CENTENARY EDUCATION FUND OF THE
ARCHEPARCHY OF KOTTAYAM (CEFAK)
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
1. NAME: This revolving fund shall be called as the Centenary Education Fund of the Archeparchy of Kottayam. (CEFAK)
2. ADDRESS: CEFAK SECRETARIAT, Catholic Metropolitan’s House, PB No. 71, Kottayam, Kerala- 686 001, India.
3. PATRON: The Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam shall be the Patron of CEFAK.
4. BACK GROUND: In the past few decades certain careers like nursing, I.T, hospitality and the like, emerged as highly lucrative professions. Knanites took the lead in exploiting the emerging opportunities. As a result, many of our families experienced a rapid financial growth. The ability and willingness of the Knanites to lend a helping hand to the other needy members of the community was commendably displayed in these efforts. This characteristic “feeling of oneness” of the members of Knanaya Community had a deep impact on the socio- economic development of the Knanites across the globe in the recent years.
This Knanaya experience is the motivation and inspiration for CEFAK. It is seen that in spite of the voluntary growth marked, there still are a few sections in the community who are not fortunate enough to be a part of this. They should also be brought to the main stream with proper support and assistance. It is also felt that as a result of the run for the lucrative and easier professions, the community is missing the opportunity for higher education and professional developments. Consequently our members are not able to contribute substantially to the social development of humanity to the fullest extent possible besides attaining high quality of life for themselves. Therefore, it is thought fit to encourage the members of our community to pursue higher studies and to aim at higher grades of excellence in their vocational choices.
CEFAK aims at bridging this gap by ensuring prompt and sufficient financial leverage to the needy and the eligible members of the community. CEFAK is organized to motivate, assist and to guide our youth for a better future by organizing various programs for them this end besides the financial support provided. Thus the purview of CEFAK has a much wider scope and cannot be limited only to a financial support scheme or program. It is aimed to increase the quality of life of the Knanaya brethren across the globe in future.
The CEFAK has the following primary objectives:-
5:1 To encourage and promote the Knanaya Catholic youth to pursue higher learning and attain high quality of life.
5:2 To provide interest free funds to those members of the community requiring financial support for pursuing higher studies.
5:3 To foster the spirit of sharing among the members of the Community.
5:4 To ensure the overall progress of the members of the Knanaya Catholic community across the globe.
5:5 To facilitate Knanaya leadership and entrepreneurship globally.
5:6 To ensure sustainable and equitable development of the Community by providing opportunities for the development to every Knanite, particularly the less privileged members of the community.
6. The Functioning CEFAK
The following are the features of the fund:
6:1 CEFAK will be a revolving fund. The financial support provided will have to be repaid by the persons availing the same, without fail, so that the corpus of CEFAK will remain intact and never get depleted.
6:2 It will be an open ended fund and shall not be closed unless it is so decided by the Central Committee by a two-third majority.
6:3 The financial support provided from this fund shall be free of any interest.
6:4 The repayment of financial support availed can be repaid either upon obtaining a job (after completing the course) or after one year from the completion of the course whichever is earlier. If no job is taken up by the beneficiary, then the fund becomes due for repayment after one year of completing the course.
6:5 In extreme circumstances the CEFAK Committee in consultation with the Parish Council of the beneficiary extend the time for repayment.
6:6 Contributions to this fund can be made by any person or group of persons at any time during the functioning of the fund in the manner prescribed by the CEFAK Committee from time to time and subject to the laws applicable to the functioning of such funds in the country. A list of such contributors shall form part of annual financial statements.
6:7 The funds will be made available to the approved beneficiary as per the terms of the agreement entered into by the CEFAK Committee and the parents or guarantors of the beneficiary.
6:8 It is not intended to be a mere financial support scheme. The functioning of the fund is intended to be a medium for the overall prosperity and development of the community and its members. It is a tool to foster the habit of mutual help, sharing and support among Knanites. It is also meant to encourage the spirit of sharing among the members of the community. Fostering the gospel values of concern for the others, putting others above self, equity and justice are the proclaimed aims of CEFAK. In fact, CEFAK will be a symbol of Knanaya unity - a symbol to be cherished by the future generations of Knanites. It is a symbol to be engraved in the future in remembrance of the sacrifices of the Knanaya Catholic Community.
6:9 The fund shall be used only for achieving the objects of CEFAK.
6:10 While ensuring that the well intended donations are to be handled with utmost care and diligence, it shall be the duty of the Central Committee to safe guard the funds gathered for CEFAK. All collections should be deposited in to the bank account of the fund. It shall be the duty of the Central Committees to ensure the recovery of the funds provided as financial assistance to borrowers. Suitable legal actions may be taken up against defaulters. The legal and other costs shall also be recovered from the defaulters.
6:11 As the fund is set up for the integrated and inclusive growth of the Knanites, suitable programs like gatherings, seminars, trainings, career guidance programs, etc, will be organized periodically by the Central Committee for the beneficiaries and their parents / guardians at suitable intervals and locations as deemed fit from time to time.
6:12 The fund can open and operate bank accounts with any bank or banks and operate such bank accounts as decided by the Central Committee members from time to time.
7. Procedure to avail support from CEFAK
7:1 The beneficiary may apply for financial support in the prescribed form to the Parish Council of his / her parish.
7:2 The Parish Parish Council after scrutinizing the applications based on the parameters prescribed by the Central Committee fixes priorities of the applications and communicates to the Central Committee within 15 days of the receipt of the application.
