- Constitution

The Potters Haven Constitution

1. Preamble

Foster Care as a programme evolved from humble beginnings into one of the important integral part of government-supported interventions that aims to build capacities of children’s rights  and ensures that for every right there needs to be someone responsible for seeing that it results in making the suffering of children in need less.
The first people responsible for providing love, care, support and security for children are their parents.
Families have always been supported parents or become replacements parents when or if parents were not there.

Many of the African Villagers used to say, “Every child is my child”, or “it takes a village to raise a child”.
We honor the spirit of our beloved ones who have passed on by the statement of Nelson Mandela when he says, “my mother’s sister is my mother, my uncle’s son is my brother, and my brother’s child is my son”.

Institutional development focuses on aspects such as governance and leadership as well as sustainability of the Foster cluster organization. Governance and leadership is provided by an oversight committee known as the Management Board or Committee. The board should consist of committed members with skills and capacity to provide services that include, but not limited to determining strategic direction, development of policies, financial accountability and management of the Foster Cluster organization. 
The Foster Care Program shall identify relevant key interventions to be carried out in order to reduce, by an ambitious but realistic magnitude, the high rate of HIV infections of vulnerable children due to being abused, orphaned by HIV/Aids and other illnesses and children living with dysfunctional caretakers. (Alcoholics etc). However, a sustainable and effective national response to vulnerable children is one that has HIV prevention as its fulcrum.

The Foster Care Programme’s Essential Services shall include:

  • Children must be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • Children should play an active role in decisions affecting their own lives, in preparation for responsible adulthood.
  • To give support, love and care to children at all times.
  • To treat children as human beings who have to interact with each other through play as it forms the basis for many physical and social skills.
  • The children have the right not to be discriminated against, but to be treated equally.
  • Establishment of child care forums.
  • Addressing capacity needs of children.
  • Providing counseling to address the psychosocial needs of children.
  • Provision of food supplements and treatment.
  • Early identification of children in need of care and support.
  • Assist families with writing of wills.
  • Assist children and their families to develop memory boxes and books.

Foster Care programme and support programme ensure the provision of a continuum of care and normalization of services for persons who have become vulnerable to HIV and AIDS and other burdens of diseases. It ensures access to integrated services, which address their basic needs for shelter, food, education, health care, alternative care and protection from abuse and malnutrition. The programme enables the individual, families and community to have access to services nearest to their home, which encourages participation by people, responds to the needs of people, encourages traditional community life and strengthens mutual aid opportunities and social responsibilities.
The impact of HIV and AIDS and other burdens of diseases on children, youth, families and communities call for a coordinated response from all sectors, government, non-governmental organizations, community based and faith based organizations, private sector, civil society and business. It is for this reason that government supports and recognizes work done by, civil society organizations, community based organizations, and faith based organizations and donor and development agencies to mitigate the socio-economic impact of HIV and AIDS.
The Foster Care Programme ensures that children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS have reasonable access to integrated services nearest to their homes. This recognizes the fact that HIV and AIDS is more than just a health challenge but also a social and community issue.
Based on the above facts we therefore resolve to establish a project that will respond to these challenges namely: “The Potters Haven”.


2. Name of Organization

The name of the organization shall be “The Potter’s Haven” abbreviated as “TPH”.


3. Legal Status

TPH shall be a body co-operate existing separately from its members, with perpetual succession capable of entering into contractual and other relations of suing and being sued in its own name.
  • The members/office bearers of TPH do not form TPH for the purpose of carrying on any business, which has for its objectives, the acquisition of gain.
  • The TPH shall be liable for its debts and commitments and shall hold property and assets.
  • Any income and property of the TPH shall be applied solely towards the promotion of its main subsidiary objectives and no portion of the main income / property shall be paid / transferred directly or indirectly to members of TPH or any other person, provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent payment in good faith of reasonable remuneration to any office bearer or to TPH in return for any services rendered.
  • No person shall become entitled to and of property or assets of TPH solely because of either being a member or office bearer of TPH.
  • No member/ office bearer of TPH shall become liable for any of TPH’s obligations or liabilities solely by virtue of being office bearer/ members.
  • TPH shall legal representative(s) / legal advisors who shall handle all legal related matters and provide legal defense/ advise in case of court proceedings being instituted against TPH.
  • TPH shall continue to exist notwithstanding changes in the composition of its members/ office bearers.


