Statutes of the charitable organisation Ourchild e.V.

Please note: This is a translation of the German Vereinssatzung and is not legally ratified. It is offered to aid understanding only. The German Vereinssatzung serves as a legal basis.

§ 1 Name, legal form, location, financial year

1. The charity bears the name „Ourchild e. V.“
2. The charity is resident in Bad Sulza.
3. The charity is registered as a charitable organisation.
4. The charities financial year is the calendar year.

§ 2 Purpose

The purpose of the charity is:

the promotion of care for young people, the upbringing, education and training of disadvantaged children and young people throughout the world regardless of religion, sex, nationality or race. This is achieved through:

Care for mental and physical development
Provision of food, clothing and shelter
Preventive health care, health education and information
School education and training
Aid projects providing help to enable people to help themselves. Projects are to be understood as integrative, supporting not only families that support children but also the social structure of local communities of such families, entire villages and/or city neighbourhoods in oder to counteract the social and moral impoverishment of such areas and improve the survival and living conditions of the children living in them. The networking of such projects serves as an ongoing exchange basis for experience, knowledge and development for those involved in aid project work to help strive for improvements in integrative and interactive project work:
– best possible use of available resources, whether financial, personal or in terms of knowledge
– optimisation of the individual aid projects
– transfer of knowledge gained for new aid projects.

the provision of aid and support for people in need and welfare in general for the family and the elderly in particular.

to increase public awareness of the causes and background of poverty and injustice and to promote tolerance, interest and understanding for the plight of poverty-stricken children and young people internationally in order to improve the sense of responsibility of peoples towards one another.

The society can choose to (though does not have to) select a third-party to exercise its interests, in particular the choice, care and monitoring of projects abroad, when the third party adheres strictly to the aims of the society. The annual checking of the accounts, the statutory use of financial assets and the correct running of the charity is to be undertaken by an approved and BRD-certified auditor.

The charity can cooperate with other organisations or undertake in joint projects to achieve its aims as set out in the statutes. The charity nevertheless decides independently how it will undertake its work, which responsibilities it has and the use of financial assets and donations.

§ 3 Charitable Organisation

„Ourchild e. V.“ is exclusively a charitable organisation dedicated to providing for the common good as defined in (§§ 51 ff. „Steuerbegünstigte Zwecke“) of the German Abgabenordnung (taxation regulations).
After approval by the relevant tax authorities, this aspect will be reflected in an amendment to the name: „Ourchild gemeinnütziger e. V.“

The charities purpose and aims as described in § 2 will be achieved and financed through:

a) annual membership fee
b) donations (general open donations or donations for specific projects, 
child sponsorship etc.)
c) good donations
d) financial contributions from organisations and foundations
e) allocation of public funding
f)  proceeds and interest from charity assets

The charity has no internal economic purposes, it is a non profit making organisation. Financial assets can only be used for purposes defined within the statutes.

Persons working in or for the charity do this on a voluntary basis. Members do not receive shares or financial contributions from the charities assets.

The use of charity assets cannot fall to uses or persons outside of the puposes given in the statutes, nor can they exceed reasonable levels of remuneration.

A minimum of 65 % of the earnings in a financial year should be assigned to project work as defined in the preceding paragraph 1.

§ 4 Membership

The charity consists of members and honorary members (known forthwith as charity members).

Members should promote the purposes and aims of the charity. Membership is open to everyone without a criminal record. Application should be presented in writing to the board of directors with name, status, age and address. Minors require a signature from their legal representative (parent etc.).
With the application the member agrees with the statutes of charity. Admission is decided upon by the board of directors. Admission must be unanimous. The board of directors need not give any reasons by a refusal of membership.

Persons whose contribution is of particular use to the charity, can be declared honorary members by the members’ assembly.

Members are obliged to follow resolutions and regulations of the charity in as far as these are applicable in the statutes. All members have an equal vote in the members’ assembly. Honorary members are not entitled to a vote.

The membership fee as decided by the members’ assembly is payable yearly in advance. Honorary members are exempted from the membership fee.
Membership fees for members who through no fault of their own are unable to pay can be deferred or excused for the respective period.

Memberships ends in the following cases:

voluntary withdrawal
removal from the members list

Withdrawal is only possible at the end of a year and should be presented in writing by the 30th September in a letter sent as registered mail with delivery notification.
Members who have not paid their membership fee after the end of the yeat will receive a warning. Members who do not pay after two warnings will be removed from the members list.
In serious cases the board of directors can elect to expell a member giving appropriate reasons. Reasons for expulsion could be:

grevious broach of the statutes and interests of the charity or its resolutions and regulations.
dishonest behaviour within and without the charity.

§ 5 Membership fees

The activities of the charity are to be financed through the measures detailed in § 3 (2).

The membership fee will be waivered from 1999 onwards until further notice.

The members’ assembly decides changes to the membership fee with a simple majority.

