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info@salnam.ca

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REVISED CONSTITUTION OF

THE SIERRA LEONE NATIONALS ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA,

INC. (SALNAM)

ARTICLE 1.0
A. MISSION STATEMENT

Dedicated to the development of a strong and identifiable Sierra Leonean community and to facilitate a successful integration of its members into the mainstream of Canadian society, through hard work which also helps our community promote and maintain its rich cultural values in a multicultural society.

B. VISION

A community that is strong, viable, caring, and united with the expressed goal of maximizing its social, educational, economic, and cultural wellbeing in the context of Canadian society.

ARTICLE 2.0
DEFINITION

For the purpose of this constitution, a Sierra Leonean means:
2.1 A citizen of Sierra Leone.
2.2 Spouses / Common Law Partners.
2.3 Others, who support the Aims and Objectives of the Association.

ARTICLE 3.0
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The Association is an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organization that is not affiliated with any political party or religion.

3.1 To promote and foster unity, understanding and co-operation among members of the Association.
3.2 To promote understanding between members of the Association and other Canadians.
3.3 To promote and maintain the cultural heritage of Sierra Leone within the Canadian society.
3.4 To work and co-operate with organizations/ associations with similar aims and objectives.
3.5 To help promote the human rights and civil liberties of African Canadians and Canadians at large.
3.6 To establish family and community support systems, programs, and facilities, in meeting the needs
of the Sierra Leonean community in Manitoba.
3.7 To organize and participate in cultural, social, economic, educational, and recreational programs.

ARTICLE 4.0
MEMBERSHIP

4.1 Subject to Article 2. And Byelaws 2.0, membership shall be opened to all Sierra Leoneans, 18 years and above.
4.2 Associate membership shall be opened to others who support the aims and objectives of the association.

ARTICLE 5.0
TERMS OF OFFICE

5.1 Members of the Executive Council shall be elected for Three-year term.
5.2 No Executive member shall serve in the same position and/or on the same committee for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

ARTICLE 6.0
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

6.1 The day-to-day management of the Association shall be vested in the Executive Council headed by the president.
6.2 The Executive Council shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary General, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer, Social Secretary, Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Social Secretary, and Assistant Public Relations Officer.

ARTICLE 7.0
FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

7.1 Members of the Executive Council shall be responsible collectively for all the duties/functions and actions of the Executive Council.
7.2 Prepare and present an annual program of activities and annual budget at the first General Assembly meeting following the general elections.
7.3 Prepare and present an annual report of activities, including financial reports at the annual general meeting of the General Assembly.
7.4 On leaving office, each member shall surrender all records, monies and other assets of the Association to his or her successor or to a person designated by the Executive Council. This shall be done within seven days of leaving office.
7.5 Carry out decisions made by the General Assembly.

7.6 Have the power to appoint Ad Hoc committee(s).
7.7 Liaise with other organizations that shall directly or indirectly assist in promoting our aims and
objectives.
7.8 Any member of the Executive Council can resign by giving one month’s notice in writing to the
Secretary-General.

DUTIES

ARTICLE 8.0
The President shall:

8.1 Be the Chief Executive member of the Executive Council, responsible and accountable for the smooth and productive management of the Association’s affairs.
8.2 Preside at all meetings of the Association.
8.3 Be the signatory to bank accounts and co-sign cheques with either the Financial Secretary or Treasurer (any two).
8.4 Be the chief spokes person and represent the Association on outside forums. In the event he is unable to attend, he may delegate to any member of the Executive Council.
8.5 Represent the interests, aims and objectives of the Association.
8.6 Be an ex-officio member of all standing and special committees.
8.7 Establish liaison with other organizations, institutions and individuals for the purpose of sharing information.
8.8 In consultation with the Executive Council, dismiss any member of the Executive Council on grounds of misconduct and/or non-performance of duty.

ARTICLE 9.0

 The Vise President shall:
9.1 Act as President in the absence of the substantive member.
9.2 Perform other duties assigned to him or her by the President.
9.3 Head the Community / Support services Committee.

