Non-governmental organization "Francišak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society"

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Charter of the non-governmental organization "Francišak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society", Minsk, 2007


of the non-governmental organization
«Francišak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society»

Minsk 2007


1. General Principles

1.1. The NGO «Franci?ak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society» (hereinafter BLS) is a voluntary public association. Its purpose is revitalization of the Belarusian language and of Belarusian national culture on the whole in Belarus by means of cultural and educational activities. BLS operates in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the Law “On Languages in the Republic of Belarus”, with other laws and with this Charter.

1.2. BLS has the status of the national NGO that operates throughout Belarus.

1.3. BLS’ guidelines are democracy, pluralism, self-government and transparency. BLS promotes activities and initiatives of its members. It cooperates with state, scientific and other non-governmental organizations of Belarus.

1.4. BLS is a legal person. It has a balance sheet of its own, a seal and a stamp of an approved type that depict BLS’ registered logo, bank accounts (including currency accounts). BLS is enabled to represent itself in relations with other legal and physical persons. BLS’ branches may be legal persons.

1.5. To attain its goals BLS is enabled to possess real and movable property, but for such property that may be legally possessed only by the state.

1.6. BLS is empowered to possess its own symbols and other attributes. They are to be approved by Rada and registered in accordance with the law.

1.7. By this charter, BLS is enabled to perform commercial activities in case these activities correspond with BLS’ goals set in this charter. Commercial activities can be performed by BLS only by means of foundation and (or) participation in the work of commercial establishments.

1.8. BLS is enabled to enter international non-governmental organizations, to take part in establishing international unions and NGOs, to contact with international organizations, to sign treaties with foreign partners and to perform other activities that do not violate legislation of the Republic of Belarus and its international commitments.

1.9. The full name of the organization is The non-governmental organization «Franci?ak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society». The short name is BLS.

1.10. BLS carries on correspondence in accordance with legal regulations. The necessary documents are handed over to the State Archive.

1.11. The legal address of BLS is 220034, vul. Rumjancava-13, Minsk, Belarus.


2. BLS’ object of activities, goals, objectives and techniques

2.1. BLS’ object is cultural and educational activities.

2.2. BLS’ central objectives are the following. Revival of public attitude to the Belarusian language as to the national treasure. Comprehensive development of the Belarusian language, preservation of its purity and unique identity. Maintaining the official status of the Belarusian language.

2.3. The chief goal of BLS is revitalization of the Belarusian language in official, public and cultural spheres. Other BLS goals are as follows.

·  Preserving and developing national culture, traditions, гістарычнай памяці and identity; overcoming the national nihilism.

·  Supporting national and cultural development of Belarusian diasporas.

·  Revitalizing education through the medium of the Belarusian language at all levels.

·  Promoting international cultural contacts with the view of both promoting Belarusian culture abroad and popularizing world culture treasures in Belarus.

2.4. BLS techniques

·  Translating foreign literature into Belarusian. Promoting the use of Belarusian by representatives of foreign state and non-governmental bodies as well as private companies’ representatives in Belarus.

·  Working out and implementing the scientific concept of the Belarusian language. Fostering the high standard of the Belarusian language, promoting its unification and Belarusian spelling’s improvement.

·  Propagating information about BLS’ activities. Founding media of its own and using state-owned media.

·  Representing the rights and interests of its members at state and public bodies.

·  BLS is enabled to carry out publishing activities and possesses an organ of the press of its own.


3. The organizational structure and elected bodies of BLS

3.1. The supreme governing body of BLS is its assembly that is convened once in three years.

The assembly approves of the Charter and other documents, amends the charter; elects the head of BLS and its deputy heads, Rada, the auditing committee and its head. The assembly approves of Rada’s and the auditing committee’s reports, appoints the editor-in-chief of BLS’ newspaper, makes decisions concerning BLS’ reorganization, liquidation, etc.

An extraordinary meeting of BLS is convened by Rada or on demand of at least one third of district (town) branches of BLS. It may be also convened by the auditing committee.

The date and the location of the assembly, the number of its delegates and the order of their election are determined by BLS’ Rada.

The assembly’s decisions are considered legitimate if passed in presence of more than half delegates. Decisions are made by a simple majority of the delegates. The order of the vote is determined by the assembly.

3.2. BLS’ governing body between assemblies is Rada.

Rada is convened twice a year at least. Rada appoints the Secretariat, establishes working bodies, amends the Charter, makes decisions concerning purchasing, exploitation and disposal of property, approves the seal’s and the attributes’ outlook, approves the amount of annual fees and the payment terms, admits candidates to BLS, etc.

Rada’s decisions are legitimate if a quorum of more than half of its members is secured.

Its decisions are made by a simple majority of the members.

3.3. The secretariat is the executive body of BLS. It works permanently, executes rulings of the assembly and of Rada, admits candidates to BLS, manages BLS’ activities on behalf of the Charter and within the scope of the rights determined by Rada.

The secretariat is convened once a month at least. Its decisions are made by a simple majority of the members present, provided that a quorum of at least a half of its members is secured.

The secretariat:

·  Keeps records of BLS branches and coordinates their activities.

·  Arranges documents concerning registration and termination of BLS branches.

·  Has the casting vote in disputes concerning admission and expulsion from BLS.

The secretariat is eligible to dispose BLS’ property and to make decisions concerning its purchase.

3.4. Rada and the secretariat work on a voluntary basis.

3.5. BLS may have staff members for implementing everyday organizational activities.

3.6. The head of BLS has the following rights and obligations as the manager of a legal entity.

·  Acts on behalf of BLS without a warrant. Represents BLS’ interests at public bodies and in relations with legal and private persons.

