ARTICLE 1. NAME AND ADDRESS.
1.1 The name of the Association is ADA OKORLI AKPE, (“the Charity”).
1.2 The address of the Association shall be the address of the Executive Secretary.
ARTICLE 2. ADMINISTRATION.
Subject to the matters set out below, the Charity and its property shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Executive Committee, constituted by article 5 of this constitution (“the Executive Committee”).
ARTICLE 3. THE OBJECTS.
A The advancement of education of people in Ghana particularly, but not exclusively, providing and assisting in the provision of facilities and equipment which would otherwise not be available; providing or assisting in the provision of teacher training programmes, including the creation of a scholarship and bursary funds to be awarded to children suffering financial hardship in the UK and Ghana.
B To raise the awareness of all ‘Okorbihii’ resident in the UK & EIRE of the need to promote education in the history, culture and the written and spoken language of the peoples of the Ada Traditional Area of Ghana.
C To provide relief for financial hardships among the Dangbe people of Ghana, her citizens living in the United Kingdom as well as the general public, particularly the aged and infirm.
D To promote health education, particularly of basic sanitation, providing items of hospital equipment to health posts in the area to assist the delivery of health care facilities to those least able to afford it.
ARTICLE 4. MEMBERSHIP.
A Membership shall be open to any person of Ada Okor parentage or ancestry, their spouses and children (over the age of 18 years) interested in furthering the objects of the Charity.
B Honorary membership shall be opened to any person who shows interest in furthering the work of the Charity and have paid the annual subscription fee.
C Registration fee shall be payable by every applicant who qualifies to be a member under article 4A and 4B.
D An annual subscription fee shall be payable by all members of the Association. The amount payable shall be subject to review, annually, by the Executive Committee.
E Membership may be terminated through resignation or expulsion. Expulsion shall be a recommendation of the Executive Committee and approved by two- thirds of members present at a meeting convened to decide on the expulsion.
ARTICLE 5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
In furtherance of the objects, but not otherwise, the Executive Committee may exercise the following powers:
(i) Power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising funds the Executive Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of law;
(ii) Power to co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the objects or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them;
(iii) Power to establish or support any charitable trust, associations or institutions formed for all or any of the objects;
(iv) Power to appoint and constitute such advisory committees as the Executive Committee may think fit;
(v) Power to do other lawful things necessary for the achievement of the objects.
(I) The Executive Committee shall consist of not less than 7 members or more than 13 members;
(II) The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among their number or by any failure to appoint or any defect in the appointment or qualification of a member;
(III) No person shall be appointed as a member of the Executive Committee who is aged under 18 or who would, if appointed, be disqualified under the provisions of the following clause;
(III) No person shall be entitled to act as a member of the Executive Committee whether on a first or on any subsequent entry into office until after signing in the minutes book of the Executive Committee a declaration of acceptance and of willingness to act in the trusts of the Charity.
5.2.1 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE POSITIONS
(1) Chairperson (2) Vice Chairperson
(3) Secretary (4) Assistant Secretary
(5) Treasurer (6) Assistant Treasurer
(7) Welfare Officer (8) Assistant Welfare Officer
(9) Publicity Officer (10) Assistant Publicity Officer
(11) Youth Development Officer (12) Cultural Officer
(13) Assistant Cultural Officer.
5.4 DUTIES OF OFFICERS
5.4.1 Chairperson / Vice Chairperson
(a) To preside over all meetings, ensuring that deliberations are conducted in a free, friendly and congenial atmosphere.
(b) The Vice Chairperson shall act in the absence of the Chairperson as foregoing.
5.4.2 Secretary / Assistant Secretary
(a) To keep true and impartial minutes of all meetings.
(b) To communicate, to those concerned, decisions and recommendations made at all meetings.
(c) To maintain an up to date list of members and prepare and distribute agenda for every meeting.
5.4.3 Treasurer / Assistant Treasurer
(a) To receive all monies paid and give receipts for such.
(b) To pay all monies received into the Association’s Bank Account within seven (7) days.
