What is the cash transfer scheme?
This is a fund that provides financial support to children who have returned to very poor home communities. By visiting Open Arms to collect a cash transfer we are able to monitor the progress of the “returnee” and stay in touch with the guardians.
How did the cash transfer scheme develop?
The cash transfer scheme has evolved following the relationship one particular volunteer formed with a little boy called Junior Bonzo.
When Junior Bonzo was two years old he was ready to go home to stay with his grandmother. The volunteer saw how poor Junior Bonzo’s grandmother was and despite her every intention, would not be able to afford to send Bonzo to school. The volunteer wanted to become more involved in Bonzo’s future development and make sure that he had the best opportunities possible. And so the cash transfer scheme was born.
How does it work?
Each month Bonzo, accompanied by his grandmother, would arrive on the same day to receive an allowance, provided by the volunteer following her return to Europe.
This was to be spent explicitly on Bonzo’s welfare and education, though we are very aware that this might not always be the case as he has several older siblings all being looked after by grandma. The transfer is not made if grandma appears alone and each month we get to see Bonzo and how he is benefiting from this intervention.
This arrangement piloted several similar cases and currently there are thirty children receiving their monthly allowances from their well wishers all over the world.