AMS Constitution

Association of Malawians in Scotland (AMS)

A Charity Registered with the Scottish Regulator: SC040207 (As Originally Presented in 2008)

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to galvanise the Malawian community in the Scottish diaspora, promote Malawi and engage in activities and organise events for the benefit of Malawians in Scotland, and provide opportunities for engagement with the Scottish people, companies and organisations.

  1. This association shall be known as “Association of Malawians in Scotland” (AMS).
  2. It shall operate as a charitable organisation.
  3. Its operational office will be based in Glasgow, Scotland.
The object of the association shall be to organise and facilitate activities and programs in Malawi and for Malawians in Scotland. This shall be achieved by:
  1. Creating and maintaining a directory of Malawians in Scotland.
  2. Providing a means by which Malawians in Scotland can integrate into and engage with Scottish society.
  3. Operating charitable projects in Malawi and Scotland.
  4. Acting as a social support group for Malawians in Scotland.
  5. Providing advisory services to the Scottish government and to Scottish charities, groups and individuals with interest on Malawi.
  6. Organizing social events for Malawians and interested parties.
  1. The powers to operate the association shall be vested into the hands of an elected executive committee which shall serve a period of three years. Such committee shall be unpaid and serve on a voluntary basis.
  2. The executive committee shall comprise three principal officers (chairperson, secretary/administrator and treasurer), coordinators of departments viz. fundraising, social support, hospitality and youth programmes and other elected members.
  3. The minimum number of the executive committee members shall be four and the maximum shall be fifteen.
  4. The association shall have a provision for the formation of ad hoc sub-committees which shall run individual projects. Such ad hoc committees shall report to the executive committee.
  5. Any registered and fully paid up member shall but in conjunction with a member of the executive committee run individual projects if they so wish provided that a full report of the activities of that project shall be subjected to the approval of the executive committee.
The management of the association shall comprise three principle officers (chairperson, secretary/administrator and treasurer) appointed from the ranks of the executive committee at a constituted general meeting of members.

Section A: Chairperson
The association shall be headed by a chairperson whose duties shall be:
  1. To provide leadership of the association
  2. To chair all meetings
  3. With the help of the executive committee appoint an office secretary who shall carry out duties such as typing minutes, answering to general inquires, keep records and any other duties that shall be assigned from time to time.
  4. To oversee the activities of sub-committees and other departments of the association.
  5. The chairperson shall report to the executive committee.
 
Section B: Secretary/Administrator
  1. Assumes the duties of the chairperson in his/her absence
  2. In liaison with the chairperson call for both executive and general membership meetings.
  3. Keep a record of the name and address and dates of appointment, re-appointment or cessation of the each executive committee member.
  4. Oversee the work of the secretary in the keeping of general records of the association.
  5. Be in charge of updating the association’s website.
  6. Co-ordinate events the association shall organise or be involved in.
  7. The secretary/Administrator shall report to the chairperson.
  Section C: Treasurer
  1. All the finances of the association shall be administered by the treasurer
  2. He/She shall maintain a record of all receipts and expenses of the association.
  3. He/she shall make necessary disbursements promptly.
  4. He/she shall prepare and submit monthly and yearly reports of all financial transactions
  5. He/she shall arrange for the preparation and examination of accounts for external audit.
  6. He/she shall prepare annual returns and its transmission to relevant national bodies.
  7. The treasurer shall report to the chairperson.
Section A: Voting for Office Bearers
  1. The executive committee shall be elected by the members of the association at an annual general meeting.
  2. The principal officers of the association shall also be appointed at such forum from among those that shall be appointed to serve on the executive committee.
  3. A member of the executive committee may resign if they so wish provided they give 28 days written notice to the chairperson of the association.
  4. The association shall make available to each new executive member on his/her appointment:
(a) A copy this constitution and (b) A copy of the latest report and statement of accounts.