·  Disposes BLS property to the extent determined by the secretariat.

·  Signs agreements on behalf of BLS, gives a power of attorney in accordance with the established procedure.

·  Distributes functions of the secretariat members and coordinates their activities.

·  Approves of the stuff list, employs and dismisses stuff members.

·  Sets up and closes bank accounts. Has the power to sign financial documents of BLS.

·  Is enabled to delegate a part of his powers to one of his deputies.

In absence of the head, his duties are executed by the first deputy head.

3.7. The backbone of BLS is its primary divisions as well as town and district branches. The divisions embrace members of BLS either living in a certain place or working or studying at a certain establishment. To be established, a division is to have four members at least.

Establishing a division is approved by a meeting of its members. The corresponding decision is handed to the secretariat which registers the division. A division’s members convene their meetings once in three months at least. The decisions are made by a simple majority of the members present, provided that at least a half of the members are present. The organizational meeting of a division elects a division’s head, a treasurer and an auditor. Might there be more than 10 members in a division, a deputy head is also elected.

The head of a division supervises its work in accordance with the charter, settles issues concerning registration and closure of the division, arranges an annual report on the division’s activities for the secretariat, etc.

The treasurer of a division collects member fees and donations.

The auditor of a division inspects the division’s keeping by the charter and the division’s economic activities.

3.8. Divisions may unite into district (town) branches.

3.9. District (town) branches are established if there are at least two divisions or ten BLS members in a district (town). In cities divided into districts, city branches are established if there are at least two district branches or fifty BLS members in a city.

3.10. Regional branches are established if there are at least 4 district (town) branches within a region.

3.11. The supreme body of a district (town) or a regional branch is the conference. The conference is convened at least biannually following the governing body’s or the auditing committee’s decision. Decisions are made by a simple majority of the members present.

The decision to convene a conference of a regional branch is made by the secretariat. The decision to convene a conference of a district (town) branch of BLS is made either by the secretariat or by the corresponding regional Rada or by Minsk city Rada.

The regional conference elects the corresponding regional Rada and the auditing committee as well as their heads and deputies.

The regional Rada supervises activities of the corresponding regional branch in accordance with the charter, settles issues concerning registration and closure of the corresponding regional (district, town) branch, arranges an annual report on its activities for the BLS’ secretariat, etc.

The auditing committee of a regional (district, town) branch of BLS inspects the branch’s keeping by the charter and the economic activities of the corresponding branch.

3.12. Local branches and divisions of BLS share BLS’ goals and objectives. They act in accordance with this charter.

3.13. The aforesaid branches and divisions are registered by and coordinate their activities with the national governing bodies of BLS. BLS’ members are registered by local divisions that hand the corresponding records to the BLS’ secretariat.

3.14. The auditing committee

·  Inspects activities of the bodies elect and of BLS’ branches and divisions.

·  Inspects records management, controls the terms and the content of answers to BLS members’ and other citizens’ letters, audits BLS members’ keeping to this charter.

The auditing committee acts in accordance with this charter.

Meetings of the auditing committee are convened as the need arises. Anyway they are to be convened semiannually. 

The meetings are legitimate if more than a half of the members are present.

The decisions are made by a simple majority.

The work of the auditing committee is supervised by its head. The committee’s members may not be elected to other elected bodies of BLS. They may not occupy positions at BLS’ branches and divisions.

Members of the auditing committee are eligible to take part in meetings of all the elected bodies with a right for  a deliberative vote.

3.15. The term of office for BLS’ divisions and other local elected bodies is two years.

3.16. Meetings of the collegiate bodies are placed on record.

3.17. Decisions of the elected bodies and BLS’ branches and divisions may be appealed at the BLS’s meeting. The meeting’s decision is conclusive.


4. BLS’ members, their rights and obligations

4.1. Any citizen of the Republic of Belarus over the age of 16 may be a member of BLS. Other citizens and stateless persons who admit BLS’ goals and objectives and promote its achievements may also be BLS’ members.

4.2. Pupils of secondary schools under 16 and students of junior colleges may unite themselves into BLS’ youth sections.

4.3. New members are admitted to BLS by BLS’ divisions. In case there is no division in a certain locality, new members are admitted by the corresponding district (town) Rada, BLS Rada or by the secretariat on the grounds of a written or an oral application.

4.4. BLS’ members may have an identification card and badges. Their forms are approved by the BLS Rada.

4.5. BLS members are eligible to elect and to be elected to all the BLS’ bodies, to enjoy BLS’ material and moral support to the extent BLS can provide.

4.6. BLS’ members are obliged:

·  To strive for mastering the Belarusian language; to use it in everyday communication with their family members and with colleagues, thus fostering respect to the Belarusian language.

·  To help others to master the Belarusian language.

·  To propagate media in the Belarusian language; to foster establishing of secondary schools and kindergartens providing education through the medium of Belarusian; to foster development of university education through the medium of the Belarusian language.

·  To preserve and to augment treasures of the Belarusian literary language; to care about preservation and study of local varieties of the Belarusian language, of Belarusian place names and terms.

·  To improve the style of their written and oral Belarusian.

·  To pay their annual member fees timely.

·  To back BLS materially.

4.7. Membership in BLS is terminated in the following ways.

а) Of one’s own free will.

б) Following a division’s resolution or the resolution of other governing bodies of BLS. Such a resolution may be passed if a member violates the charter or commits an act undermining BLS’ prestige.


5. Economic grounds of BLS’ activities

5.1. BLS disposes funds of its own, which sources are:

·  Membership dues.

·  BLS affiliates’ donations.