Davies; this means that 97.3% of your donation is given directly to the programs run to care for orphaned children in Sierra Leone.

Unfortunately, this can’t always be the case but all endeavors will be made to keep costs as low as possible.

DOESN'T CHARITY BEGIN AT HOME?

Yes, charity begins at home but it doesn’t have to end there. We are lucky in Australia that we can afford to respond to those in need at home as well as providing life-saving aid to those beyond our borders.

Australia has the seventh highest income per person in the world according to International Monetary Fund figures. Our level of government debt is by far the lowest of any major developed country. The Australia Government only gives around 35 cents in every hundred dollars of national income even though they are well placed to give more. In reality, our government’s spending on overseas aid is relatively low compared with other rich nations who give aid. We currently rank 14th out of 23 rich countries in terms of our aid budget.

Overseas Aid has played a big part in reducing the number of children dying from preventable causes. 20 years ago more than 12 million children died every year from preventable causes. In 2010, less than 8 million children died from preventable causes. This is a 36 percent reduction in child deaths and aid has played a big part in this progress. Unfortunately, thousands of children still die every day so more still needs to be done.

WHAT ARE THE OPENING HOURS OF THE FIG TREE CHILDREN AUSTRALIA OFFICE?

The Fig Tree Children Australia office is open from 9am until 5.30pm EDT Monday-Friday.  Outside of these hours and during public holidays please email us.

HOW TO IDENTIFY LEGITIMATE THE FIG TREE CHILDREN FUNDRAISERS

If you have been approached by a person claiming to be raising funds for The Fig Tree Children and you believe they might not be a genuine fundraiser, please contact The Fig Tree Children on 0431 895 733 or email admin@thefigtreechildren.org with information on who approached you, how and when. Sadly fraudulent fundraising is affecting many charities.

All our fundraisers are knowledgeable about The Fig Tree Children and will have a letter of authority from The Fig Tree Children, Australia identifying them as a volunteer ‘The Fig Tree Children’ fundraiser.

If you would like to confirm a fundraiser’s identity please contact us on 0431 895 733 or at admin@thefigtreechildren.org

DONATE

HOW DO I DONATE?

You can make a one off or recurring donation to The Fig Tree Children via our donation form on our website.

If you don’t want to donate via paypal, there are two other options for donating.

Donate by Cheque/Money Order made out to: The Fig Tree Children

Please mail to:

The Fig Tree Children
PO Box 5297
Kenmore East
QLD 4069
Australia

For receipting purposes please include your details*

Name:
Address:
Tel:
Email address:

Or you can donate directly into The Fig Tree Children’s Home bank account

Account name: The Fig Tree Children
BSB: 084 255    Account: 74 304 6763

Ref: Your first name and last name

If you would like a receipt for a direct transfer, please email admin@thefigtreechildren.org with donation amount, date of deposit and your name and address.

If you’d like to sponsor one of our children then you can using the process above and letting us know who you would like to sponsor by leaving the child’s name in the comments box.

HOW CAN I CANCEL MY MONTHLY DONATION?

If you would like to cancel your recurring donation, please provide your full name, supporter ID (if possible), phone number and mailing address in a letter or email to:

Email: admin@thefigtreechildren.org

Mail: PO Box 5297, Kenmore East, QLD 4069 Australia

or Contact Paypal

 

CAN I SPONSOR A CHILD THROUGH THE FIG TREE CHILDREN?

Most definitely! If you go to the Sponsor Page on our website you will see the children we already have a sponsor for and those we are looking for a sponsor for. To sponsor a child just complete the donation form, selecting recurring monthly contribution and letting us know the name of the child you wish to sponsor in the comments box. If you want to donate via paypal then select ‘online payment’ or if you live in Australia and would like to donate via a bank transfer each month, you can do that also, just make sure you select ‘offline payment’ when completing the form.

DOES THE FIG TREE CHILDREN SELL CARDS AND GIFTS? AND WHERE CAN I FIND THEM?

We don’t currently sell greeting cards and gifts, however this is something we might consider down the track.

I'D LIKE TO SEND SUPPLIES TO THE FIG TREE CHILDREN IN SIERRA LEONE. HOW CAN I DO THIS?

Unfortunately, The Fig Tree Children, Australia don’t procure supplies for our emergency or long-term projects. While it is a very generous offer to donate medical/educational supplies, food or clothing, it is administratively and logistically extremely difficult and expensive to organise to freight and distribute items overseas from Australia.

VOLUNTEER, EMPLOYMENT AND INTERNSHIPS

CAN I DO WORK EXPERIENCE WITH THE FIG TREE CHILDREN, AUSTRALIA?

The Fig Tree Children, Australia is unable to accept work experience placements due to our small staff and limited resources.

HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER FOR THE FIG TREE CHILDREN IN SIERRA LEONE?

As our role in Australia is advocacy and fundraising, we do not directly recruit volunteers or employees to work with The Fig Tree Children in Sierra Leone. However in order to assist those who are keen to volunteer and work overseas with The Fig Tree Children, we are happy to forward your details on to the administration personnel for us in Sierra Leone.

HOW DO I VOLUNTEER FOR THE FIG TREE CHILDREN IN AUSTRALIA?

We currently have only one office based in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane. This office primarily works with volunteers who assist with office administration. As our office is based in Brisbane, we do not have many volunteering opportunities in other states or territories. However, we might occasionally require the assistance of volunteers for The Fig Tree Children events.

If you are interested in volunteering for The Fig Tree Children, Australia, please email your details to admin@thefigtreechildren.org. We will keep record of your application and contact you if any volunteer work becomes available.

HOW DO I DO AN INTERNSHIP WITH THE FIG TREE CHILDREN AUSTRALIA?

We offer a limited number of internships for tertiary students and graduates each year. The internships are unpaid, and require a minimum of two days/week over three months at our office in Brisbane, QLD. For more information email: admin@thefigtreechildren.org.

EDUCATION

CAN YOU SEND US SOME POSTERS FOR A PROJECT/OUR SCHOOL?

Yes we can! If you would like a poster to display in your classroom please send us an email to admin@thefigtreechildren.org with your address details or call 0431 895 733 and speak to Jane.

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