What does BCT believe?
We believe marginalised children matter. Children are made in Godâ€™s image and are inherently valuable, so when a child is abused, exploited, neglected or discriminated against, it is a tragedy. BCTâ€™s goal is always to transform the lives of marginalised children and enable them to fulfil their God-given potential. Small projects matter, too. We favour working with small, community-based projects, who are often overlooked by other charities and NGOs.
We believe in the Church. Godâ€™s people are his representatives on Earth and have a crucial role to play in making the world more like heaven. Local churches are often well-respected, deeply involved in their communities and uniquely placed to influence positive change in how children are treated. For these reasons, we partner with projects led by local churches, aiming to work with them to create loving, safe and nurturing societies for children.
We believe in local solutions to local problems. Our partners on the ground are far better placed than we are to understand the issues their communities face and the most effective ways to resolve them. We provide our partners with training, financial support and advice on good governance and best practice, but never impose our ideas on them.
We believe the gospel is good news. The gospel is a message of transformation for every area of an individual or communityâ€™s life. Jesus Christ wants to change peopleâ€™s hearts, but also their attitudes, behaviour and personal circumstances. So, alongside declaring the gospel to marginalised children, our partners demonstrate it by relieving poverty, healing sickness, challenging prejudice, passing on important skills and encouraging independence.
We believe in God the Father, who created us and sustains us. We believe in Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to serve God. We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You can read our full statement of faith here.
How do you choose which projects to partner with?
BCT supports and partners with projects that:
- Involve or are led by local churches.
- Actively influence, mobilise and equip communities to care for and support the vulnerable children in their midst.
- Encourage independence of vulnerable families, empowering them to better care for their own children, through strategies that develop their skills, knowledge and resources.
- Have as part of their strategy the training and mobilisation of churches, families and community members to respond to the needs of children at risk.
- Promote networking and collaboration with other local, regional, national and international Christian churches and agencies, as well as secular and governmental agencies and NGOs, in order to extend reach and impact.
- Desire to â€˜scale upâ€™ and multiply what they do across localities and regions, and have aims and strategies which reflect this.
- Have advocacy as a component in their strategy, in order to address cultural attitudes and practices that put children at risk.
What does a partnership with a project look like?
BCT aims to help projects maintain, develop and multiply the impact of their work and better achieve their vision for restoring childrenâ€™s lives. This support includes:
- Enabling projects to develop strategically and according to good practice â€“ Helping our partners to develop annual plans and budgets, asking important questions and giving the advice that enables projects to operate according to recognised good practice.
- Enabling projects to monitor and evaluate their work and to be accountable â€“ By training our partners in monitoring and evaluating their work, we help them stay on track to achieving their goals and ensure that what they are doing and the way that they are doing it is relevant, appropriate and effective.
- Provision of training â€“ BCT helps to better equip our partners to help children at risk. We may deliver the training ourselves or fund training. Training may cover a range of topics related to project management and development or to the care and protection of children. The approach is always participatory and â€˜training of trainers,â€™ so that knowledge and understanding can be shared with others and the impact increased.
- Enabling projects to access information resources â€“ Many of our projects find it hard to access research documents or training tools to enhance their work, due to power cuts or unreliable internet. BCT is more able to research available, appropriate resources, download and send them.
- Provision of finances, encouragement and prayer support â€“ Our partners work in extremely challenging physical and social environments, so the value of the solidarity, encouragement, friendship and prayer support we provide should not be underestimated. Many of the projects are off the radar of other support agencies, so the carefully targeted financial support BCT provides may be virtually the only funding they receive.
Who is BCT accountable to?
We are accountable to our trustees, to our supporters and to the Charity Commission. Our trustees have the final say in any major financial or strategic decision. We provide our supporters with regular updates on our partnersâ€™ work and how we are enabling it. And we make all our income and expenditure figures available to our trustees, to the Charity Commission and to our supporters, too. If you, as a BCT supporter, want to see these figures, they are in our annual report, which you will find on this website and on the Charity Commission website.
Can I visit a partner project?
On occasion, one or two of our Champions for Children will visit partner projects. But this only happens if a Champion has a particular skill that addresses a specific need expressed by a partner. The danger of sending enthusiastic but untrained volunteers to a project is that they can actually become a burden on our partner, who has to provide the visitors with food, accommodation and some kind of useful work to do. This kind of visit can divert a partnerâ€™s energy and resources away from essential areas of their work.
Why donâ€™t you do child sponsorship?
The danger with child sponsorship is that individual children can be singled out while others are left behind. Our approach is to empower whole communities. Through training, support and income-generating activities, we aim to develop communitiesâ€™ capacity to care for their own children, helping families become independent in the long term.
If I give to BCT, where will my money go?
Our priority will always be to meet the needs of vulnerable children, in the name of Jesus, and our use of finances reflects this. Naturally, our UK team incurs some core costs, which must be met, but we strive to pass on the vast majority of our income to our overseas partners. And if you give to a specific area of our work, we will only ever use those funds for the purposes for which you gave them.
Do you support projects in the UK?
We have supported UK-based initiatives in the past and we still network with UK-based projects. Weâ€™re always open to strengthening these networks by sharing information and ideas. Weâ€™re currently liaising with African-majority churches in the UK on how to address witchcraft accusations against children, and our concern for the UK is born out in our prayer diary, too. But on the whole, the social services structure and other excellent services in the UK mean our limited means are better used elsewhere. We focus our resources on the global south, particularly Africa, where our expertise lies. (Given the right opportunity, weâ€™d be open to partnering and collaborating with projects elsewhere, but Africa is what we know best.)
Do you work with governments?
We tend to work with communities and churches on the ground, to make sure all our resourcing goes directly to the source of need. However, we do strengthen our project partners to enable them to liaise with governments, in advocacy and supporting the needs of vulnerable children.