Empowering HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Africa to a self sustainable future

Catherine Koch

Catherine Koch

Founder and President of Love Is The Answer, a Canadian registered charity serving orphaned children in Africa.

On Magnolias and “Becoming a Charity” ~


Love Love Love everyone ~

Already March, wheww….and soon, yeah, Spring!!! Snow drops and crocuses are standing proud everywhere, daffodils and tulips are on their way, and outfront, magnolia, you sweet thing.. so close to blooming you are ~

( Have a listen while you read ~ ♪♪ Magnolia ~ JJ Cale ) ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6FnMKx5crs

Weeks go by and somehow I think I forget to share here about what I’m up to! I guess it may be because I’m in Canada, and, I maintain the various pages of this website, and both a facebook page and a twitter account every day, all in the name of the children.  Other than when big things like the “Heifer Project” launch happen, it can seem to me as though I might not really have much to share that may be of as much interest if I were on the ground in Uganda interacting with the kids every day.. even though, much of most of my days, and oodles of my energies are happily spent on the children and “Love Is The Answer – LITA” all the while!

So, yesterday, I was having tea with one of my dear friends Mike. We were talking about the latest LITA news, and he told me in the voice of a true writer (as he has before on more than one occasion) that I’ve got to share this stuff, people want to know these kinds of things too.. so, tada.. yet another bona fide reason to lounge back with my laptop on top of my lap, and type away..

I was telling Michael about the process we’re going through “becoming a charity” in the eyes of the Canadian Government. This past 1st of Feb, we received our first written communication from the Charities Division since our application was mailed in to them in September 2010. The letter they sent us was 8 pages, filled with several questions about LITA’s specifics, and many references and links to helpful pages on the Cdn Gov Charities website for information regarding the application requirements.

I must have read the letter 11 times.. and near as I could make out, our assigned agent was asking for much more information than we had originally submitted about these tidy things called “Purposes” and “Activities” and how they fit into the government’s definition of a “Charity”.

In order to be registered in Canada, a Charity must have a purpose in one or more of 4 distinct categories contained in the governments definition of a “Charity”, and then must explain in great detail (how, what, where, when, who, why..) their activities will achieve the purpose(s) and, how they will maintain control of all their funds throughout.

The purposes within the government’s definition of a charity are

1) the relief of poverty;

2) the advancement of education;

3) the advancement of religion;

4) certain community developments (which of course must be qualified, and deemed “charitable” at law);

So, in LITA’s case, we’re in for 3 out of 4.. namely 1, 2, and 4.

Smack dab in the middle of a government bureaucracy that I previously might have guessed would be on the “.. really!?!..” side of things, I’m finding it’s quite the fascinating process.. really!! By Divine intervention, good karma and/or who knows exactly what, we’ve been assigned a wonderfully kind, informed and professional woman to help us, who, after we received her letter, spent over 40 minutes on a speaker phone with 2 of us here in Vancouver, being most warm and caring, and clarifying things, and, who never for one moment made us to think we might be taking too much of her time.. thank you, thank you, thank you! Wonderful ~

I am feeling deeply respectful and very grateful to be the benefactor of so many who have walked this path before me on their way to registered charityville.. all of those, government employee and charity founders alike, even law makers and donors, who have helped to streamline the process and make clear, concise requirements that weed out confusion, subjectivity and especially vulnerabilities and weird escape places where greedy ones have hidden previously, etc..

To my delight, following my 11th read through, and our subsequent telephone conversation, I felt quite inspired to compose our response to the government. Clarity seemed to roll from my heart through my brain to my fingers until I had typed a virtual 14 page rebuttal that contained a re-write of our previously submitted info and answers to all the questions that needed clarification! ( as another friend said.. so you saw their 8 and raised them 6..!

We faxed our reply on Feb 11th and have yet to hear back.. maybe this week!?! Maybe by the time the magnolia blooms! All in perfect order..

In Love and Joy, Cath xoxo

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