The EI Solidarity Fund was established to assist member organisations in emergencies such as natural disasters, famine, war, persecution or other life-threatening situations. The assistance provided by the EI Solidarity Fund has been used mainly for short-term relief to help ensure the survival of organisations and their members.
The Fund, established with voluntary contributions from member organisations and administered by the EI Secretariat, represents a visible example of solidarity between teachers around the world. Natural and man-made disasters that threaten the lives of teachers and their families call for our solidarity through the delivery of immediate and effective assistance.
At the EI World Congress in 1998, the role of the Solidarity Fund was extended to providing financial support for development cooperation activities with member organisations in developing countries. The decision of the EI Congress opened the way for the Fund to not only be reactive to emergency situations, but to also be pro-active by cooperating with teacher organisations in developing countries and countries in transition. The Congress also decided that EI and its member organisations should be invited to allocate 0.7% of their annual income to this work. EI contributes 0.7% of its annual income to the Solidarity Fund.
Education is one of the most important tools for combatting poverty and terrorism, and for establishing democratic political systems. As an international trade union organisation, EI is duty-bound to ensure that colleagues in member organisations are able to carry out their professional role, even in life-threatening situations.
EI prioritises assisting education unions and unionists, and on extending emergency support to unions through capacity-building over short or longer periods.
All member organisations are invited to contribute to the Fund on an annual basis, according to their means. These contributions make it possible for EI to react immediately to organize and coordinate assistance to colleagues in the most efficient and appropriate ways.
In addition, as stated above, a resolution that mandates EI to allocate 0.7% of its annual budget to the Solidarity Fund was passed by the 2nd World Congress in 1998.
Specific appeals for additional contributions are also made to member organisations from time to time, to assist member organisations affected by major unforeseen disasters. Some member organisations donate the budget they would normally spend on Christmas Cards to the EI Solidarity Fund.
The Fund is maintained in a special interest-bearing account that is separate from other EI accounts. In some cases, the amount of funds collected exceed the capacity of EI and beneficiary unions to implement activities. In such cases, if the funds have not been spent after a period of 3 years, the EI General Secretary may decide to reallocate them to another solidarity project.
The Fund is subject to an external audit, which is published separately in the financial report to the EI World Congress.
To obtain assistance from the Fund, member organisations must make a request for assistance, outlining the purpose for which the assistance will be used, listing the proposed recipients, describing the activities proposed as part of the effort, as well as the monitoring and evaluation processes foreseen. The EI General Secretary then decides to allocate funds on the basis of the information provided, and in accordance with the principles of the Fund. The EI General Secretary reports on the Fund to the EI Finance Committee and to the EI Executive Board.
Recipients of funds from the Fund must provide a report to EI head office on the use of the funds allocated. These reports are sent to EI member organisations on an annual basis.