A Canadian Charity EMAS Canada is a body corporate registered under federal law.
The EMAS Corporation is predominantly composed of team members, past and present team leaders; and a few others who subscribe to its Vision and Mission; these are donors, past board members, and former staff.
Membership is by application or invitation by the Board. Everyone appointed as Team Leader is expected to become a member of the corporation.
There is no limit to the number of members, however there is a clear statement in the articles of association of the qualities that must be met by applicants and candidates prior to membership*.
The Apostles’ Creed, one of the most succinct expressions of the core truths foundational to Christianity is adopted by the corporation as its defining Statement of Faith. This creed distills in one document beliefs that unite the various denominations that are represented by EMAS volunteers and the corporation.
The corporation meets once a year for the business of an annual general meeting, for fellowship with volunteers, funding partners, and leaders of supporting churches.
Depending on the staff complement, the Board has played both governance both and managerial roles to varying degrees.
In the past five years, there has been a greater emphasis on governance over management, however some managerial input is given to staff through an executive committee and the Audit Review Committee.
Appointed for a limited term by the corporation at the annual general meeting, the board selects its own officers, but is also at liberty to recruit members from outside the corporation depending on the need for expertise. For this reason, a Nominations Committee carries out preliminary interviews and advises the board about potential board members.
Membership of the board aims to for a broad national representation and with gender parity but without quotas in both aspirations. It also tries to be multigenerational and inclusive of non-healthcare volunteers.
The board meets face to face twice a year, and by teleconference at least twice a year. All members are volunteers.
Among its committees, the Audit Review Committee is a permanent feature of the board responsible for the financial wellbeing and viability of the mission, and also as a safeguard over donor funds.
The Team Leaders
These volunteers do most of the work of directing the programs and giving oversight to the volunteers on and off the mission field. Most, but not all, are healthcare professionals. Team leaders are women and men with a heart for life-long missions, but are unable to live overseas for an extended period of time. A key responsibility of team leadership is mentoring the next generation of leaders our mission.
EMAS projects are developed and led by team leaders. In most cases, it is the team leader who also recruits all the volunteers who serve on their team.
The strength of EMAS Canada has always been its volunteers. There are two fulltime employees and one contract associate who work closely with the team leaders and the board. Staff support all teams through bookkeeping, office administration, communications and publicity, very much like a team of deacons in a church setting.
In addition to statuary external audits and the self regulation exercised by the board, EMAS is a member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities.
This council calls certified charities to high standards of excellence through regular audits of fiscal and governance in order to qualify for its stamp of accountability.
There is room on the board for both healthcare professionals and individuals with experience in Canadian law.
An even more exciting opportunity is the wide open space for a voluntary shadow board made up of millennials willing to face the challenge of retooling EMAS Canada with relevance for the next decade.
Learn more about serving as a volunteer with EMAS Canada. Use subject line: Volunteering with EMAS Canada.
*EMAS Articles of Association available on request
All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
A physician and surgeon in his native Kenya, Peter has a passion for Christ-centred healthcare and has a wealth of experience both hosting and sending short-term mission teams.