When freelance photographer Karl Deckers realised he had not received any Annual Progress Reports about his foster child anymore for the years 1999 and 2000, he looked through the reports from 1992 to 1998. To his surprise, each year's report seemed to be more or less a copy of that of the year before. Deckers decided to go and have a look at the situation himself.

According to the Annual Progress Reports, Foster Parents Plan didn't do anything in Burkina Faso between 1992 and 1998 other than digging latrines and drilling wells. Upon arrival, Deckers learned that his (now 16-year-old) foster child was not even in the country anymore: he, like many other boys from the village, had traveled to Ivory Coast to work on the plantations.

Deckers did find something else: a health centre that Foster Parents Plan had built in 1996. This important news had not been included in any annual report. Other Foster Parents Plan reports showed that the health centre had cost quite a bit more than average. After Deckers' remarks that not a lot of money had been invested in projects the past ten years, Foster Parents Plan suddenly claimed to have built a road in 1994 as well. This one project took up nearly a third of the total funds invested during the past then years. Still, Foster Parents Plan only reported the construction of the road in its bookkeeping after seven years...

Karl Deckers

Karl Deckers is a freelance photographer. He has been nominated for the Humanity Photo Award 2000 (China) in the category religion, with his project 'St. James'.