About Us

We want every child to be able to say: “I am safe. I am educated. I am heard. I have a future.”

ChildFund Australia is an independent and non-religious international development organisation that works to reduce poverty for children in many of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

It is a member of the ChildFund Alliance – one of the world’s oldest and most experienced child-focused development agencies. With a global network of 11 organisations, the ChildFund Alliance assists more than nine million children and families in over 50 countries.

ChildFund Australia directly manages and implements programs in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Vietnam, while also supporting projects delivered by partner organisations throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas. Our work is funded through child and community sponsorship, as well as public donations and government grants.

We are committed to public accountability and transparency. Annually, our accounts in Australia are audited by independent consultants KPMG. Read our latest Annual report.

As a member of the Australian Council for International Development, and a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, ChildFund Australia must meet high standards of corporate governance, public accountability and financial management.

In addition, ChildFund Australia is fully accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which manages the Australian Government’s overseas aid program. Accreditation is a stringent process in which all operational activities – financial, managerial, fundraising and program – are analysed. This not only requires that ChildFund demonstrate that funds are distributed to community projects, but that they are spent effectively in those communities for the benefit of children.

Our History

After beginning work in China in 1938, ChildFund is now one of the world’s oldest child-focused development organisations.

ChildFund (or China’s Children Fund as it was known then) was started by an American humanitarian, Dr J Calvitt Clarke, following the second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Amidst reports of widespread devastation and the displacement of millions of families, Dr Clarke decided to take action to support the relief effort.

From his home in Virginia, USA and with the support of wife Helen, Dr Clarke launched a nationwide appeal for funds for displaced children in China. In the midst of the Depression, and using his own money for stationery and postage, Dr Clarke found enough willing supporters to enable him to establish China’s Children Fund (CCF) in 1938, sending the organisation’s first contribution of US$2,000 to support local initiatives in China.

Dr Clarke continued to write and appeal for assistance and, by the end of 1939, CCF had sent a total of US$13,000 to support the KuKong orphanage and a school in China.

Eight decades later and CCF has transformed into the ChildFund Alliance, a global network of child-focused development organisations assisting children and families in over 50 countries.

1938

China Children’s Fund (CCF) is established to help children devastated by the Sino-Japanese war. Donations are used to support a school and the KuKong orphanage.

1941

CCF implements a child sponsorship program, which enables sponsors to donate funds to support an individual child.

1946

CCF’s work grows to include the Philippines, Burma, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. After World War II, CCF expands its work to Europe, focusing on providing education, food and shelter for children, particularly those children displaced and orphaned by war.

1951

To recognise the global nature of the organisation, the CCF acronym is changed to represent Christian Children’s Fund. Work commences in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and South Korea.

1960

A change in philosophy begins, with CCF focusing on providing assistance to children through family support, replacing assistance for children in orphanages as the main program approach. Work expands to Taiwan and Brazil. CCF Canada is established.

1967

CCF makes another shift in its work to ensure that local programs are led by local leaders, whenever possible.

1973

CCF ends its work in Europe and the Middle-East to concentrate on programs in Africa, starting in Kenya. New CCF members are established in Denmark Germany and elsewhere.

1985

CCF Australia is established by a group of eminent Australians including Dr Adrian Johnson, Sir Roden Cutler VC, Bob Stevenson and Bill Joris. It focuses on raising sponsorship funds to support the programs delivered by CCF around the world.

1990s

CCF begins to play a greater role in delivering humanitarian support during disasters, including food, water and emergency shelter and the establishment of Child Centred-Spaces which provide a safe place for displaced children.

1994

CCF Australia establishes its first community development programs in Papua New Guinea, partnering with the Salvation Army.

1995

CCF Australia begins work in Vietnam, working with ethnic minority communities in remote areas in the north of the country.

2002

The CCF Child Poverty study is undertaken, which finds that children experience poverty through three dimensions: deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability. This research gives added emphasis to CCF’s community development program approach.

2005

CCF Australia changes its name to ChildFund Australia, to clearly reflect its values and vision: to assist children in need regardless of their gender, religion or ethnicity. ChildFund Australia becomes one of 12 global members of the newly formed ChildFund Alliance.

2007

ChildFund Australia begins work in Cambodia, supporting rural communities still recovering from the aftermath of three decades of civil war under the Khmer Rouge. ChildFund Cambodia helps to establish the country’s first ever child helpline.

2010

ChildFund Australia begin work in Laos, implementing programs in Xieng Khouang Province; one of the poorest regions of the country with significantly high unexploded ordnance contamination.

2012

ChildFund Australia begin work in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) as the country emerges from decades of military rule, implementing child-focused development programs in partnership with local civil society organisations.

2017

ChildFund Australia takes over the management of the ChildFund Timor-Leste office, and iCARE becomes a wholly owned subsidiary.

Our People

Our Expenditure

Where your money goes

79 cents

in every dollor goes directly to helping children in poverty

9 million

children and families being supported in over 50 countries