All in a Week: Planning, Reviews, Taxes, Partners, Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Dan Rogers reflects on a typical week in his life as CEF’s Board Chair:

I have a job but my work of life is what I do with CEF.  As the Chair of the Board, I get to see many (but not all! ) of the ways CEF shows up in the world… and they are varied and wondrous and surprising.  Last week is a very typical example. 

It starts with a message from a Board member who was recruited to help with our financial and accounting tasks (thanks Duncan!) and wants to get started in sorting out a historical project which can lead to us recouping some sales tax we paid over the last few years.  The paperwork is somewhere in my office (that’s where I do my job) so I have to be involved.  I procrastinate but it must be done soon.

On Tuesday there is a teleconference to begin an important strategic planning process for the Board.  Another new Board member (thanks Liz!) has put together a killer Power Point to direct the planning group forward.  I love results and this is so focused and so simple, but I get homework to do.  I’ll do it soon.  This also reminds me that I have to get busy planning our next Executive and Board meeting.

 Also on Tuesday I find out that we are going to be featured in the Getty Images internal newsletter with links to our website and photo collection.   Thanks Getty and Peggy!!

On Thursday I meet the Secretary (thanks Andrea!) for coffee to sign some cheques including the one I will tell you about below.  We catch up briefly as friends and colleagues do.  Later that morning I have a meeting with another new Board member (thanks Marni!) who is beginning the work on a Systems and Process review of how we operate.  The questions she asks are challenging and fascinating and I find sometimes I don’t know the answer to “why do we do it that way?”  Great learning.

Throughout the week there are numerous emails about Communications issues (thanks Leah and Summer … very exciting!), upcoming shoots (thanks Fiona!!).  And on Friday, word that our latest contribution has been sent out (that is the cheque I signed!).   It is for $25,000 to Partners in the Horn of Africa to help fund an Orphans and Vulnerable Children support program in Ethiopia. 

Readers of this blog will know that last summer, five of the CEF Board spent just over a week travelling in Ethiopia with Partners in the Horn, one of our great program delivery partners.  We were deeply moved and entranced by the people, the projects and the communities. 

One of those that struck a deep chord was a program that supported orphans and vulnerable children so they "Container" housing in Ethiopiacould go to school.  It provides a small stipend to the caregiver of these children (usually a relative like an aunt or a grandmother, who is inevitably also incredibly poor) so the child can go to school instead of having to go out to work to provide support for the family.  What was moving was not so much the hardship but the hope and the promise.  The conditions they live in range from one room corrugated tin shacks with mud floors to subdivided shipping containers.  But evidence of their dedication to school is everywhere.  They proudly show their grades and look forward to going to school.   It’s a great program and new for CEF.  We are excited to support it.

It is Sunday night. What a great week.  And it ended perfectly as everything that CEF does is to get our support out to the projects and programs.  I said my work of life is what I do with CEF … and it truly is with CEF.  Even this post will be reviewed by someone else and posted on the CEF blog (I don’t know how to do that).  Everything is a collaboration of dedicated souls –  a community of compassionate giving.  Thanks to you all for that!

Dan Rogers
CEF Board Chair