4. Objectives

a) The TPH’s main objectives

  • To establish a centre for the care of children.
  • To protect children and make sure they are not abused
  • Work with social Development as well as to assist with government grant for orphans
  • Find donors for the orphans and needy. E.g. food, blankets, clothes and shelter.

b) The HMSC’s secondary objectives

  • Educate children their rights.
  • To teach children cleanliness.
  • To facilitate different sport activities for our youth.
  • To provide a safe haven for children.
  • To provide a warm and loving home for children. 

5. The TPH’s Vision and Goals

  1. To discover cheerful children with a target of a brighter future in our free country with no fear.
  2. For our community to be aware and learn to deal with different diseases that we come across in our country.
  3. To have a children that has a mission of “Say” No to crime and work with the South African Police Services to fight against criminal activities.
  4. To teach our children to be a responsible and respectful human beings. 


6. Income and property

  • The TPH will write down and keep a record of everything it owns.
  • The TPH may not give any of its money or property to its members or office bearers. The only time it can do this is when it pays for work that a member or office bearer has done for the TPH. The payment must be a reasonable amount for the work that has been done.
  • A member of the TPH can only get money back from the TPH for expenses that she or he has paid for on behalf of the TPH.
  • Members or office bearers of the TPH do not have rights over the property and assets that belong to the TPH by virtue of being office bearers.
  • If the TPH has funds that can be invested, the funds may only be invested with the registered financial institutions. These institutions are explained in Section 1 of the Financial Institutions (Investment of Funds) Act 1984. Or the TPH can get securities that are listed on the licensed stock exchange as set out in the Stock Exchange Control Act, 1985. TPH’s can go to different banks to seek advice on the best way to look after their funds.


7. Membership

All the members of TPH shall be deemed to be members of the organization. If a person wants to become an affiliate member of the organization, she or he may apply to the organization’s management committee. The management committee has the right to deny such an application.

  b) Ending membership

  • If a member has not been active in the TPH for six months or for three meetings in a row without giving a good reason, the TPH can end that person’s membership.
  • If the management committee has a good reason to do so, and if all of the management committee members agree, it can end any individual or member TPH’s membership. But the individual, or the appointed representative of the member TPH, has the right to be heard by the committee. When the hearing takes place, the person or member TPH’s representative can bring an outside person along if she or he wants to. The hearing must take place before the TPH makes a final decision.
  • A member may tell the management committee if she or he wants to resign. But she or he can only do this if there will still be at least three members of the management committee left behind once the member has left.
  • A member may resign if she or he can no longer carry on serving properly because of having a mental disorder, illness or if, by being active TPH, she or he can no longer properly run her or his own affairs at home or work. 


8. Management

  • A management committee will manage the organization.
  • The management committee is elected or re-elected on nomination by the Annual General Meeting of the organization, by TPH.
  • The Management Committee will be made up or not less than seven (7) members, namely a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and at least three (3) additional members. They are the office-bearers of the TPH.
  • Office-bearers will serve for one year. But they can stand for re-election for another term in the office after that. Depending on what kind of services they give to the organization, they can stand for re-election into office again and again. This is so long as their services are needed and they are ready to give their services.
  • If a member of the management committee does not attend three management committee meetings in a row without having applied for and obtaining leave of absence from the Management Committee, then the management committee will appoint a new member to take that person’s place. This appointment must be confirmed by the Society Leader’s meeting.
  • If the Management Committee deems it necessary, for the efficient and effective management of the organization, it may set up sub-committees. There must be at least three (3) people on a sub-committee. The sub-committee must regularly report back to the Management Committee on its activities.
  • The decisions that sub-committee take must be forwarded to the Management Committee. The Management Committee must decide whether to agree to them or not at its next meeting. This meeting should take place soon after the sub-committee’s meeting. By agreeing to decisions, the Management Committee rectifies them.
  • The management reports and is accountable to TPH.
  • The management committee will provide reports to the committee of TPH.


