Sometimes, you might want to organise a European event within AEGEE, but your budget doesn’t allow you to at that moment. Instead of having to go to the bank, AEGEE (contact) antennae can apply for a loan from the FATF. To understand what the FATF is, the AEGEEan decided to sit down with Theijs van Welij and Anita Kalmane, president and secretary of the FATF, and Jorge Sánchez Hernández, who speaks on behalf of AEGEE-Dresden.
The AEGEEan: Could you explain to everyone what the FATF is?
Anita: FATF is an abbreviation of our full name, Foundation AEGEE Trust Fund, which is an independent NGO founded for the reasons you can see on the website and/or previous articles written by The AEGEEan.
What precisely makes the FATF a relevant part of AEGEE?
Anita: FATF is not a part of AEGEE per se. We are an independent NGO which is linked to AEGEE. FATF was founded by former AEGEE members and all of its aims are related to helping AEGEE – thus we wouldn’t exist without AEGEE, as our ultimate goal is to help the association.
AEGEE-Dresden, when and why did you apply for a loan of the FATF?
Jorge: We applied for our first international event: “Develop Yourself! Get what all enterprises look for”. We were still a Contact Antenna, and didn’t have enough money yet to advance the amount of money that we had gotten granted, but that we would get after the event. We also applied for our TSU this year, but we weren’t accepted by FATF.
What is the highest amount of money the FATF can provide to an antenna?
Theijs: The maximum amount for a bridging loan available to an antenna organising a European event is € 5.000.
AEGEE-Dresden, for how much money did you apply for a loan from the FATF, and how much did you have to pay back?
Jorge: We paid back around 500€.
Has any antenna already repaid the FATF for their support?
Anita: Yes, all of them – as we are only lending, not giving away money, we are signing contracts with all antennae before lending them money to stress the importance of it. Furthermore, we are always asking for more information (e.g., budget and sponsorship letters) to make sure that antennae will get money in the next months and there are serious reasons why they haven’t got it yet – as we are only there to support them till the moment they get the expected money from their sponsors and/or participants.
Does the FATF ask an interest on their liquidity support or loans?
Anita: No, we are non-profit organisation and we don’t ask charge any interest rate. All we care about is that the antenna is able to organise the event they have planned and that they have done everything they could to secure the money for it before the event. We are there for them in case they haven’t been able to do it due to unforeseen circumstances, but are sure that the money will come in – just delayed.
How did the FATF raise all that money to support AEGEE antennae in the first place?
Theijs: The successfully managed project ‘Europe and the Euro’, about the introduction of the Euro turned out to have a profit. This profit can only be used as a facility for other European projects.
AEGEE-Dresden, would you ever consider applying for a loan from the FATF again?
Jorge: Yes, if we ever have many events going on or the risk to need a big amount of money in the near future. Also, we will consider applying if we have a grant that we will only receive after the event is finished, since we don’t have that much money in our accounts.
Is there anything else you would like to be included in this interview?
Anita: We are looking for the next board members! Each board is serving two years, and our board term is over at the end of the year, thus we are looking for a new Secretary and President. They need to be experienced (old) members with no other current involvement in AEGEE projects, as well as have had former European management experience with large international projects; and been active in AEGEE at the European level in any form for more than two years and have left the Comité Directeur for at least six months (in case they have been a member of the CD); and can only be a member of the FATF board if they do no longer have any major responsibility within AEGEE (in order to avoid conflict of interest) and have proved they have knowledge of the current situation and status of AEGEE.
For more information on the FATF, please check out www.fatf.info or contact Anita or Theijs.
Written by Willem Laurentzen, AEGEE-Nijmegen