Helping these mostly HIV-negative children now will make them a social investment rather than a social welfare problem, thus preventing the large-scale social tragedy of a generation of illiterate and destitute children. Some of these children are likely to move to urban areas where they could potentially add to social instability if left uneducated and destitute.
Also Helping Parents
By helping the children, we have the ability to provide care to AIDS patients directly. These parents can use their limited funds on their own healthcare and other immediate needs without having to sacrifice their children’s future.
Foster a Positive Outlook
We want children to know that there is love and hope in the world, so that they will grow up with a sense of responsibility and a desire to give back to their communities and others.
Special Characteristics of Our Work
We support the placement of children locally and with relatives. To limit the stigma that too often comes with being an AIDS orphan, we do not place children in orphanages. Allowing the children to grow up in a familiar environment with other non-AIDS impacted children is invaluable in providing a sense of comfort and belonging.
Direct Fund Distribution
Our funds cover basic education fees, merit-based scholarship and need-based additional support for room and board and other living expenses. All funds are given to students and their families/guardians directly to ensure the funds are used for the children’s needs. In special cases where funds are disbursed via trusted partners, audit trails are kept to ensure that the funds get to the children.
Our program is a long-term commitment, to help children complete their entire education to as high a level as they are capable of pursuing rather than give them one-off support. We want to help them become independent and productive members of society.
For each of the sponsored AIDS orphans, there is a clear end goal. Our support for them will be completed when they graduate from school. As it is crucial that our help reach these children while they are still at school age, there is an urgent need to obtain funding in time to support them during this limited window of opportunity.
Verification and Fraud Prevention
We always objectively determine the eligibility of children for our programs. We scientifically verify the HIV/AIDS status of the recipients’ parents, through official medical certificates, medical reports, treatment prescriptions, or independent blood tests. Repeat independent test results of the parents’ HIV status are also required to qualify sponsored students for advancement into post-secondary education. Home visits by our staff are carried out to validate the living and financial conditions of the students’ families. These procedures eliminate the possibility of fraud or abuse of the system.
System to Track Orphans’ Progress
We have developed a Student Information Database to comprehensively capture family information, contact information, academic record, correspondence with Chi Heng, activity participation, personal health, family visit reports and qualification interview information (for senior high, vocational and university students) of each and every sponsored student. To protect the students’ privacy, individual student information is only accessible by authorized personnel.
This system enables continuity and quality in support to each student irrespective of personnel changes at Chi Heng Foundation. It allows our staff to understand the services and support provided to each student as well as any special needs of that student and his/her siblings. Home visit reports capture each family’s situation, highlighting any interventions required, so that action can be taken in a timely manner and follow up is made. The system also facilitates education program funding resource forecasting, funding disbursement requests and completion recording.
Data in the system enables analyses of the effectiveness of our services and activities, so as to facilitate decisions on resource allocation.
The Only Lasting and All-Rounded Operator
We are the only privately-funded foundation focusing on helping AIDS-impacted children in Central China that is operating on such a large scale. A number of NGOs have attempted to set up projects in the areas in which we operate, but they have not been permitted by the government to do so. We believe that we have been allowed to carry on with this work for two reasons:
The project is regarded as education-oriented which is seen as less politically sensitive than the issue of AIDS
The extremely low-profile nature of our work and our team