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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Answers to YOUR MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
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Looking for answers?
Someone once said, “He who has all the answers isn’t asking the right questions.” We like to think we have both!

Here are some helpful answers to questions we get all the time. Want to talk in person? Email us at mailtakenetwork@gmail.com

About us (in general)
1.What is TAKENetwork?
2.Who do you work for?
3.How did you get started (and when)?
4.What’s your goal?
5.Are you a religious and/or political organization?
6.Who works at your organization?
7.How can I work at your organization?
8.How (exactly) do you help kids in poverty?

About giving (including where your money goes)
1.I want to give in a smart way. How can I be sure you’re putting my donation to good use?
2.But where does my money actually go?
3.Do you give it directly to the kids in your program?
4.How do you make sure my gifts to TAKENetwork are spent wisely?
5.How do you choose locations to build a community center?
6.How do you know which children need help?
7.How can my gift do so much?
8.Can you provide specific figures?
9. How can I make a gift?

About child sponsorship (and joining a child’s team)
1. What is child sponsorship?
2. Do you help kids in the United States?
3. Am I my child’s only sponsor?
4. What happens if I can’t continue being part of a child’s team (or sponsoring)?
5. Does my child lose the benefits of the program?
6. Can I suggest a new sponsor for my child (such as a family member or friend)?
7. Can I sponsor more than one child?
8.What can go wrong?
9. Can I contact my child?
10. Wait, back up. Why would my sponsored child have access to Facebook?
11.Can I send TAKENetwork funds to buy my child a gift?
12. Can I visit my child?
13. What happens when my child graduates from the program?

What is TAKENetwork?
We’re the one of the largest nonprofit organizations in Nigeria.
But our mission goes well beyond our great country: We help teens and kids around the world break free from poverty and illiteracy. Through a proven approach, our local staff in each state, and community centers strategically located in 5 states, we give our disadvantaged teens and kids the tools to grow up healthy, educated, employed and empowered to break the cycle of poverty.

And when we say “we,” we mean “you,” too! After all, we can only accomplish our goals if we do them together.
We believe that all change starts with ONE person. And we’re bringing together a movement of people who make a real difference in the world. We call that the power of (every)ONE .

Who do you work for?
Our teens and kids. Half the teens and kids in the world (about a billion), especially in Nigeria are disadvantaged: growing up in poverty, lacking access to education,and ill-equipped to face challenges of life. And while all these are huge and complex problem, they are also solvable. In fact, we’ve got a bold plan to help .

How did you get started (and when)?
We’ve been around awhile. Back in 2013, our organization was originally dedicated to healing disabled children and providing outreach to widows and orphans . Today we have about 300 teens kids in our program.

What’s your goal?
To help end global poverty and empower disadvantaged teens and kids to attend school. And we believe the best way to solve poverty is to start with children and teens.
Most kids born into poverty have very little control over their lives and futures, so we’re working to change that. We believe we can make a difference in the world and poverty is a solvable issue. We also believe once you break the cycle of poverty for one child , you’ll impact generations to come.
Our goal is every child graduates from our program healthy, educated, employed and empowered to break the cycle of poverty.

Are you a religious and/or political organization?
No, our supporters, volunteers, staff, children and their families span all beliefs and backgrounds. And we all share the same goal: breaking the cycle of poverty.

Who works at your organization?
Everyone … we all work really hard here. 🙂
We have about 200 amazing people here in the City, and around 1,200 more amazing in-country team members who support our agencies and community centers around the world.
If you’re interested in meeting some of our people, you can find out more about our leadership and our president and CEO, Justus O.Ejikeme. Also, our board of directors, a group of passionate business and nonprofit-minded individuals, helps oversee our organization.
If you’d like to talk to someone directly, you can always call, email or chat with our Care Team.

How can I work at your organization?
If you want to join our team, we’d be thrilled! We’re looking for the best, brightest and most passionate people on the planet. You can check our career opportunities to see openings.

