Yesterday I attended the yearly Jugend Hilft (Youth Helps) celebration by Children for a Better World, a Munich-based NGO. As a sideline to my work at betterplace, I have been running one of their Berlin Children Councils, groups of children and teenagers who themselves receive, discuss and decide applications for funding. In my group are currently 8 teenagers. We meet twice a year and decide on 4-6 projects. The children are allowed to allocate up to 1,500 Euros towards a project, and decide how to manage and use the available budget.
Its a great idea and the teenagers in my group are eager participants. Still, there remains a suprising problem: how do we get good projects to apply for funding? I would have guessed that by now, in the third year, initiatives, who have received funding from us would have spread the news to others (organisations can only apply once in two years), thus creating a steady stream of applications. But this is not the case and so far I have hand-picked all the projects which have applied.
The application process is as easy as it gets, so this shouldn’t be a barrier. Sure, the money allocated at each session (max. 1.500 Euro per project) is not huge, but can go a long way, especially outside Western Europe and the US.
In yesterdays discussions with other women running children’s councils, I found out that this is a problem we share.
Is the money not needed? Are organisations jealously guarding their sources of funding and thus don’t spread the word about them?
What ever the reasons: Here is another call for fund applications: If you are running a project in Germany or abroad, which aims at improving childrens lives, feel welcome to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll sent you our childrens council’s application for funding. Our next session will be towards the end of November.
Btw, Children also has a great project on betterplace, which you can support right here.