ARTICLE 10.0
The Secretary General shall:

10.1 Record and keep all minutes of the Executive Council and General Assembly meetings.
10.2 Be responsible for all secretarial functions and the Association’s correspondence.
10.3 Keep records of all members of the Association.

10.4 Summon and set agenda for all Executive Council and General Assembly meetings in consultation
with the President.

ARTICLE 11.0
The Assistant Secretary General shall:

11.1 Assist the Secretary General in carrying out his or her duties as spelt out in this constitution.
11.2 Undertake such other responsibilities as may be assigned to him or her by the Secretary General
or the President.

ARTICLE 12.0
The Financial Secretary shall:

12.1 Receive and collect membership dues and contributions and all monies belonging to the
Association and shall issue receipts accordingly.
12.2 Co-sign cheques with the President / Treasurer (any of the two).
12.3 Prepare written quarterly and annual financial statements to be presented to the General
Assembly.
12.4 Document all monetary transactions undertaken in the name of the Association.
12.5 Plan, administer and execute all fundraising activities of the Association in collaboration with the
Social Secretary and Treasurer.

ARTICLE 13.0
The Treasurer shall:

13.1 Receive all monies collected by the Financial Secretary for banking purposes.
13.2 Deposit or cause to be deposited in a chartered bank and / or credit union, all monies belonging to
the Association.
13.3 Co-sign the Association’s cheques with the President.
13.4 Maintain some petty cash for emergency use not exceeding $200 (two hundred dollars) at any one
time.

ARTICLE 14.0
The Public Relations Officer (P.R.O) shall:

14.1 Serve as a link between the Association and other associations / organizations.
14.2 Publicize and promote programs and activities of the Association.
14.3 Be responsible for media information, media monitoring and press releases in consultation with
the President and the Secretary General.

14.4 Head the Communication and Advocacy Committee.

ARTICLE 15.0
The Assistant Public Relations Officer shall:

15.1 Assist the P.R.O in the discharge of his or her functions as stipulated by this constitution.
15.2 Undertake other duties as may be assigned by the P.R.O or the Executive Council.

ARTICLE 16.0
The Social Secretary shall:

16.1 Plan, organize and implement all cultural and social functions of the Association.
16.2 Be responsible for the printing of banners, tickets and posters for programs of the Association.
16.3 Prepare a comprehensive written report of all social activities undertaken by the Association.

ARTICLE 17.0
The Assistant Social Secretary shall:

17.1 Assist the Social Secretary in the discharge of his or her functions as stipulated by this constitution.
17.2 Execute other duties as may be assigned to him or her by the Social Secretary or the Executive
Council.
17.3 Head the Education, Youth and Recreation Committee.

ARTICLE 18.0
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly shall:

18.1 Be the final decision making body of the Association.
18.2 Receive and approve annual reports, budgets and program plans from the Executive Council and
standing committees.
18.3 Receive and approve financial reports from the Executive council.
18.4 Approve not more than three and not less than two auditors to audit the Association’s accounts.
18.5 Ratify or amend the constitution.
18.6 Elect members of the Executive Council and elect or appoint members of special committees.
18.7 Take disciplinary action against any Executive member who performs poorly in his or her official
position. And pass a vote of no confidence in an Executive that fails to meet the expectations of the
general membership.

18.8 By a two/third majority, approve the actions of the Executive Council.

ARTICLE 19.0 STANDING COMMITTEES
The General Assembly shall have the following Standing committees:

19.1 Social and cultural
19.2 Education, Youth and Recreation
19.3 Communication and Advocacy
19.4 Fundraising and Membership
19.5 Community Development and Family Support Services

ARTICLE 20.0
FUNCTIONS OF STANDING COMMITTEES
Standing Committees are the program planning and implementation organs of the Executive Council and
shall be directed as and when necessary by the Executive Council.

ARTICLE 21.0
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL COMMITTEE
The Social and Cultural Committee shall:

21.1 Be headed by the Social Secretary of the Executive Council.
21.2 Organize social and cultural activities of the Association.
21.3 Liaise and work in partnership with other social and cultural organizations in Manitoba.
21.4 Coordinate all social and cultural events of the Association.
21.5 Report all Revenues and Expenditures of social and cultural fundraising events to the Executive
Council through the Financial Secretary.
21.6 Hand over all funds raised from social and cultural events to the Financial Secretary.