§ 6 Organs

Organs of the charity are as follows:
1. The board of directory,
2. The members’ assembly.

Further organs can be defined as required by resolution of the general assembly.

§ 7 Board of directors

The board of directors consists of the first and second chairpersons and the treasurer.

The members of the board of directors are elected from the ranks of the members. Re-election is possible. The elections take place during the members’ assembly through a secret ballot (ballot paper) or where appropriate (lack of opposition) through an open (vocal) election. The period of office is three years.
A member of the board can withdraw from his or her position with three months notice. The notice of withdrawal should be sent to the other members of the board as registered mail with delivery notification. The right to withdraw immediately under exceptional circumstances is given.
Should a member of the board of directors leave his or her position before the end of the period of office, a new member of the board is elected by the members’ assembly for the remainder of the period of office.

The board of directors as given in § 26 Abs. 2 BGB (German civil code) are the first chairperson, the second chairperson and the treasurer. The first chairperson is authorised to represent the society before a court or otherwise in person, the second chairperson and treasurer are authorised to represent the society when both are present.

The board of directors is responsible for the societies affairs. It decides and ensures the use and administration of financial assets according to the statutes. Internal running of the society is decided by a simple majority, and can issue resolutions when at least two members of the board are present. The board of directors is authorised to instruct individual members of the board or third parties with the execution of resolutions.

The members’ assembly can appoint a manager as suggested by the board to undertake all or certain aspects of the running of the society as defined in a contract. He or she is authorised to represent the society before or outside a court as a special representative according to § 30 BGB. A member of the board of directors can be appointed as manager.
The rights and obligations of a manager are to be defined in a contract. The appointment, amendment or cancellation of a contract must be decided upon by the board of directors. For the appointment, amendment or cancellation of a contract where the manager is a member of the board of directors, the society can be represented only by the members of the board. § 181 BGB applies.
Activities beyond those of the administration of the society can only be undertaken by the manager when this has been expressly allowed by the board of directors.

The members of the board of directors carry out their role in a voluntary capacity unless the following paragraph 7 applies. Necessary expenditures that occur whilst fulfilling their roles can be refunded against proof of expenditure.

Should the degree of work necessary exceed the bounds of what can reasonably be expected, the members’ assembly can choose to offer the member of the board an appropriate remuneration. § 2 Abs. 6 of the statutes applies. Such remuneration requires reiteration through the members’ assembly in following periods of office.

§ 8 Members’ assembly

The general member’s assembly occurs annually. The assembly can be convened by the board of directors with a minimum of two weeks notice given together with the agenda.
The members’ assembly is led by a member of the board unless the assembly chooses another chairperson with a simple majority.

Extraordinary general meetings can be convened by the board of directors. The board must convene a meeting when at least a quarter of the members wish it and it is in the interests of the charity. The same regulations apply to extraordinary general meetings as they do for annual general meetings.

The members’ assembly is the primary organ of the charity and decides upon all the affairs of the charity, in as far as these are not already transferred to another organ of the charity.

The members’ assembly is in particular responsible for:

approval of the annual accounts,
the selection of an accountant/auditor, who cannot be a member of the board or of a committee selected by the board,
the discharge of the members of the board,
election of the members of the board,
changes to the statutes,
the definition of the enrolment and membership fee,
passing resolutions proposed by the board or members,
the appointment of honorary members,
the dissolution of the charity.

Applications for resolutions from within the ranks of the members should be notified in a written explanation to the board at least 5 days in advance of the meeting.

The members’ assembly is deemed quorate (able to pass resolutions) if more than 50% of the members are present. If the members’ assembly is not quorate, a second assembly must be convened which is deemed quorate regardless of the number of members present. This must be stated in the notification of the second meeting. Resolutions are passed with a simple majority. By tied votes the vote of the board is decisive.

Minutes detailing the negotiations and resolutions of the members’ assembly are to be kept and signed by two members of the board.

Resolutions by the general assembly can be undertaken in writing in the mail (circulation procedure) if all members are in agreement.

§ 9 Internal auditor

The internal auditor must check all running business transactions, the book keeping and the annual accounts for all irregularities (at the least through spot-checks) and should present a report of the findings to the members’ assembly. The auditor is selected by the general assembly.
A auditor need not be selected if the members’ assembly chooses to transfer this responsibility to an independent and in the BRD certified external auditor.

§ 10 Dissolution of the charity

Should the charity be dissolved, the first and second chairpersons and the treasurer are elected as executors of the liquidation process. Dissolution can only occur as a result of a majority decision. Should a majority not be reached, the chair of the board is to decide. Rights and obligations of executors of the liquidation process are defined in §§ 47 ff BGB (German civil code).

By a dissolution or abolition of the charity, or where its purpose no longer exists, any remaining assets go to the town of Bad Sulza (Thuringia, Germany) and are to be used exclusively and directly for charitable causes.

Bad Sulza, 26 February 2002 (last amendment)