(c) To pay all accounts on demand.
(d) To prepare regular financial reports for Committee meetings and ensure that audited annual accounts, including auditors’ report, are presented to the members at the Associations’ Annual General Meeting (AGM).
5.4.4 Welfare Officer / Assistant Welfare Officer
(a) To organise social activities.
(b) To inform the membership of any bereavement and to visit any member who falls ill or give birth.
(c) To arrange reception for guests and perform other unexpected duties that may be assigned by the Executive Committee.
5.4.5 Publicity Officer / Assistant Publicity Officer
(a) To prepare suitable material to publicise impending events.
(b) To represent the Association at events to which the Association has been formally invited.
(c) To establish and maintain network or links with all known UK based Ghanaian Associations.
5.4.6 Youth Development Officer
(a) To be responsible for recruiting, training and moulding the youth in the
customs and traditions of Ada Okor.
(b) To maintain a register of all children of every parent of the Association.
(b) To arrange suitable recreational activities for the youth.
5.4.7 Cultural Officer
(a) To promote the teaching of the various customs and traditions of Ada Okor to both young and old.
(b) To give advice, to the Fund Raising Committee, on such matters as procedures and cultural elements of all festivals and fund raising activities.
ARTICLE 6 INTERNAL COMMITTEES
6.1 Fund Raising Committee
Shall be responsible for the arrangements necessary to stage festivals and fund-raising events. The Committee, in carrying out these duties, must report to and be in full consultation with the Executive Committee.
6.2 Financial Watchdog
To act as internal auditors of the Association, ensuring that all cash receipts are deposited in the Charity’s accounts and that any expenditure of the Association is bythe authority of the Executive Committee.
6.3 Development Committee
Shall be responsible for any specific project that the Association may undertake. The Committee shall have, of its composite number, at least two (2) persons with specialist knowledge of the project being undertaken.
ARTICLE 7 DETERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
A member of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if he or she:
(i) Is disqualified from acting as a member of the Executive Committee by virtue of section 72 of the Charities Act 1993 (or any other statutory re-enactment or modification of that provision);
(ii) Becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering his or her own affairs;
(iii) Is absent without the permission of the Executive Committee from all their meetings held within a period of six months and the Executive Committee resolve that his or her office be vacated; or
(iv) Notifies to the Executive Committee a wish to resign (but only if at least three members of the Executive Committee will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect).
ARTICLE 8 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOT TO BE PERSONALLY INTERESTED.
(a) Subject to the provisions of sub-clause (b) of this article, no member of the Executive Committee shall acquire any interest in property belonging to the Association (otherwise than as a trustee of the Charity) or receive remuneration or be interested (otherwise than as a member of the Executive Committee) in any contract entered into by the Executive Committee.
(b) Any member of the Executive Committee for the time being who is a solicitor, accountant or other person engaged in a profession may charge and be paid all the usual professional charges for business done by him or her or his or her firm when instructed by the other members of the Executive Committee to act in a professional capacity on behalf of the Charity (provided that at no time shall a majority of the members of the Executive Committee benefit under this provision and that a member of the Executive Committee shall withdraw from any meeting at which his or her own instruction or remuneration, or that of his or her firm, is under discussion).
ARTICLE 9 THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND ELECTIONS
9.1 The Secretary shall give 28 day’s notice, in advance, to every member of the Association of the date of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in the month of November in each year or as soon as practicable thereafter.
9.2 The Secretary shall call for nominations to be received within reasonable time of the date set for the AGM. “A nominee for a post must be seconded by a ‘paid-up member’”.
9.3 A candidate must be a bona fide member and must have been a member of the Association for twelve (12) months at the least.
9.4 Elections shall be by secrete ballot and every member shall have one vote.
9.5 No candidacy of an absent member will be permitted except where prior written request and apology were received.
9.6 Officers shall hold office for a period of two (2) years and shall be eligible for re-election to a further term of two (2) years.