Section B: Eligibility
  1. All members of the association if they are over the age of 18 years are eligible for appointment to the executive committee.
  2. Anyone who was once disqualified from office because of a conviction involving fraud, deception or who is declared insolvent or who has been removed from office previously as an executive member by a general assembly of the membership shall not be eligible.
  3. In electing individuals for appointment to the executive committee the general membership shall take into account the skills, knowledge and expertise needed for the effective administration of the association.
  1. Membership of the association shall be open to Malawians in Scotland and to any other individual or group in Scotland with keen interest on Malawi.
  2.  The annual membership subscription fee is £60 per annum or £5 per month for a single member and £120 per annum for a couple or £10 per month. Children below the age of 18 will have free membership. This is reviewable at the discretion of the board. (Please check our website regularly: Join AMS Membership Scheme
  3. The rights of members shall not be transferable or transmissible.
  4. Any member many withdraw from membership by giving 28 days’ notice in writing to the administrator.
  5. Membership shall terminate if:
    1. The member dies or the association ceases.
    2. A resolution is passed by the executive committee that it is in the best interest of the association for such member to be terminated.
  6. Members shall be deemed to have paid their subscription to the charity for the period to 31 December of each year/current year
Section A: Executive CommitteeMeetings
  1. The executive committee shall discuss and attend to all substantive issues arising in the running of the association.
  2. It shall have the responsibility to receive application of new members and present these to a constituted annual general meeting for approval.
  3. It shall consider applications for chartable projects and discuss the reports arising from those projects.
  4. The executive committee shall meet quarterly.
  5. Extraordinary meetings shall be called as and when necessary.
  6. No business shall be conducted unless at least one third of the total number of the executive committee members is present.
  Section B: Annual General Meetings
  1. An annul general meeting or any extraordinary general meeting called for the passing of a special resolution shall be called at least 21 days clear calendar days’ notice.
  2. All other extraordinary meetings shall be called by at least 14 calendar but a general meeting may be called by shorter notice if it so agreed.
  3. No business of the general meeting shall take place unless a quorum made up of a third of the members is present.
  4. The notice for the meetings shall specify the time and place and general nature of the business to be transacted.
  Section C: Purpose of the General Meeting
  1. For the executive committee to update members of new developments and how the association is doing.
  2. To vote into office new executive committee members when their term expires.
  3. To provide a forum in which members can suggest areas for improvement in the running of the association or the activities of the association for the executive committee to implement.
  1. The association shall nominate a financial institution(s) to provide for deposits and withdrawals.
  2. The association shall be mandated to raise funds from private individuals, organisations and the Scottish government.
  3. Membership fees shall form part of the finances needed to fund the operations of the association.
  4. The executive committee shall nominate three signatories to the association’s account(s) one of whom shall be the chairperson.
  5. Withdrawals from the association’s account shall require authorisation by any two of the three signatories previously mentioned.
  6. The executive committee may authorise payment of all travelling and other expenses reasonably incurred by them in connection with their attendance of any meetings of the association or otherwise in connection with the carrying out of duties of the association.
  7. The executive committee shall ensure that proper accounting records are maintained in accordance with all applicable statutory requirements.
  8. The executive committee shall arrange for the preparation of annual accounts complying with all relevant statutory requirements.
  9. If an audit is required under any statutory provisions or if the executive committee otherwise thinks fit, it shall ensure that an audit of such accounts is carried out by a qualified auditor otherwise the accounts shall be examined and certified by a capable independent examiner.
  10. All monies raised by or on behalf of the association shall be applied to further the objects of the association and for no other purpose.
  11. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment in good of faith and proper remuneration to anyone employed to execute the business of the association.
  12. The executive committee shall be able to authorise an honorarium to be paid to any member of the executive committee as the situation arises. The member of the executive committee will not be invited to attend any meeting and should be absent from any such meeting convened to discuss the honorarium to be paid to them. In addition, the executive member will not participate in any vote arranged to set the terms and level of the honorarium.
  1. All changes to this constitution shall be guided by the principles of the association.
  2. This constitution maybe amended or altered at a regularly scheduled or special meeting of the general membership provided:
  3. Notice of the proposed amendment or alteration written in full has been mailed or otherwise provided individually to all members, at least three weeks prior to the meeting.
  1. In the event that need arises the association shall appoint legal representation on all legal issues involving members of the executive committee in the execution of their duties on behalf of the association
  2.  The principal officers and any other executive member shall be indemnified by the association against all losses and liabilities sustained or incurred by them in execution or discharge of their duties or in the exercise of their powers or otherwise in connection with their office including without prejudice to the foregoing generosity any liability incurred by them in defending any proceedings, whether civil or criminal, in which judgment is given in his/her favour, or in which they are acquitted or which are otherwise disposed of without any finding or admission of any material breach of duty on their part, or in connection with any application in which relief is granted by him/her by nay court from liability in respect of any act or omission done by them as officers of the association.

In the event of the dissolution of the association the financial assets of the association or any assets remaining after the satisfaction of debts and liabilities shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the executive committee or the general membership but shall be transferred to a recognised charitable organisation(s) having similar objectives to that of this association.

This constitution was adopted by members at a meeting in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire on 21st July 2008.