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Living Child Inc.: mini-charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.  Use the ‘Search charity names’ box to see if there is a later review.  If the latest review has a message like this, you are welcome to make your case for an updated review via email to ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

Mini charity review of Living Child Inc. (LC) as an organisation that has an internet invitation to you to give to it.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they responded within two days. Their comments, where appropriate, have been included below.

Is LC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Western Australian incorporated association (A1016829Y).
    • A fundraising licence (21738) in its home state (the only state in which, per the ACNC Register, it operates).
      • Ministry comment: ‘Auditor report submitted annually.’
        • Reviewer response: Unfortunately, the audit report lodged in WA is not readily accessible to the public.
      • LC would only need a licence in the other six states that have a licensing regime if a state thought that an internet invitation was ‘fundraising’.
    • ‘Gross income’ is under the threshold for compulsory GST registration.

What do they do?

  • They are working towards this vision, in this way (see the second heading), in these places.
  • And this is how it all came together in 2016:
    • ‘1. Developed an official partnership with the East Sepik Provincial Government and the Angoram District Administration to provide midwifery training and support to village health volunteers and qualified health centre/hospital staff providing maternity services. This includes training related to the insertion of contraceptive implants. 2. Provided 4 days training to 6 remote Health Centre staff members in Yamen, Keram River local government area. All 6 were certified to insert implants. Upskilling training was conducted using a state of the art obstetric model. 3. 5 day training course for village health volunteers in the Keram area. 76 attendees. Clean Birth Kits were delivered, data sheets received and a trial of Days for Girls menstruation kits distributed. 4. Discussions were held with community leaders from the villages in the Keram about our proposal to start a pilot study using the Care Group Model www.caregroupsinfo.org. This has been accepted and we are not (Ministry comment: ‘now’) working towards implementing this system of health education and referral. 5. Community Development Consultants, Jim and Robyn Nottingham, visited Wewak and Angoram in October 2016. Their findings and report are informing our strategic plan priorities for the next 2 years. 6. Mr Jerry Yabru, Director of Melanesian Evangelical Churches of Christ [MECOC] the group that have invited Living Child into the remote area, visited Perth in October. He is now on our Board of Directors as a PNG advisor and was part of the team to put together our strategic plan.’ [AIS 2016].
      • Ministry comment: ‘Jim and Robyn have been contracted as our Living Child Community Development coordinators based in Wewak. They will volunteer 3 months on, 1 month off, supervising our projects and liaising with the government.’

Do they share the Gospel?

  • ‘Gospel’, ‘Christ’ and ‘Jesus’ do not appear on the website. This is consistent with objects in the constitution that do not mention Christianity.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found.
  • Ministry comment:
    • ‘Since 2013, 8 health workers have been certified to insert contraceptive implants, over 1000 implants have been inserted in the Keram area, over 3000 in Wewak and 1600 in Maprik District
    • over 1500 clean birth kits have been distributed to village health volunteers in the Keram area, data forms are being completed for every birth in the village where a kit is used.
    • Between 60- 80 village health volunteers have attended safe motherhood training at each remote village outreach (6 in total), from 40 different villages.
    • Bunam Health Centre which was closed for over 10 years has now been open since 2015 and services provided due to training and leadership support and encouragement Living Child has given.
    • 10 sets of teaching materials and obstetric models have been distributed to village health volunteers displaying leadership potential.
    • 5 sets of teaching resources including stethoscopes, BP machines and fetal dopplers have been given to the maternity unit at Wewak Hospital.
    • A 20 foot sea container full of medical supplies and equipment was delivered and distributed through Wewak in 2015.
    • A portable ultrasound machine, 2 fetal dopplers, BP machine, theatre suction unit and oxygen saturation machines are currently being delivered to Wewak Hospital.  
    • 5 midwives from East Sepik Province were sponsored to attend the inaugural Midwifery Conference in Port Moresby in Nov 2015
  • Some anecdotal evidence in this blog post.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • No claim by LC on the website, and no financial statements available to allow a calculation.
    • Ministry comment:
      • ‘Board members are all volunteers.
      • CEO is paid a stipend $1000 per month
      • First time professional volunteers have to pay their own airfares. Living Child pays for accommodation, food and insurances’

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • They don’t offer online giving themselves, but direct donors to GiveNow.com.au.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None offered on the website.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We are in need of upgrading our website J but through newsletters there is an opportunity to direct funds donated to supporting our newly appointed on the ground volunteers, Jim and Robyn Nottingham, towards our insurances and auditing fees’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged six and a half months after their year-end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Almost – no outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: NA – because of LC’s size, one isn’t required.
    • However, their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”
    • LC lodged a Financial Report voluntarily last year, but not this year.
      • That Report included a qualified audit report. (And there is an argument for asking the auditor why it wasn’t adverse opinion rather than just a qualified opinion.)
        • Ministry comment: ‘An audited report was submitted to the Charitables Collections WA department 31/12/16. We didn’t submit this to ACNC but it is easily forwarded.’
          • Reviewer response: Unfortunately, unlike some states, WA doesn’t make this available on their register; I suggested they lodge the report with the ACNC. I was offered a copy.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • No Report (see above), but the ‘Financial Information’ section of the AIS 2016 shows:
    • They recorded a deficit, a deficit that was 48% of revenue.
    • Donations were 52% of revenue.
    • The one full-time employee (AIS 2016) cost $9K.
    • They made $5K of overseas grants.
    • No liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA (see above).

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The ‘team’ is shown on the website. Six are identified as board members.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Michael Bullard
      • Is it this Michael Bullard?
        • Ministry comment: ‘Yes’.
    • Sara David
      • Ministry comment: ‘founder and CEO, also Registered Midwife, Global Midwifery educator’
    • Heather Inglis
    • Barbara Jamieson
    • Naomi Major
    • Lynette Scott
    • Alicia Tearle
    • Jerry Yabru
    • Trevor Young
      • Is it this Trevor Young?
        • Ministry comment: ‘Yes’
    • Ministry comment: ‘Other volunteers who play a significant role in the organisation are: Jim and Robyn Nottingham – Community Development Coordinators based in PNG now’

To whom is LC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink[1] via their Associate membership.
  • To the Western Australian associations regulator.
  • And, as an Australian registered charity, to the ACNC.

 

  1. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
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