>> Download here: Charity Annual accounts 2019
Statutory name; Stichting The Art of Charity
Public name: Charity
Fiscal code: 822291319
ANBI Rsin 822291319
Post address: Postbus 4182 7320AD Apeldoorn
Visiting address: Rondweg 90 Wezep
The board of the foundation consists of three persons: B. Teerling (chairman / treasurer), D.F. Ensing (secretary) and H. Geertsma (vice-chairman).
Helping people in developing countries to grow food in a better way on their own land, making them economically independent and combating food shortages. The foundation currently focuses on Malawi.
The project plan that the foundation is implementing in Malawi is called “Food For Life”. It means that participants get a field of 700 m2 and the resources needed to grow maize on that field. Food For Life is an improved version of the Farming God’s Way system. The project achieves a much higher yield than the traditional farming method in Malawi.
All residents of a village can participate in the project. Chiefs determine who can participate when demand exceeds supply. Local committees carry out planning and policy under the governance of an NGO. The NGO Food For LiFe Malawi Limited was recognized by the government on December 13, 2017. The board is formed by four Malawians and a board member of The Art of Charity Foundation in the Netherlands. In Malawi, the NGO works together with various population groups and churches. About the NGO, see further under “Development of the project in Malawi”.
With regard to financing: funds for the project will be obtained, among other things, through the sale of new living and office furniture in the showroom, Rondweg 90 in Wezep and via the internet (see under “Support from the Netherlands”). In addition, an appeal is made to private individuals, churches, companies and organizations through media and personal contacts. The media, in particular, include the Nederlands Dagblad, the Reformatorisch Dagblad, free local papers, Groot Nieuws Radio, the EO, the local broadcaster and social media). Our project was again on radio and television in 2019. We notice that brand awareness is increasing.
Because the foundation does not employ paid workers, all the money that comes in – apart from a limited volunteer fee – is spent on the goal of the project. Various volunteers enthusiastically participate in public relations, fundraising, the supply and sale of goods in the showroom and the care of the website www.helpmalawi.nu and www.livingfair.nl. One volunteer we had to say goodbye to in 2019 was Mr Joop Canbier. We are grateful to him for his enthusiastic commitment to the foundation, especially in his efforts to raise funds for the project.
In the meantime, on the initiative of the Reformed Mission Association, consideration is being given to expanding the project to Ethiopia. That would have to be done from Malawi itself. However, it is not a short term thing. As far as our foundation is concerned, a plan for expansion to Mozambique is off the table. The Gereformeerde Zendingsbond will continue to work on this independently.
one perspective of our work is that Food For Life will be made independent and can therefore be continued without help from the Netherlands. To this end, it is necessary to build up the capacity in Malawi that guarantees continuity. With this in mind, the project entered a new phase in 2018, the consolidation phase. A clear course has been set out for this new phase in consultation with the participants in Malawi. This course has been outlined in the business plan for 2018-2021. That business plan was completed and adopted in 2019. It can be viewed on the foundation’s website.
The CBF asks that the foundation can demonstrate from 2020 that it pays attention to integrity and the possibility of unacceptable behavior. An official protocol is not necessarily necessary for an organization like ours, but for the sake of clarity, we drew up such a protocol in 2019. It has been sent to the volunteers and published on the website.
Communication about the project takes place via the website of the foundation, Facebook and Whatsapp and via church magazines of the relevant church congregations. The website was updated in 2019. The sales and profit figures of the showroom are published weekly via Whatsapp.
The risks associated with the project include the possibility of crop failures and the possibility of too little money coming in to finance the project according to plan. In the worst case, that should mean reducing the size of the project. It goes without saying that the foundation will do its utmost to prevent that scenario if necessary. Fortunately, there is currently enough money coming in to just think about expansion.
Another risk is the possibility that the chairman will drop out. With his many activities, he plays an important role in the project and can therefore be sorely missed. Someone is now available to take his place if something should happen to him. At the same time, the possibility of a better division of tasks continues to receive attention.
The board met four times in 2019 (January 21, June 4, September 4 and November 20). These meetings discussed all aspects of the foundation’s work, the chairman’s trips to Malawi and the developments surrounding the Food For Life project.
A report was drawn up of each meeting, which was adopted, signed and subsequently archived at the following (regular) meeting.
Informal meetings with volunteers were held on 5 June and 27 November. The meetings, with coffee and cake, snacks and drinks, were intended as a token of appreciation for the work of the volunteers and were all about mutual contact. At the same time, further information was provided on the situation in Malawi and on the progress of the Food for Life project.
Travel to Malawi
The trips are intended to take stock of the situation at the project sites, to consult with the managers and the government, to encourage and encourage participants and, where necessary, to give directions with a view to improving the results.
Mr. Teerling visited Malawi three times during the reporting period, from 11 to 23 February (together with his son Pieter-Christiaan), from 6 to 25 May (together with his wife) and from 1 to 24 October (again together with son Pieter-Christiaan).
The first trip was mainly devoted to a separate project that son Pieter-Christiaan wants to set up: the purchase of land for organic farming. This project has a clear relationship with FFL, but is completely separate from the work of our foundation in business (and therefore also financially). For Mr. Teerling senior, the trip was a good opportunity to make contacts.