9.7 An officer who have served two (2) consecutive terms shall only be eligible for re-election after a break of at least one (1) year UNLESS members at the AGM agreed to make exception in the case of a candidate or candidates.
9.8 Nominations of candidates who have changed their minds about holding office shall become void.
9.9 In an event of Officer expiring, resigning, becoming bankrupt or be expelled, the assistant shall assume the Office until an election to fill the vacancy takes place. The acting Officer shall be eligible as candidate in the election to fill the vacancy. Where the acting Officer is elected into the vacant office, an assistant shall be elected in due course.
9.10 At the Annual General Meeting, the members shall elect a Returning Officer and two (2) ‘Tellers’ to conduct the elections. The ‘Tellers’ shall count the ballot papers and the Returning Officer shall then announce the results.
9.11 The Executive Committee shall present to each Annual General Meeting the report and accounts of the Charity for the preceding year.
ARTICLE 10 BANK ACCOUNTS
10.1 The Association shall maintain a current and an investment accounts.
10.2 The control of the accounts shall be vested in the Executive Committee.
10.3 There shall be three (3) signatories to the accounts, namely, that of the Chairperson, the Secretary and the Treasurer. Any two (2) signatures on a cheque shall be honoured.
10.4 The Treasurer shall be responsible for the day to day running of the accounts and shall submit cash flow and bank statements to the Executive and Financial Watchdog Committees on monthly basis.
10.5 The address of the Treasurer shall be used for ordinary banking business transactions.
10.6 A decision to close any of the accounts shall be by a resolution, approved by three-quarters of members voting at a General Meeting, which decision shall be communicated to our Bankers by the Secretary.
10.7 The Executive Committee shall comply with their obligations under the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that Act) with regard to:
(i) the keeping of accounting records for the Charity;
(ii) the preparation of annual statements of account for the Charity;
(iii) the auditing or independent examination of the statements of account of the Charity; and
(iv) the transmission of the statements of account of the Charity to the Commission.
ARTICLE 11 DISCIPLINE
11.1 Every member of the Association shall conduct him or herself with strict discipline and be bound by all sections of the Articles of Association. Any of the following shall constitute a breach of discipline:-
(a) Flouting the rules and regulations of the Association.
(b) Acting in a manner likely to bring the name of the Association into disrepute.
(c) Carrying on fraudulent and dishonest practices that shall tend to stigmatise the name of Association.
(d) The spreading of false information, whether written or spoken, intended to defame a member, a group of members or the Association as a whole.
(e) An officer or member divulging confidential matters or information to non-members of the Association without authority.
ARTICLE 12 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
12.1 Any proposed changes or amendments to the Constitution must be submitted to the Executive Committee. Alteration shall be by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of members present and voting at a general meeting. The notice of the general meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting the terms of the alteration proposed.
12.2 No amendment may be made to article 1.1 (the name of charity clause), article 3 (the objects clause), article 8 (Executive Committee members not to be personally interested clause), article 16 (the dissolution clause) or this article without the prior consent in writing of the Commissioners.
12.3 No amendment may be made which will have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a charity at law.
12.4 The Executive Committee shall, without any delay, send to the Commissioners a copy of any amendment made under this article.
ARTICLE 13 RESIGNATIONS
13.1 An Executive Officer who wishes to resign is required to give two months’ notice in writing to the Executive Committee that shall, in turn, inform members at the next General Meeting.
13.2 An ordinary member who wished to resign must give one month’s notice to the Executive Committee. The letter of intent must be brought to members notice at the next General Meeting.
13.3 A member’s financial obligations to the Association shall cease from the date of the resignation notice.
ARTICLE 14 QUORUM
14.1 At an Annual General Meeting, the quorum shall be 50% (fifty percent) of the membership. If there is no quorum after an hour, the meeting shall adjourn to the following month at the same time and venue.
14.2 At a General Meeting, the quorum shall be seven (7) ordinary members and three (3) Executive Committee members present.
