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Guidelines for Ugandan partners of Brighter Brains Institute

Posted: Fri, September 08, 2017 | By: BBI News

Transparency - BBI expects receipts, photos, and any documentation we ask for, to be promptly delivered to us. We also expect our Ugandan partners to thank the donors, and to provide them with any documentation they’d like to see. If BBI asks for documentation, and the Ugandan partner does not provide it quickly we will suspect that the Ugandan partner is either disorganized, or they mismanaged the funds, or both, and they are using the length of time to falsify documentation.

BBI wants to support communities that are already promoting humanist ideals, like women’s equality, tribal tolerance, ending domestic violence, teaching microfinance, ending superstition, supporting women’s reproductive rights, providing education on multiple forms of birth control and the sexually-transmitted diseases, supporting women’s empowerment, girls education and orphan care. BBI does not want to pay our Uganda partners to promote humanist values. We expect our partners to already be promoting these ideas, to their community and also to the greater region, via meetings, lectures, and radio appearances. BBI recognizes that it is not a good strategy to try to “convert” religious communities to humanism by providing them with funding. Basically, the new BBI policy is — if you are not already offering humanist education in your community, you are not a candidate for our funding.

Projects - if BBI provides funds for a business project that supports a budget item in the community - example: a piggery to fund a clinic - we expect that project to succeed. BBI will not spend more on a project than was originally agreed upon. (i.e., if the pigs get sick, we will not buy more medicine than what was originally agreed upon in the budget). BBI rewards Success, not Failure.

Sustainability - BBI expects the communities we help to support themselves after a certain amount of funding and a certain length of time - approximately 2.5 - 3.0 years and $15,000 - $25,000. We do not want to keep giving our partners funding for years and years and year. The only exception is if the Ugandan partner expands its services — if they add a secondary school, for example, or an orphanage.

Mission Statement - The mission of Brighter Brains Institute is to help humanist communities in Uganda via support for their schools and assistance in their economic development.

Protocol - When we provide funding to our Ugandan partners, we expect the project we funded to be fully completed, or at least launched, before we provide additional funding or even look at more proposals from that community. We do not want to give a group $3,000 for pigs on a Monday, and then, on a Wednesday, get another proposal from them asking for another $4,500 for chickens. We also do not want our Uganda partners to directly ask our donors for their money. We will give you a donor’s address because we want you to personally thank them, but our Ugandan partners should only ask BBI for money - then we can ask our donors to help. The donor email we give you is only to be used to thank the donor for the services they have provided.

Projects We Like - We like community gardens because they involve the entire community. We also like piggeries if they are group- owned, by a women’s group for example, and it is understood that the entire piggery is owned by the entire group. A piggery should not provide pigs to separate individuals. Also, a piggery should ideally be located on land owned by the entire women’s group. We also like funding women’s groups because funding to women’s groups is not controlled by just one person, and (sometimes) women’s groups are more responsible because they are more invested in their children’s health and education.

Building Classrooms - We need structures to be build properly - do not use cheap supplies to save money. If the building collapses due to substandard materials, we will not provide additional funds.

Clinics - BBI is very cautious about funding clinics because there are many people involved who can steal either money or medicine. The director who receives the BBI funds can “take some money off the top” - or the medic can steal medicine and sell it elsewhere, or clients can say they need medicine and then sell it elsewhere. Also, most small villages already have clinics, and in general, it is not a good practice to offer anything for free. There are exceptions 1) if a women’s group is running the clinic, with lots of watchful eyes, it might avoid corruption; 2) if BBI has an extremely good relationship with the director, it might work and 3) supporting de-worming is affordable, valuable, and largely immune to corruption if we receive photos and receipts, etc.

Teacher Salaries - We do not believe BBI should be in the position of paying for teacher salaries. If we do this, it is easy for the school director to tell his faculty in the future, “I can’t pay you yet, I have not received funds from BBI.” We want to work with school directors who pay the teachers a fair wage, and can balance the budget effectively enough to do that.

Student and Orphan Sponsorships - We are cautious about funding orphan sponsorships. We want to be sure all the funds we deliver are provided for the orphan’s welfare.

Women’s Groups - All women’s groups need to have a savings and loan account, so that they can use BBI funds for micro loan projects. BBI doesn’t think women’s groups need to have a meeting place that BBI pays for - they can meet at a member’s home or under “a mango tree.”


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