II. YOUR PROJECTS
1. M-I: You try to help children in need all over the region, how do you choose where and who to help?
Francien: In fact, we work in partnership with existing structures such as Hospitals of the Region, the Institutes for Medical Education, with the Departmental Office of the Alpes Maritimes and neighborhood associations.
All these organizations are listed in the office, in close collaboration with physicians, educators and social workers where established. These are the organizations that enroll children in our activities.
2. M-I: You organize so many events, how do you manage to keep a general direction?
Francien: In fact, we only organize two big events a year and a day to support “The Monegasque red noses’ Day”.
The first event is «Kids Nite”, a gala for children that helps us fund the following day, our “Noël de Frankie” for all the sick children and needy children of our community.
Concerning the activities, we foresee a program proposing cultural, pedagogical, sporting and playful activities each week.
We try to improve these programs every year by innovating them constantly. To do this, we meet up with the children in order to know their needs and desires.
3. M-I: How do you evaluate the impact of your projects? Do you use quantifiable indicators?
Francien: Quite simply by evaluating the success of these events and projects. The demand is growing with more and more activities required by these children.
4. M-I: How do you ensure that your volunteers remain engaged?
Francien: We cannot evaluate this, but as time goes by, our volunteers remain engaged as the constant exchange with these children enforces them to evaluate the children in trouble, to make them happy, and consequently our volunteers feel useful and bring them joy in return. This is needed for the proper functioning of our organization. We send every 6 months our activity program and everyone helps according to their desires and availability.
5. M-I: What have been the biggest obstacles that you have encountered with your association?
Francien: None. We always find solutions to our obstacles!
Maybe at the very beginning of the creation of “Frankie’s children” the people around us didn’t know who we were, and the confidence had to grow. This took a few years to develop. Today this is our force and pride.
6. M-I: What is the project that you are the proudest of?
Francien: Without hesitation it is definitely our “Noël de Frankie Xmas day”. It is a day to remember for all. There are over two thousand children attending. The show is specifically created for them and they all leave with their hands full of gifts and happiness together with all major projects that help improve the quality of life.
7. M-I: You are a member of UNICEF. Have did you achieve that and what does it mean concretely?
Francien: “Les enfants de Frankie” has never been a member of UNICEF but a member of ECOSOC which depends on the United Nations. The most precious title we have to date. We are proudly members of the United Nations since 2008. It took us over six years to obtain it and now we have to work in collaboration with them, in order to remain a member.
This has the impact of making us useful, with goals to achieve, and I am proud to be part of an institution that stands up for the rights of children and peace in the world.