Would you work full-time for less than $300 USD per month? How about for nothing?
In the world of sponsoring non-profit organizations, many people are worried that their donations are eaten up by large salaries and overhead costs to provide a good living for the management and staff. Yet, it is almost shocking to learn how little everyone at Family of Hope Services earns for all of the good and effective work that they do. In fact, no one, not even the Director of the organization who puts in on average 16 hours a day, takes home more than $500 USD per month and most take in less than $200 USD per month.
Now, I bet many of you are thinking that in an African country $300 USD goes a long way. Think again. To rent an unserviced corrugated-tin, one-room shack in the informal settlement of Katutura, the former ‘blacks only’ township, will cost at least $85 USD per month. For outside services you’ll pay closer to $170 USD. To rent a one-bedroom apartment in other parts of Windhoek will cost you more than $300 USD per month. Add on food where many dry-goods will cost as much as at large chain stores in North America and Europe, and then add on school fees, uniforms, books, taxis (who could afford a vehicle?), and it is almost impossible to to have dreams of getting ahead.
Yet, Family of Hope Services staff live with what they get. Not one penny from sponsoring a child goes towards salaries. What little they receive as income is donated by the Italian arm of Terres des Hommes, a generous sponsor of 310 children’s educational needs at FHS. Terres des Hommes provides some money as well for salaries.
FHS operates with 30 volunteers, and nine frugally paid employees. Yet they are fully committed to the cause. Could you do it?