9. Office-bearers

The office-bearers of the TPH shall include:

  • Chairperson
  • Vice Chairperson
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary
  • 2 Additional Members

All office-bearers shall be elected at an annual general meeting of the TPH. They shall hold office until the next general meeting. At it they can stand for re-election.


10. Duties of office-bearers

10.1 Chairperson

The chairperson, as a leader of the TPH, chairs all the TPH meetings that she or he attends. She or he must:

  • See that members stick to the rules and guidelines that are in their constitution.
  • Chair meetings in such a way at to keep good order;
  • Sign minutes of meetings after members have agreed that the minutes are accurate.
  • Check that accounts show correct spending of the TPH’s money, and agree to the accounts being paid;
  • Sign cheques on the TPH’s bank accounts
  • Sign all funding agreements
  • Generally supervise and keep a check on the TPH’s affairs;
  • Do other duties that the TPH expects of its chairperson;
  • Make sure that all officials and committees complete what tasks they have agreed to, and within the time that was agreed to;
  • Make sure that meetings take place regularly, as set down in the constitution;
  • Use his or her power to ask other officials and members or the TPH and its committees to do certain duties and tasks if needs be;
  • Work in a team spirit with other members of the TPH;
  • Serve as ex-officio on all sub-committees. Being ex-officio means she or he can attend all the TPH’s meetings and take part in the discussions. But when it comes to voting on issues in the subcommittees, she or he may not vote; Run the annual general meeting and See that the annual report is written.


10.2 Deputy-Chairperson

The vice-chairperson takes over the chairperson’s tasks when she or he is not there. The vice chairperson should keep in close contact with the chairperson. The vice-chairperson must:

  • Take on duties and functions that have been passed on to him or her
  • Serve as ex-officio on all subcommittees.
If both the chairperson and the vice-chairperson do not attend the meeting, then the TPH’s members must elect a chairperson from amongst themselves for that meeting.


10.3 Treasurer

The treasure keeps a record of all the money that comes into the TPH. This includes, for example membership fees, donations and money raised from fundraising. The treasurer also keeps record of all the money that is spent by the TPH. The treasure must:

  • Keep proper records of what the TPH receives, and of what it spends;
  • Keep a proper list of the names of members and donors;
  • Write out a sign, keep a copy of, and give receipts for all the money that the TPH receives;
  • Pay the TPH’s accounts;
  • Be responsible for collecting membership fees from all members;
  • Make sure that the TPH does not spend more money than it has;
  • Prepare the TPH’s annual financial statements to present at he annual general meeting.


10.4 Secretary

The secretary is responsible for making sure that the TPH’s administration runs smoothly. She or he must work closely with the chairperson and the vice-chairperson. The secretary must:

  • Keep proper records and minutes of all meetings;
  • Deal with letters and other correspondence that the TPH receives and sends;
  • Prepare and send out notices of all the meetings of the TPH;
  • Do other duties that she or he may be asked to do from time to time
  • Prepare the venue for meetings.


10.5 Assistant-secretary

She or he will be in charge of doing the secretary’s duties when she or he is not available.


11. Meetings and procedure of the committee

  • The management committee will meet once a month.
  • One member more than half of members need to be at the meeting to make decisions that are allowed to be carried forward. This constitutes a quorum.
  • Minutes will be taken at every meeting to record the management meeting’s decision. The minute of each meeting will be given to management committee members at least two (2) weeks before the next meeting. The minutes shall be confirmed as a true record of proceedings, by the next meeting of the management committee, and shall thereafter be signed the chairperson.
  • Minutes of all meetings must kept safely, and always be on hand for members to consult.
  • The Chairperson or two (2) members of the committee, can call a special meeting if they so desire. In such an event, they must inform the other management committee members of the date of the proposed meeting not less than twenty one (21) days before it is due to take place. They must also inform the other members, which issues will be discussed at the meeting. If, however, one of the matters to be discussed is to appoint a new management committee member, then those calling the meeting must give the other members not less than thirty (30) days notice. TPH committee must rectify such appointment.
  • The chairperson shall chair the management committee. If the Chairperson is absent the Vice Chairperson shall chair the meeting. If both of them are absent, other members who are present shall choose which one of them will chair the meeting. This must be done before the meeting starts.
  • When necessary, the management committee will vote on issues. If the votes are equal on an issue,  then the chairperson has either a second or deciding vote.