14.3 At an Executive Committee meeting, three (3) members present shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE 15 GENERAL AND EXECUTIVE MEETINGS
15.1 The Association shall hold meetings on the first Sunday in a month at 3pm.
15.2 There shall be no General Meeting in the month of January unless members, by a simple majority vote, have decided to hold a meeting.
15.3 The Executive Committee shall hold ten ordinary meetings each year. A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chairman or by any three members of the Executive Committee where 7 days notice of the matters to be discussed has been given to the other members of the Executive Committee.
15.4 If the chairman is absent from any meeting, the members of the Executive Committee present shall choose one of their number to be chairman of the meeting before any other business is transacted.
15.5 Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Executive Committee present and voting on the question. In the case of equality of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
15.6 The Executive Committee shall keep minutes, in books kept for the purpose, of the proceedings at meetings of the Executive Committee and any sub-committee.
15.7 The Executive Committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings and the custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution.
15.8 The Executive Committee may appoint one or more sub-committees of three or more members of the Executive Committee for the purpose of making any inquiry or supervising or performing any function or duty which, in the opinion of the Executive Committee would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a sub-committee (provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committees shall be fully and promptly reported to the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 16 THE FUNDS, REPORTS AND RETURNS.
16.1 The funds of the Charity, including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into the accounts of the Association, operated by the Executive Committee in the name of the Charity at such bank as the Executive Committee shall from time to time decide. All cheques drawn on the account must be signed by two of the three signatories.
16.2 The funds belonging to the Charity shall be applied only in furtherance of the objects.
16.3 The Executive Committee shall comply with their obligations under Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that Act) with regard to the preparation of the annual report and return and their transmission to the Commission.
ARTICLE 17 SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
The Executive Committee may call a special general meeting of the Association any time. If at least seven members request such a meeting in writing, stating the business to be considered, the secretary shall call such a meeting. At least 21 day’s notice must be given. The notice must state the business to be discussed.
ARTICLE 18 DISSOLUTION
18.1 If the Executive Committee, by a simple majority, decide at any time that on the grounds of expense or otherwise, it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association, it shall call a meeting of all members of the Association who have power to vote. The Committee must give notice of not less than 21 days, which notice must contain the Resolution to be proposed thereat.
18.2 If a Resolution decision is confirmed by a three-quarter majority of those present and voting at such a meeting, the Committee shall have power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of the Association.
18.3.1 Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all lawfully incurred debts, shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of this Association as the members may determine or applied for some other charitable purpose.
18.4 The Executive Committee shall send a copy of the statements of account for the final accounting period of the Charity to the Commission.
Adopted by Resolution at the General Meeting of the Association on 5 May 2002.
ARTICLE 15 BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES
15.1 A member must be with the Association for 12 months at the least to qualify for any benefit except where otherwise provided by other articles of the constitution..
15.2 A member who is hospitalised shall be given a get-well card, a bouquet of flowers and a bowl of fruits.
15.3 A member’s newly born baby shall be awarded one hundred pounds (£100.00) as an outdooring-present.
15.4 A member for at least 5 years and who has attained the golden age of 50 years shall be awarded £100.00 in cash or a present worth that amount. The five-year rule shall apply to existing members and new entrants alike. The payment shall not be used to write off arrears of any kind. The payment shall therefore be made to fully paid-up members only.
15.5 A person who has been a member for five (5) years and is getting married shall be given a present worth one hundred pounds (£100.00). The award shall be restricted to one (1) during a person’s membership.
DEATH OF A MEMBER
15.4 In the event of death of a member within 6 months of joining, the Association shall donate, to the bereaved family:-
1 litre of gin/vodka, 1 cases of beer, 1 crates of soft drinks plus £200.00.
15.5 Where the deceased has been a member for 6 to 12 months, the Association shall donate, to the bereaved family:-
1 litre of gin/vodka, 1 crate of beer, 1 crate of soft drinks plus £500.00.
15.6 Where the deceased has been a member for 12 months at least, the Association shall donate, to the bereaved family:-
1 litre of gin/vodka, 1 crate of beer, 1 crate of soft drinks plus £2000.00.