21.7 Prepare and present a one year program of activities to the General Assembly at the first general
meeting after elections.
21.8 Be answerable to the Executive Council.

ARTICLE 22.0
EDUCATION, YOUTH AND RECREATION COMMITTEE
The Education, Youth, and Recreation Committee shall:

22.1 Be headed by the Assistant Social Secretary of the Executive Council.
22.2 Organize seminars, workshops, symposia and conferences of educational value.
22.3 Propose, plan and implement educational and recreational projects including literacy for youths /
adults.
22.4 Prepare an annual budget of its activities to be approved by the General Assembly.
22.5 Be answerable to the Executive Council.

ARTICLE 23.0
COMMUNICATIONS AND ADVOCACY COMMITTEE
This committee shall:

23.1 Be headed by the Public Relations Officer of the Executive Council.
23.2 Publicize and promote programs of the Association. Undertake publicities to support the goals and
activities of the Association.
23.3 Publish and distribute the Association’s newsletter.
23.4 Research, collect and disseminate pertinent information to the general membership.
23.5 Monitor the media for issues of importance to the membership and prepare appropriate
responses for publication in the media.
23.6 Liaise with media agents and, in consultation with the Secretary General, prepare press releases
and work closely with similar groups or organizations.

23.7 Prepare and present an annual report of its plans and activities to the General Assembly at the
first general meeting after elections.
23.8 Prepare and present an annual budget of its programs to the Executive Council.
23.9 Be responsible to the Executive Council for all its activities.
23.10 Make representation on child and family service (CFS) issues.
23.11 Make representation on behalf of parents dealing with school issues.

ARTICLE 24.0
FUNDRAISING AND MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
This Committee shall:

24.1 Be headed by the Treasurer assisted by the Financial Secretary of the Executive Council.
24.2 Plan and develop membership drive strategies with the objective of recruiting new members while
retaining current membership.
24.3 Cooperate with other committees to plan and implement viable fundraising events.
24.4 Identify available potential funding sources.
24.5 Be responsible for grant applications.
24.6 Coordinate all fundraising activities.
24.7 Prepare an annual Budget for the Association.
24.8 Be answerable to the Executive Council, which shall in turn be responsible to the General
Assembly.

ARTICLE 25.0
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES COMMITTEE
This committee shall:

25.1 Be headed by the Vice President of the Association.
25.2 Help enable families to live together by providing psychological, economic and social support to
promote the well being of individual families.

25.3 Undertake the following program initiatives:
a. Family Help Line: To enable and enhance family cohesiveness, minimize family breakdowns.
b. Referrals: To collect and collate available community resources for possible referrals.
c. Employment and Economic Support Services: To assist in Resume writing, job search, interview
skills, and to deal with job-related conflicts. Also, to assist potential entrepreneurs establishing
private businesses.
d. Target specific services for single parents and seniors.
e. Provide information and settlement support for new arrivals
f. Adult Literacy: To promote literacy and recreational services for adults.
g. Assist in finding safe and affordable accommodation.
h. Other functions.

ARTICLE 26.0
SPECIAL COMMITTEES

26.1 There shall be special committees formed to identify, plan and implement specific developmental
projects. Such committees shall be appointed based on expertise of members with respect to specific
projects.
26.2 Advisory Committee: There shall be an Advisory Committee appointed by the president on the
advice of the General Membership. It shall advise the President and the Executive Council on a range of
issues pertinent to the Association’s interest.
26.3 It shall comprise of past Presidents and some members of the community, based on expertise and
understanding of issues involved.

ARTICLE 27.0 SPECIAL QUARTERLY MEETINGS

27.1 The General Assembly shall meet at least four times a year, and one of these meetings shall
constitute the Annual General Meeting (A.G.M).
27.2 The Executive Council shall meet at least once a month or whenever there is a compelling reason
for such meetings.
27.3 For Executive Council meetings, at least 5 members shall form a quorum.
27.4 The Standing Committees shall meet at least once in every month.

