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III Meeting of the Financial Team of the XXI General Chapter

03/11/2011: Malawi - Photo gallery

The Finance Commission has met to work on the 2nd Recommendation of the XXI General Chapter …to elaborate a plan to make progress in achieving the economic autonomy of the Administrative Units as well as the Mission Ad Gentes Sector,…

The meeting took place in Lilongwe, Malawi October 17 – 21, 2011, with the participation of Brothers Alberto Oribe, Roy Deita, Mario Meuti (FMSI), Nicholas Banda, Víctor M. Preciado and lay members Rex Cambrey and Angela Petenzi (FMSI). The General Council extended a special invitation to Marco Antônio Barbosa Cândido (PUCPR) to serve as a facilitator at the meeting.  

The Team’s agenda focused on reflecting about the current situation in Africa. For this reason, the Provincial Economes of Africa and Madagascar – J. Antonio Ruiz y Oliver Tata (District of West Africa), Francisco Baeza (Afrique Centre Est), Nicholas Banda (Southern Africa), Matthew Mary Ogudu (Nigeria), Toussaint Randriamanantena (Madagascar), Vincent Chunga and John Bwanali (MIC) and Straton Malisaba (Economic Commission of the MIC) – were invited to the sessions during the first three days. Francisco Baeza and Malisaba were invited to join the Team for the entire week of meetings. Teodoro Grajeda also took part in this work as translator.

 

Items on the Meeting’s Agenda

1. “Socio-economic realities in present-day Africa: Examples of strategies for mobilizing resources,” presented by Dr. Thomas Chataghalata.

2. “A Report from Each Province.” Each Province took into account geographical, economic and cultural factors, the financial report of each Administrative Unit, where it stands in preparing brothers for administrative positions, its works that are currently self-sustaining financially, and presenting effective methods being used in projects that are generating income.

3. A dialog with members of the Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale (FMSI). Thanks to the FMSI representatives participants were able to become familiar with the new image and objectives of this institution that is organizing solidarity programs throughout the entire Institute. For their part the FMSI representatives were able to gather information about each Province’s connections and experiences with regard to the financial assistance it renders to micro y macro projects.

4. A visit to the schools in Likuni and M’tendere. This visit was programmed as part of the Team’s efforts to maintain contact with the Marist educational and pastoral work going on in Malawi.

5. A Workshop taking as its point of departure a “Preliminary proposal for sustainability,” elaborated with the help of several brothers and a professor from PUCPR experienced in volunteer work in Kenya, and enriched with contributions coming from the first four above-mentioned items.

The work accomplished this week led to identifying the fundamental pillars of every plan for sustainability, not just for Africa and the Asia Mission Ad Gentes Sector but for any venue where the Marist Institute is found:
Better practices and models of government
Better practices and models of administration/management
Competition in developing and carrying out income-generating projects, products and services
A capacity for collecting non-reimbursable funds from external sources

The final step during the meeting was going through examples of plans and initiatives that could be useful in beginning to improve or strengthening improvement in each of the aforementioned fundamental pillars.

This meeting of the Finance Team fulfils the two recommendations made by the General Chapter:

1. To put in place a Model for Financing the General Administration, incorporating financing for its own activities and solidarity ad intra and ad extra, and also strengthening the structure for developing capital (funding) for the General Administration, enabling it to increase solidarity programs.

We are in the process of presenting this plan to our Administrative Units to familiarize them with it and to enrich the final version. When this process of dialog is concluded, the enriched version of the Model will be presented to the General Council at its next plenary session in January 2012 for its definitive approval.

2. To provide a “Self-sustainability plan” for the Provinces. In the near future this second task will be presented to the General Council for its approval.

Once authorized, both plans will go through the final stage, being implemented.

Sincerest gratitude to Brother Nicholas Banda and the Brothers in Malawi who took care of our lodgings and workplace, and offered us the opportunity to get to know and enjoy being at several Marist schools in Malawi.

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Rome, October28, 2011

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