  • Chairperson
  • Deputy-Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Assistant-Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • 2 Additional Members


13. Powers of the organization

  • The management committee may take on the power and authority that it believes it needs to be able to achieve the objectives that are stated in Clause 2 of this constitution. Its activities must abide by the laws.
  • The management committee has the power and authority to raise funds or to invite and receive contributions.
  • The management committee has, subject to Clause 3, the power to buy, hire or exchange any property that it needs to achieve its objectives.
  • The management committee has the right to make by-laws for proper effective and efficient management, including procedures for application, approval and termination of affiliate membership and powers and functions of office bearers.


14. Finances

  • An accounting officer shall be appointed at the annual general meeting. His or her duty is to audit and check on the finances of the organization. The Treasurer’s job is to control the day to day finances of the organization. The treasurer shall arrange for all funds to be put into a bank account in the name of the organization. The treasurer must also keep proper records of all the finances.
  • Whenever funds are taken out of a bank account, at least two of the following must sign the withdrawal or cheque, namely Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer;
  • The financial year of the organization ends on last day of February.
  • The organization’s audited accounting records and reports must be ready and handed to TPH committee, the Director of Nonprofit Organizations and any other authority requiring such within six months after the financial year end.
  • If the organization has funds that can be invested, the funds may only be invested with registered financial institutions. The organization can go to different banks to seek advice on the best way to look after its funds.


15. Annual general meetings

  1. The organization will hold an annual general meeting to nominate members for the management committee, to report on its activities to the community and to determine the policy of the organization.
  2. The annual general meeting will be held once every year in February.
  3. The annual general meeting is open to all members of TPH.
  4. Nominated members of the organization must attend its annual general meetings.
  5. Notice of annual general meeting will be given in notices of the society.

The following business, amongst others, will be discussed at the organization’s annual general meeting:

  • Agree to the items to be discussed on the agenda.
  • Record attendance and apologies and reasons for non-attendance.
  • Read and confirm the previous meeting’s minutes with matters arising.
  • The chairperson’s report.
  • The treasurer’s report.
  • Proposed changes to the constitution.
  • Notices of motion that members may want to make.
  • Nominate new office bearers to the annual society leader’s meeting.
  • General.
  • Closure.


16. Amendment of the constitution

Changes to the constitution may be proposed by members of the organization. These proposals have to be agreed upon and passed by not less than two thirds of the members who are present at the annual general meeting or special general meeting. Members must vote at this meeting to proposed changes to the constitution. Such changes must be confirmed by the committee of TPH.
Members present at an annual general meeting or special general meeting constitute a quorum.
Any annual general meeting may vote to change the constitution, if the details of the proposed changes are set out in the notice referred to in 10.4.
A written notice must go out not less than fourteen (14) days before the meeting at which the changes to the constitution are going to be proposed. The notice must indicate the proposed changes to the constitution that will be discussed at the meeting.


17. Dissolution/ Winding up of TPH

The organization may close down if at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at a meeting convened for the purpose of considering such matter, are in favor of closing down. Such a decision must be confirmed by TPH committee.
When the organization closes down it has to pay off all its debts. After doing this, if there is property or money left over it should not be paid or given to members of the organization. Any assets remaining after all liabilities have been met will be given to the Methodist Church of Southern Africa to be transferred to another nonprofit organization having similar objectives.


18. Adoption of the constitution

This amended constitution was approved and accepted by the members of TPH
At a special (general) meeting held on

Date: 29th Day Month: February Year: 2012