How (exactly) do you empower disadvantaged teenagers and kids?
In four key ways. We offer:
1. A place : We create community centers: physical buildings that give kids a safe place to be and provide resources like libraries, doctor and dental offices, pharmacies and computer labs.
2. A team: We hire local professionals who really know their communities. These tutors, doctors, dentists, social workers and volunteers (about 8,000!) provide a support network for our teens and kids.
3. A path out of poverty: We focus on helping kids graduate from our program healthy, educated, employed and empowered to break the cycle of poverty. Our programs focus on critical issues like education, social and financial responsibility and preparing for careers. (Unfortunately, not all teens kids have access to all these programs, because many are underfunded
— but you can help !)
4. An ability to adapt: Depending on the country, life in poverty means different hardships and challenges. So our programs are customized to fit teens and kids’ needs based on country, age and life circumstances.

I want to give in a smart way. How can I be sure you’re putting my donation to good use?
First, we love people who do their homework, especially when it comes to how they spend their giving dollars. In 2015, 84% of our total expenses supported the programs and activities that help our kids. We work hard to keep our overhead costs low, so that our kids can have as many benefits as possible.

You can see your impact in person by visiting your child and taking a tour of their community center, where you can talk with our in-country staff directly.

But where does my money actually go? Do you give it directly to the teens and kids in your program?
Great question. We have short and long answers below.
Short answer: No, we don’t give funds directly to the teens and kids, but your support is invested directly into programs that impact your teens and kids’ future.
Long answer: Your giving dollars ensure our teens and kids have access to our community centers, as well as caring local staff and volunteers.
If you’re becoming part of a child’s team , it means your child is immediately able to access basic program services for health, education, empowerment and employment.
Many of our expanded programs need additional funding, so not every child and youth is able to participate. We’re working to change that.
In 2016, we’re adapting how we deliver our programs so that each state can deliver better, more customized support to our teens and kids. Our mission is that every child graduates from our program healthy, educated, employed and empowered to break the cycle of poverty.
P.S. Many sponsors also choose to give extra gifts to their child’s family, which works a little differently.

How do you make sure my gifts to TAKENetwork are spent wisely?
We take a lot of security steps to ensure your donations are safe and support programs that deliver the most impact. For starters, your donation is directly deposited into the bank, which means the donations are handled in a secure and professional way from the moment they are received. We also have independent CPA firms that audit each agency twice a year. Plus, we do our own internal agency audits annually. To top it off, you can visit our community centers and see for yourself how your impact directly benefits the teens and kids! (Have other questions? Just ask!)

How do you choose locations to build a community center?
We look at areas with the highest concentration of poverty, usually urban slum communities. Using government data and statistics, we identify major cities and then seek to understand what the need is and what other services are offered in those communities.
You can check out some of our ongoing projects here.

How do you know which children need help?
Our local social workers determine which families need the most help. After meeting with families, our team uses an assessment tool to determine if the families are eligible.

How can my gift do so much?
We work hard to keep costs down while keeping the quality of our programs way up. To do that, we:
Hire local staff. Our team members reside in the countries where they work and are extremely familiar with our communities and local customs. Hiring locally is also less expensive and relatable for our families.
Buy in bulk. We buy supplies in mass quantities, many times directly from the countries where we work. Doing so keeps costs down and supports local economies.
Gain strength in numbers. We enroll large numbers of teens and kids in the same area to help us provide the most impact.
Recruit volunteers for support. Our trained volunteers – mostly the moms of sponsored teens and kids – assist us with delivering services and leading activities. We have whole families who get involved!
Find great partners. We coordinate with big-hearted, like-minded companies who support us through giving partnerships, donated goods and services.

How can I make a gift?
You can donate by debit or credit card, PayPal, check or money order. (If you’re sponsoring a child , you can choose a monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual schedule.)

What is child sponsorship?
Simply put, you’re investing in the life of a child .
You’re connecting the child with a team of people who are ready to help. Who is part of the team? You, of course, as the child’s sponsor and champion. Plus, everyone at the
community center : doctors, dentists, tutors, social workers and more. Our staff here in the City is on the team, too. And most importantly, your child and her family also becomes a part of her own team.
If you choose, you can exchange messages and photos to keep up with what’s going on in your child’s life.
You can even visit! By reaching out to your child, you can offer encouragement when the going gets tough.
Did you know? Children raised in poverty experience many losses, but often the greatest one is hope for a better future. By becoming a child’s sponsor and joining a team , you can kick-start better opportunities, and your child will grow up with the knowledge that you (despite your distance) believe in her.

