The Big Hand

Child Protection Policies

The Big Hand is committed to defending all Rights of the Child, as established by the UN Convention, where it is clearly expressed that all children have the right of protection from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Therefore The Big Hand, as a non-governmental development organisation that is centred in the welfare and safety of children, does not tolerate child abuse. Children are the centre of our work and we are very rigorous in the compliance of policy measures to protect children.

Our child protection policy covers several aspects that our agents and partners are expected to respect and uphold in order to prevent or stop abuse and mistreatment of children.

Our child protection policy is extremely rigorous as we believe that prevention is a vital aspect if one wants to protect children, as well as donors, from malicious acts. In the case of anyone affiliated with the Big Hand, including donors, does not fully comply with our policy to protect the child, we will consider the necessary legal measures to resolve the issue.

Staff, interns and volunteers of the Big Hand
Any organisation that works with children should take special care in selecting employees, interns and volunteers.

The Big Hand implements a rigorous recruitment process in order to prevent the entry into the organisation of adults who may violate children's rights. All employees, interns and volunteers must submit an updated criminal record as well as referenced institutional contacts.

It is mandatory for all elements of the Big Hand to report any suspicion or evidence of abuse, as well as disrespect of the child protection policy.

Donosrs and Sponsors
Sponsorship is a wonderful opportunity to help children and their community. Through sponsorship the donor can establish a rich cultural exchange with the child, their family and community. However, it is important that the sponsored project does not place the child at risk. The sponsor, in its initial contact, will receive a written explanation regarding our policy of child protection and procedures that must be agreed upon.

The Big Hand reserves the right to refuse or exclude any donor from the project in case of breach of our child protection policy or infringement of children's rights, as established by the UN Convention. Our staff is trained to look for signs denoting that a donor may represent a threat to the welfare of the child.

All sort of communication (verbal, written or visual) from donors to sponsored children is supervised in order to intercept inappropriate material. Any material that generates concern will be properly handled and/or referred to the proper authorities.

Pictures of sponsored children may only be used with the express permission of the Big Hand.Images owned by the Big Hand may only be used for the purpose to what the permission was granted, and only with pre-published approval.

Physical or personal information that can be used to identify the location of a child cannot be used on websites, blogs or social networks, or posted in public places. The last name of the child or community name can only be used with the expressed permission of the Big Hand.

If the child's life story or community is used for promotional purposes or in the media, we must ensure that no confidential information is provided so that it is not possible to locate a child by other children or adults outside the programme.

All photos and images should dignify and respect children. Images should not portray children in a vulnerable or submissive manner. Children must be fully clothed and in their natural environment.

Visits to our projects
The Big Hand encourages and organises visits from patrons and donors to the communities where we work.

Policy of visits to our projects:
1. All visits must be arranged in advance through the Big Hand. Visitors should submit their application one month before the proposed date of visit.

2. If visitors arrive in a community without prior knowledge of the Big Hand, the field team reserves the right to refuse the visit.

3. Visitors must deliver an updated criminal record to the Big Hand's headquarters. Only personnel from the department of Human Resources and the President of the Big Hand will have access to these documents. The records will be stored in a safe place and dully protected.

4. Visitors will be asked to show photo identification (e.g. passport) to the team that is coordinating the programme on the ground.

5. The Big Hand® field team will be present throughout each visit to a sponsored child or a community. In many poor communities the threat of child abduction is very real, and families expect that all visitors are accompanied by members of the Big Hand®. Visiting a community on your own will create alarm and needless anxiety to that community.

6. Children cannot be invited or removed from their communities, even for a short time. Meeting with outside visitors can be a traumatic experience for a child of a poor community that needs the security of familiar surroundings, their parents, and community.

7. Visitors cannot invite children to visit them in their own country. The Big Hand® will not support or carry out this visit.

8. Visitors and children/families should not exchange mailing addresses during visits.

9. Visitors should not discuss, propose or agree to provide services and/or direct financial support to children and families.

10. Pictures taken during the visit are for personal use and should not be published on the internet or in any other medium without the expressed written permission of the Big Hand®.

11. Visitors must keep in mind that they are subject to the laws of the host country and should act accordingly.

12. Visitors are advised to obtain insurance for the duration of their stay and get medical clearance to make the trip.

13. If the trip is cancelled, visitors should contact the Big Hand® as soon as possible.

14. Visitors are responsible for their own accommodation in the host country. There may also be additional costs associated with the visit (the need for a translator, for example).

15. After each visit, the local team prepares a report that is sent to the Big Hand® headquarters in Lisbon. All visits are monitored.

16. We pay special attention to donors who wish to visit their sponsored child with some frequency.

17. Visitors acknowledge that travelling to another country involves risks and hazards and the possibility of personal injury or property loss. Visitors agree to take all necessary steps to protect their own health and their property. Visitors assume all risks with preparation and travel.

18. Visitors must sign a declaration removing any liability from Big Hand® personnel regarding injury and/or damage to personal property that may arise during a visit.

19. Visitors must sign a declaration to demonstrate that they understand and agree to abide to our visiting policy.

20. accompanied by children, visitors must have written parental consent to make the trip, including details of contacts in case of emergency.

Thank you for reading! Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our child protection policy.

(+351) 21 753 02 20