DEATH OF A PARENT / GUARDIAN
15.8 Where the bereaved has been a member for 6 months, the Association shall donate:-
1 litre of gin/vodka, 1 crate of beer, 1 crate of soft drinks.
15.9 Where the bereaved has been a member for 6 to 12 months, the Association shall donate:-
1 litre of gin/vodka, 1 crate of beer, 1 crate of soft drinks plus £100.00.
15.10 Where the bereaved has been a member for 12 to 36 months, the Association shall donate:-
1 litre of gin/vodka, 1 crate of beer, 1 crate of soft drinks plus £200.00.
15.11 Where the bereaved has been a member for 36 months or more, the Association shall donate:-
1 litre of gin/vodka, 1 crate of beer, 1 crate of soft drink plus £600.00.
ARTICLE 16 PENALTIES & RESTRAINTS
16.1 All arrears shall be deducted from benefits.
16.2 A member who so qualifies shall receive death benefits for both biological parents or guardians named in the Registration Application Form.
16.3 A member may choose to replace nominated parents or guardians at any time. Benefits for a substitute name shall be honoured only after twelve (12) months of the name being filed.
16.4 A member who fails to attend meetings for 6 consecutive months without an apology and fails to honour his or her financial obligations to the Association shall be deemed to have resigned. The Secretary shall send, during the fifth month, a letter of reminder. The member’s failure to respond shall constitute a confirmation of his or her position as non-member of the Association henceforth.
16.5 A member who resigned or was sacked for whatever reason, may be readmitted only on payment of all arrears, if any, at the time of resignation or dismissal. A person so readmitted shall have the same rights as a new member except where, before the termination, he or she have received benefits for both parents.
16.6 A member who owes the Association £60.00 or more shall not be entitled to benefits of any kind.
16.7 In the unfortunate event of death of a parent or guardian, the bereaved member must notify the Executive Committee by telephone within 7 days of the occurrence. Failure to follow this procedure may result in loss of benefits.
16.8 The annual subscription of one hundred and twenty pounds (£120.00) is due, in full, on the first day of January of each financial year. But, at the sole discretion of the Executive Committee, a member may be allowed to settle the account by ten (10) monthly instalments starting from January of each financial year. However, whenever a member submits claim for benefits of any kind, the full balance of the annual subscription shall become due and payable, including arrears that may have accrued.
16.9 Position of a member who fails to attend six consecutive meetings but meets all financial obligations to the Association – the secretary shall send, during the fifth month, a letter reminding the offending party of the obligatory need to attend all prescribed meetings. The member’s failure to respond within one calendar month shall constitute a confirmation of his or her position as non-member of the Association thenceforth. After that date, all monies sent by the member shall be returned.
16.10 Position of a member who never attends organized functions for members, such as weddings, outdoorings or funerals – should such a member suffer bereavement or throw a party for an occasion, members shall not attend any such functions in their capacity as representatives of the Association.
ARTICLE 17 WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT
17.1 There shall be two separate funds to cater for Development and Welfare needs.
17.2 Net receipts from Fund Raising activities shall be in aid of the Ada Development programme.
17.3 Registration fees and Annual Subscriptions shall be allocated to Welfare.
17.4 In the event of the Welfare Fund falling short of demand, an agreed amount shall be levied on every member to make good the deficit.
ARTICLE 18 FAREWELL GIFT
18.1 A person who has been a member for 12 months or more shall be entitled to ‘a going away present’ not worth more than £200.00 in value when he or she is leaving the United Kingdom to resettle in Ghana. A member who owes arrears of any amount shall not be entitled to such a gift.
18.2 A person who shall so receive a farewell gift, shall be entitled to ’a going away present’ only after 5 years’ membership should he or she rejoin the Association.
18.3 The Association shall maintain links with members who have resigned and gone back to Ghana to resettle.
Adopted by Resolution at the General Meeting of the Association on 5 May, 2002.