During the trip in May, special attention was paid to the NGO (see under “Development of the project in Malawi”). Furthermore, during this trip, Mr. Teerling was confronted several times with serious illness in the families involved in our project. This raised the question of whether it is our way to provide (financial) assistance in such situations. That question was discussed in a board meeting and also at the volunteer meeting of 5 June. The conclusion was that we can look for and point ways to help, but that we must limit ourselves to them, also in order to avoid setting precedents. Our foundation was established for an agricultural project. The money she asks for and receives are specifically intended for that purpose and therefore cannot simply be spent on other forms of aid.
Mr Teerling made an extensive report of his trip in October, indicating per village when a visit was made, how many were present during that visit, the number of participants in the project, what the state of play was. and what decisions have been taken for the coming period. Both strengths and weaknesses are mentioned in the report. During this trip, Son Pieter-Christiaan has concentrated on his own project again.
The visits of Mr. Teerling and his fellow travelers are received with enthusiasm and every time turn out to be very tiring, but also very meaningful.
An attempt is now being made to organize a group trip to Malawi. For the time being, this is based on a trip of eighteen days, from mid-April to the beginning of May 2020. The aim is to have a number of sixteen participants.
Developments of the project in Malawi
The project started in 2012 with 27 farmers and has now grown to a number of officially 4,500 participants by the end of 2019. In practice, more than 4,000 farmers started that year.
The aim is to reach a number of 10,000 participants by 2023.
In 2019 it was again observed that on the fields where Food For Life was applied, the yield was higher than with the traditional agricultural method and that the cobs looked much better. Thanks to Food For Life, 34,000 people in Malawi have food every day all year round. With the traditional method, applied to the same number of fields, that number would not exceed 4,500.
The report of Mr Teerling’s trip in October shows again that the results are very good, especially in the north of Malawi, and that the south is doing a lot worse. In the south there is enthusiasm about the system, because there, too, it is observed that the yield is higher than with the traditional agricultural method. However, the participants are not real farmers and do not have the necessary knowledge and skills.
Taken as a whole in Malawi, yields are good in 80% of cases, moderate in 10% and poor in 10%. One area was downright unlucky. There, part of the stock was lost due to a flood. In addition, a large stock of maize was lost due to an administrative error by the government. Despite this, a total of 1700 tons was brought in this year, 200 tons more than in 2018.
There has been a plan to open its own office in Lilongwe for the NGO. In this way it would be easier to meet the conditions set by the government. The government wants to actively inspect how the NGOs do their work. There is already an office in Chitunda, but it is somewhat primitive and should be done up considerably. Ultimately, the plan was abandoned, the building they had in mind was too big and too expensive.
The NGO did not function as we would like it to be this year. A major cause was President Thomson’s illness. Eventually it became clear that the chairman had to be replaced because he had no energy left to work for the NGO. A few things have also changed in the further composition of the NGO, in order to obtain a more balanced distribution across churches and regions. Another cause of the poor functioning of the NGO could be that the members only receive a volunteer allowance and no salary. In the meantime, the situation is progressing. A constitution for the NGO was drawn up from its own ranks in 2019.
Steun vanuit Nederland
In the showroom in Wezep – and also via the internet – new furniture can be purchased from certain companies at no extra cost, whereby at least 20% (sometimes even 50%) of the amount will go to the project in Malawi. In 2019, there was always a generous supply of new living and office furniture. Sales varied, but generally went well. The average yield was about 2500 to 3000 euros per month. The actual financial data can be found in the annual figures. The showroom is open 18 hours a week, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It turns out to be an excellent means of raising awareness of the project.
There are plenty of volunteers to help assemble furniture and the like, but there is still too little help with the sale. Attempts to recruit new staff for this have so far been unsuccessful.
The showroom was redesigned in August 2019 and then reopened by the acting mayor of the municipality of Oldebroek.
Income was further generated through contributions from individuals, businesses, churches and organizations. Looking back on 2019, we can again speak of an exceptionally good result. A lot of donations have been received and various persons and agencies have donated substantial amounts. The General Diaconal Commission of the Restored Reformed Church has finally decided to support our work. We are very happy with that.
We have also requested and received a place on the Charity List. That is a list that is maintained by the diaconate of the Christian Reformed Churches and of which several churches use.
A volunteer is willing to call companies found that have visited the website in order to encourage them to contact them further.
The growing flow of gifts and sponsor contributions means that the continued existence of the project will become less dependent on the proceeds from sales in the showroom. Because that sale is so labor-intensive, it is also our ideal to no longer need that means.
As a result of the broadcasts via Groot Nieuws Radio, a contact was established with someone who has a company in India. That company can be important for the harvest in Malawi by producing good compost.
No new loans were taken out in 2019. Existing loans have been / will be paid off by agreement or in consultation.
In its meeting of September 4, 2019, the board adopted the annual accounts and annual report for 2018.
It can also be reported that the foundation received a donation of 3,000 euros with a view to the one-off edition of a magazine. We have made good use of that. It turned out to be a nice 16-page edition with all kinds of information about the foundation and the project. It was sent to all contacts of the foundation and distributed among the members in a number of churches.
And lost but not least
It should also be mentioned that Mr. Godwin, one of our contacts in Malawi, who came to the Netherlands in 2018 to study at the Theological University in Kampen, completed that study and returned to his country in August 2019. Meanwhile, a new student from Malawi has arrived in Kampen: Mr Davey.
In conclusion, we are grateful that we also experienced God’s blessing on our project and the work of our foundation in 2019.