Fundación Corazón de Niña
The content on this page originates from an interview of Melissa Canez by Peter Bruce in 2014.
Is Fundación Corazón de Niña what we call in Canada a non-profit society?
Yes. In Mexico, we call it a Registered Civil Association. We are approved by municipal, state and federal agencies to provide residential care for children. In August, 2015, we were granted foundation status, which allows us to receive funding from government sources. Getting the funding, of course, is another matter.
Do you have a constitution and a Board of Directors?
Yes to both. Our constitution is filed with the Registrar for Registered Civil Associations. Terms of operation include a requirement to have a Board of Directors. We currently have eight directors. All are professionals who bring skills and knowledge relevant to running an organization in general as well as skills and knowledge specifically relevant to child care resources. Directors hold office for one year and meet a minimum of six times each year. Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting.
The Vigilance Council
We also have a Vigilance Council with four members. The Vigilance Council’s job is to to oversee the actions of the Board and the operations of Corazón and to provide another perspective to Corazón. That is, they serve as an independent second voice that ensures the proper management of funds and the well being of the children.
Each councilor is a person known for his or her integrity and professionalism
The Council’s fundamental role is to serve as an independent second voice to ensure transparency. Each councilor is a person known for his or her integrity and professionalism including three doctors, a lawyer, business owners and founders/presidents of other foundations. All bring to the table a wealth of skills, experience and wisdom which they share wholeheartedly.
Are your books maintained by a professional accountant?
Yes. All income and expenses are submitted by our Financial Assistant/Bookkeeper Lupita Vargas once a month to our Accountant Luz Maria Munoz. All information is ledgered and reconciled monthly. At year end, summaries are produced and a tax return is filed.
Do you publish an Annual Report?
In 2015 we will publish our first formal registered Annual Report as 2014 was our first year registered with the Federal Government. Government legislation states that a non-profit must be in operation with State Registration for a minimum of two years before applying for Federal Government recognition and registration.
What is the nature of oversight by government agencies?
The state of Jalisco is very strict. They audit every aspect of our operation every six months — our finances, the children’s legal documents, the physical and psychological condition of each child (their psychologist interviews them), the condition of the facility — it’s physical integrity and cleanliness, the presence of security features and safety procedures, the adequacy of space, the number of staff and their skills, the adequacy of oversight, programming, clothing, education, health care and social and leisure opportunities.
We welcome this inspection as an opportunity to improve. When State officials arrive, it is always without warning. There is a knock at the door and the next two days are as if family had arrived. We spend hours together going over all the information, everything that has happened with each child. They seriously care about and understand our work. Each time they tell us we rate very highly in Jalisco, the highest of any resource in Puerto Vallarta – they say they base their evaluation on the state of the children – both individually and within their environment. This is a wonderful compliment but we will always strive to do better!
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