SURVIVE-MIVA is a UK-based lay Catholic Association and Registered Charity, no. 268745. Founded in Liverpool in 1974, we make grants to fund essential forms of transport for the Church’s vital health outreach work and pastoral ministry in the developing world.
As an Association, we have approximately sixty members, or volunteer Speakers, who make short lectern appeals to fundraise in Catholic parishes across England, Scotland and Wales. The main sources of income for the charity are voluntary giving in response to these appeals, along with donations from readers of our twice-yearly magazine, ‘Awareness’.
Since our founding, we have funded bicycles for parish catechists in order for them to make sick calls, for example, along with motorbikes for parish priests to visit isolated rural communities to say Mass and celebrate the Sacraments, as well as four-wheel vehicles for trained personnel, usually Sisters from indigenous Religious Orders, to make rough-terrain journeys taking vital mobile healthcare, child immunisations, and pre and post maternity care to those off the beaten track.
The generosity of our supporters means that such trips can enable equipment to be transported, and make-shift clinics for preventable diseases run by appropriately qualified personnel can be organised and programmed in advance to have the greatest impact on those whose needs would otherwise go unattended.
All the funds we raise are pooled into a central fund which is distributed by the Allocations Committee. They are a mix of men and women volunteers who have financial administration and accountancy expertise gained outside the charity, and/or experience of missionary projects overseas and the challenges this brings, as they themselves have faced them – in some cases for many years.
They meet twice or three times a year according to resources available. At least two Trustees then approve the payment of grants via international bank transfer to institutional (not individual) accounts overseas for the in-country purchase of the mode of transport deemed most suitable.
Each year, we receive in the region of 400 requests, although we are by no means able to meet all these diverse needs – not even those which stem from Catholic sources, which we prioritise – and we make on average some 35 to 40 grants annually. We do what we can, when and where we can, and have always said that we are nothing if not realistic.
We are still based in Liverpool, and have one small office with two full-time and three part-time employees, who manage fundraising at home and prepare for the allocation of grants overseas. They report to the Trustees’ Committee, which meets quarterly, and there is an Annual General Meeting to which all staff and members are invited.