Am I my child’s only sponsor?
If you’re participating in our international program, then yes! Our program works a little differently
— you join a team with other sponsors (because costs are so much higher).
Also, you may not be your child’s first sponsor. Your child may have had a previous sponsor who couldn’t continue their support due to financial reasons or other life circumstances.
The upside? Our kids know that lots of people — but in particular, you — are interested in their lives and encourage them to have better futures!

What happens if I can’t continue being part of a child’s team (or have to cancel sponsorship)? Does my child lose the benefits of the program?
No way. We make a commitment that we’ll be a part of their lives until they graduate from our program . Our team members around the world have invested time in our kids’ futures, and we work to find a new sponsor as soon as possible .
If you run into financial hardship, we may be able to suspend your monthly gift commitment for a short time and keep you as a child’s sponsor. Please call our Care Team at +2348084971458 to learn more.

Can I suggest a new sponsor for my child (such as a family member or friend)?
Yes, absolutely. Just contact our Care Team to connect us with your (willing) family member or friend.

Can I sponsor more than one child?
Yes! Being a part of many children’s lives is incredibly rewarding and a wonderful way to learn about different countries around the world.

What can go wrong?
Our children live in very tough circumstances beyond their control. Sometimes a child’s family may move and the child will no longer have access to our program. In those instances, we can introduce you to another child.

Can I contact my child?
You can write and send photos anytime. (We can’t overstate how much your child would love to hear from you. Our kids especially love getting pics!) If you want to send messages, it’s easy through our online writing tool, or you’re welcome to kick it old-school and send letters to TAKENetwork, PO BOX 147 Make sure to include your full name, account number, your child’s name and your child’s ID number.
Important note:
If you’re using traditional paper-based communications — letters, greeting cards, postcards and photos — leave out extras like stickers or bookmarks. (You wouldn’t believe the headaches they cause in customs as well as the time and cost to process these! Sometimes it can even take extra weeks or months to arrive!!)
We also want to point out that our child-protection policy is very strict. Our teens and kids are the top priority, so we review (and translate) every letter before sending it to your child. But don’t worry. There’s no judgement judgment on any misspellings.

Finally, we also prohibit connecting with your child on social media or sharing any personal contact information. In fact, if your child reaches out to you via Facebook (Instagram, Twitter, etc.) or contacts you directly, it could jeopardize her enrollment in the program.
If we seem overly worried, just know that everything we do is to protect the well-being and safety of our kids.

Wait, back up. Why would my sponsored child have access to Facebook?
Poverty looks different depending on the country. In fact, more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet. So, your child may have access to technology (including Facebook) even though her life is extraordinarily difficult. Here are a few other facts about global poverty and technology you might find surprising.

Can I send TAKENetwork funds to buy my child a gift?
Yes, we consider these to be “extra gifts.” Because of the time it takes to deliver an extra gift to your child, the minimum amount is $50. If your gift is $100 or more, you can let the family decide how your gift should be used or you can make note of suggestions, such as buying groceries or getting your child a bed or clothes. Plus, you’ll receive photos and a thank-you note from your child with a detailed list of purchases!
It’s actually pretty thrilling — and fulfilling!
But you can support your child and the other children in the community in other ways that provide even greater long-term impact, such as helping to fund a community center or giving directly to our programs .

Can I visit my child?
You should definitely visit your child! Imagine how great it would be to see the impact of your sponsorship in person! You can learn more about planning a visit here.

What happens when my child graduates from the program?
Celebration! This is an incredibly momentous occasion! Whether you’ve been your child’s sponsor for 12 weeks or 12 years, you’ve helped her cross the finish line. Our goal is for every child to graduate from our program healthy, educated, employed and empowered to break the cycle of poverty. But we can only do it with your help.
If you want to keep in contact with your child after he/she graduates, we’ll provide info about how to stay connected. If you’d like, we can also introduce you to another child who needs a team member , so you can continue to help kids in poverty.
If you have other questions, please
reach out to our Care Team . We’d love to hear from you!
#TAKENetwork

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