7:3 The Central Committee reviews and selects the candidates from the priority list obtained from parishes as per the objectives of CEFAK and the availability of funds.
7:4 The Central Committee shall there after communicate the details of the applications approved, the names of students and the amount of funds sanctioned, to the respective parishes for further action. The candidate should produce the letter from the Parish Priest at the time of entering into the agreement for financial support with the Central Committee.
7:5 An agreement will be executed with the beneficiary before granting the financial support. A supplementary agreement of guarantee is also taken from the parents of the beneficiary. The agreements shall be witnessed by two Parish Council members of the parish to which the applicant belong.
Annexure 2. Agreement for Financial Support Scheme
Annexure 3. Guarantee agreement
7:6 Funds for the persons approved under the scheme will be disbursed as per the requirements of the course, according to the directives issued by the Central Committee and the terms and conditions prescribed. As far as possible, the money shall be paid only to the bank account of the applicant / institutions where the course is to be taken up.
7:7 The beneficiaries once selected and who need further help from the CEFAK in the following years will have to apply again together with the report and recommendation of the Parish Council.
7:8 Every year a confidential report of the over all performance of the beneficiary is requested from the head of the institution of the beneficiary.
8. Procedure for refund to CEFAK
The procedure for refund will be the following.
8:1 The financial support once granted should only be utilized for the purpose for which it was granted. If for any reason, it could not be utilized, the same shall be refunded in full immediately to CEFAK. The reasons for not utilizing the same should also be explained to the Central Committee of CEFAK. It should be understood that the non-utilization would mean denial of opportunity to another deserving applicant.
8:2 The funds utilized shall be repaid after successful completions of the studies. It is well understood that the refund will be made from the earnings of the beneficiary. Sometimes it may not be possible to repay the entire amount in a lump sum. Thus one may resort to repayment by installments. In case of installment repayment, a schedule of repayment should be provided by the Central Committee to the Parish Council of the parish and got approved by both the authorities in advance. This schedule should be strictly adhered to. The period for repayment in installments shall be as given below:-
Amount Maximum Time
Less than Rs. 50,000/- 2 years or less, in installments
Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 1,00,000/- 3 years or less, in installments
Above Rs. 1,00,000/- 4 years or less, in installments
8:3 The repayments shall be monitored through the Parish Council of the beneficiary. They have to maintain the CEFAK register in the parish and decide the schedule of repayment of each student. The Parish Council will evaluate, assess the conduct and the progress of the student annually and report it to the Central Committee its observations. A letter from the head of the institution where the beneficiary is studying, regarding his/her overall performance is submitted to the Central Committee. However, any legal action for recovery shall be initiated only by the Central Committee.
8:4 In case the beneficiary is not interested in taking up gainful engagement; the repayment shall be completed within one year of completion of the course.
The fund shall be administered by a team consisting of a Central Committee.
9:1 The Central Committee shall be a representative body of Priests, Religious and Laity constituted by the Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam. The Central Committee shall consist of a minimum of ten and a maximum of twenty members.
9:2 The Central Committee shall have a Chaiman who shall be appointed by the Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam.
9:3 The Chairman shall be the chief authority responsible for the fund and its utilization.
9:4 There shall be a Secretary appointed by the Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam in consultaion with the Chairman. The secretary must be provided with a secretariat to administer the operations of the fund.
9:5 The Secretary shall be .the chief functionary of CEFAK
9:6 He shall convene meeting of CEFAK as and when deemed necessary and special meeting as per the rules, with prior approval of the Chairman.
9:7 He shall prepare and present annual report of the activities of CEFAK in the meeting, for approval.
9:8 There shall be Treasurer who shall be elected by the Central Committee from amongst them.
9:9 The Central Committee is to meet as and when need arise. However, there should be at least two meetings in a year. The quorum for the meeting shall be 1/3rd of the members. There should be at least 15 days notice for the meeting unless unanimously agreed by all the members. For a short notice period resolutions by circulation will also be considered as decisions of the Central Committee. Video conferencing will also be considered as valid meetings. The Minutes and all other documents of CEFAK shall be under the custody of the Secretary and it is his responsibility to ensure safety of the same at all times.
9:10 Separate accounts shall be maintained for the fund and it shall be audited every year. The financial statements along with the report of the auditors will be made public every year through the parish network of the Archeparchy.
9:11 The acceptance or rejection of any application for financial support will be subject to the decision of the Central Committee. The decision of the Central Committee shall be final subject to appeal hereinafter mentioned.
9:12 A person aggrieved by the decision of the Central Committee, may prefer a review request to the Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam within 15 days of communication of the decision of the Central Committee.
9:13 The Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam will decide upon such review request within one month and that decision shall be conclusive and final and shall not be called to question.
9:14 The expenses for the administration of the fund shall be met from the fund.
9:15 The documentation charges and related costs shall be borne by the beneficiary.
9:16 Since CEFAK is a voluntary scheme for providing financial support to the Knanites it is intended to settle any disputes within the administrative mechanism of CEFAK only. In case of recoveries, suitable legal actions may be resorted to by CEFAK, if found necessary.
10. Amendments and repeal
Any of the these rules except this rule may be amended, modified, deleted or additional clause incorporated by the CEFAK Committee by a 2/3rd majority of its members present in a properly convened meeting of the Central Committee, subject to the approval of the Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam.
In the event of dissolution or winding up, the assets of CEFAK shall be used for clearing off the debts and liabilities of CEFAK, and remaining funds shall be transferred to the accounts of the Archeparchy of Kottayam of similar purpose.