One of the major points of differentiation for the World of Children is its dedication to thoroughly vetting prospective Honorees before we elevate them to Honoree status and award them with a cash grant at our annual Award ceremony every November. Our vetting process is especially important in today’s world where there is so much potential for fraud and so much philanthropy that never appears to reach its intended goal. This makes donors skittish and rightfully so. The World of Children secures its position as “the gold standard in child advocacy” by employing a major international security firm to do on-site investigations and issue formal written reports on every prospective Honoree.
Over the course of 13 years we have uncovered over a dozen cases where prospective Honorees were not exactly who they said they were, in spite of what appeared to be excellent credentials and notable references. Consider a woman in Kenya who had references from the president of a university in the USA as well as a noted author and professor at another university. She claimed to have a program teaching children marketable computer skills so that they could become employable instead of living in poverty and on garbage dumps. She professed to have several locations with large computer rooms, teachers, and more. However, when our investigators arrived on the scene of two of the supposed locations, they found empty storefronts with no children, no computers and nothing but a name on the door. This woman had successfully extracted hundreds of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting Americans and Brits.
Since we want to be sure our recognition really goes to deserving people and since we want to be able to absolutely assure donors that their contributions are going where they want them to – to serve children – our intense and rigorous vetting process is not only necessary, but it is an inviolable part of our program. No other organization we know of uses this approach.