We have pioneered a unique approach that involves the children in managing the centre. Every year the children elect from amongst themselves ministers and technicians for administration, home affairs, education, health and social affairs.
Each ministry works together with relevant staff members (e.g. teachers, nurse, social workers) to come up with objectives for the year and once approved, they work together to achieve those goals. For example, a minster of health together with the nurse may decide that they want to reduce malaria prevalence by 80% in 6 months. They will then proceed to purchase mosquito nets and eliminate stagnant water etc.
The minister and his team will also be involved in making day to day decisions in their departments, and meet regularly to discuss issues that they face. They also hold certain responsibilities such as approving purchases before they are authorized.
The effects of this governance model have been astounding. Firstly, the children feel ownership of the project and their participation towards improving the programs are high, increasing the chances of success. Secondly, the children learn useful skills such as leadership, management and how to take responsibility. Finally the system increases transparency and accountability, as the beneficiaries themselves are aware of all activities and transactions that take place at the centre.