Impact in the NGO world may sometimes appear to those from outside that world to be entirely defined by numbers – reports featuring x amount of persons reached by x teams, x amount of services delivered, x amount of children protected… and so on. We at Friends are no different in often needing to demonstrate the scale of our work through numbers, and this approach is most often driven by donor requirements. Donors naturally want to know what tangible and specific good their money is doing. However beyond the numbers there is the demonstrable change, the true impact of our work upon a group and their community.
Outreach is a cornerstone of Friends program work across the world. Getting out onto the streets, making contact with the children, youth and communities that need our support, reaching out directly to them is essential. We can often literally save lives through our service provision in this way, and outreach also enables the creation of a solid base from where we can then begin to build futures.
Throughout August, 2017 the Outreach Team from Friends-International Thailand (the Peuan Peuan Program) have been working in one particularly challenging community in Bangkok. The services that they have been providing to children and youth there include information on Health Education and Reproductive Health. This learning has been facilitated through playing games, Non-Formal Education approaches and doing recreational activities with 15 children from this community.
The Peuan Peuan Social workers are extremely pleased to learn from the Childsafe Agents based in the area, the community leader and the care takers of these children and youth that real change is already happening thanks to their intervention. All of the children are still attending school and incidences of family violence have been significantly reduced by the social support services provided by Peuan Peuan.
Now that is real impact, a stepping stone on the way to ‘Together, building futures’!