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The Institute’s New Solidarity Foundation

30/11/2007: General House

The General House is now home to Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale, ONLUS, a new “not-for-profit” foundation. Approved by the General Council and guided by legal counsel, the foundation was established by the Bureau of International Solidarity. The establishment of the foundation institutionalizes BIS under a new name and with a more specific focus as outlined in the statues and with a greater degree of accountability.

BIS’s work is manifold: education and animation for justice, management of the micro-project program, seeking external donor agencies for Marist solidarity projects around the world, advocacy for child rights in Geneva, and networking with other like-minded groups. Such works will continue. Now, however, the work will take place under the rules and regulations which govern the operation of international ONLUS foundations in Italy.

The new designation as a ONLUS Foundation establishes BIS in the public forum as an independent body. Acting in the name of the Institute, the juridical body will be able to advance various efforts. Such efforts include: working with Geneva-based human rights NGOs and coalitions to advocate for child rights; approaching potential public donors to gain project funding; publicly raising its own funds for Marist Solidarity by various means which were not accessible before.

Work on the creation of a foundation began in February under the guidance of Avv. Luca Pardo, a lawyer with Coccia de Angelis & Associati. Avv. Pardo is no stranger to the Marist Brothers. He is a graduate of Istituto San Leone Magno, the Marist school in Rome, and is the older brother of Br. Daniele Pardo, a Marist Brother (Mediterránea) at Giugliano, our school in Naples.

It took months to work out the statues and to understand the complex challenges which the BIS team and the rest of the Institute will now face as we enter into this new phase of solidarity work. After the General Council’s July approval to proceed with the establishment of the foundation, the FMS International ONLUS was born on 24 October 2007. Under the watchful eyes of Br. Sean Sammon, Superior General and other members of the General Council, Br. Juan Arconada, the General House’s legal representative before the Public Administration (see photo), signed the official copy of the statues in the offices of Notary, Mr. Leonardo Milone.

The Foundation’s structures are similar to those required of foundations erected in Italian civil society. The Foundation’s Board of Directors is made up of the members of the General Council. Br. Dominick Pujia, the present director of BIS, has been named the President of the Foundation. Ms. Sara Panciroli has been designated as the Foundation’s General Secretary. Ms. Angela Petenzi will continue in her role as the Foundation’s Project Coordinator. Br. César Henriquez, the Foundation’s Child Advocacy Officer, will continue to coordinate our advocacy efforts in Geneva with Franciscans International.

The next few months will be taken up in preparing the necessary documents, provisional budgets, and contract agreements with the General House and the General Council which will be needed at the time the Foundation applies for state recognition with the Prefettura di Roma. The BIS staff will also spend time updating its communications and public relations materials and reviewing its operating guidelines regarding the micro-project and major project programs. Assisted by the Board of Directors, the Foundation will formalize its policies and procedures as an independent juridical body.

The establishment of the Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale, ONLUS (Foundation for Marist Solidarity International, ONLUS) will change how BIS operates internally and how it interacts with partners. On the surface, things will go as before, with some changes to be expected. For some years to come, the Institute will continue to fund the office through an annual grant as though it were an office of General Administration. As the Foundation grows, it is hoped that it will depend less on the Institute for its operational expenses. In the future, the Foundation may be able to provide funding through its own sources for many of the projects the Institute is currently funding though the Solidarity Fund.




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Notary Mr. Leonardo Milone verifies the statutes which Br. Juan Arconada, legal representative of the General House, has signed to create the FMS International, ONLUS. Br. Sean Sammon and members of the General Council were named as the Council of Administrators (Board of Directors)

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To the left of Br. Emili Turu, General Council liaison to BIS, stand(l-r) the members of the the Collegio dei Revisori (Board of Auditors): Dott. Francesco Perla, Dott.ssa Tiziana Scarabotti and Dott. Stefano De Angelis. Avv. Luca Pardo, Legal Counsel to the Foundation stands in the foreground.

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