27.5 For General Assembly meetings, 15 – 20 members shall form a quorum.
27.6 It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary General and Chairpersons of the Standing
Committees to inform members of meetings.
27.7 All meetings shall be conducted according to a prepared / approved agenda in accordance with
Robert’s Rules of Order.
27.8 The Executive Council shall appoint a Whip to be approved by the General Assembly for the proper
conduct of meetings.

ARTICLE 28.0
EMERGENCY MEETINGS

28.1 The Executive Council shall give a 2-days notice to members to hold an emergency meeting.
28.2 15 Members of the General Assembly shall request the Executive Council to convene an
emergency meeting if there is need for such meeting.

ARTICLE 29.0
SOURCES OF INCOME
The Association shall obtain funds from the following sources:

1. Membership dues.
2. Government and other grants.
3. Public, private and individual donations.
4. Wills and bequeaths
5. Fundraising activities (Distinct from grants or donations).
6. Such other sources that may be identified by the Fundraising and Membership Committee.

ARTICLE 30.0
FISCAL MATTERS

30.1 The fiscal year of the Association shall be a 12-month period beginning from September 1 and
ending on August 31 of the following year.
30.2 All funds of the Association shall be deposited into a chartered bank or credit union approved by
the Executive Council.

30.3 The Association may maintain separate accounts with one or more banks/ credit unions.
30.4 All monetary contributions and transactions shall be made in the name of the Association. And all
cheques and withdrawals pertaining to the business of the Association shall be signed jointly by the
President, Financial Secretary, and/or Treasurer (Any two).
30.5 Subject to the provisions of this constitution, auditors appointed by the General Assembly shall
audit the accounts of the Association.
30.6 Members present at a General Assembly meeting shall vote on all fiscal matters.
30.7 All dues, fees, subscriptions and donations paid to the Association are non-refundable.

ARTICLE 31.0
ELECTIONS

31.1 Process: Elections to be held in September.
31.2 Dissolution of Executive: The Executive shall be dissolved on the 1 st (First) Saturday in September.
31.3 Nominations for all potential candidates for different positions shall take place on the 2 nd (Second)
Saturday of September.
31.4 Debates shall take place on the 3 rd (third) Sunday in September.
31.5 General Elections shall take place on the 4 th (Fourth) Saturday in September.
31.6 At the expiry of the term of office of the Executive Council, all its offices shall be declared vacant
for election.
31.7 The conduct of all elections shall be the responsibility of an independent electoral commission
headed by a chief electoral commissioner and not more than two assistant commissioners.
31.8 The Chief Electoral Commissioner shall be appointed by the President, but not answerable to him
or her. The Chief Electoral Commissioner shall have a Casting vote in the event of a tie.
31.9 To be eligible for elective office, one must be:
a) A Sierra Leonean as defined in Article 2 of this constitution.
b) A resident of Manitoba who is willing to uphold the constitution.
c) A member without criminal records or a suspension of charges.

d) A paid up member in good social and economic standing.
31.10 Executive member(s) shall not be eligible for re-election for the same office after serving
two consecutive terms.
31.11 The Executive shall dissolve itself on the day of dissolution and hand over all official
documents to the Electoral Commission.
31.12 General elections shall be held at the end of the second fiscal year.

ARTICLE 32.0
VOTING RIGHTS

32.1 To be eligible to vote, a member must have met all his / her financial obligations to S.A.L.N.A.M.
32.2 Voting at elections shall be by secret ballot.
32.3 At a General Meeting, a member shall not be entitled to more than one vote.
32.4 Elections shall be by a simple majority.
32.5 A Member shall be a resident of Manitoba for a period of 6 months prior to elections.
ARTICLE 33.0 NOMINATIONS
33.1 Nominations for Executive positions shall be made on nomination day and the Executive Council
shall appoint a nominating committee of three (3) members to take care of such nominations.
33.2 Potential candidates must be fully paid up and must be active members at least for a period of six
(6) consecutive months.

ARTICLE 34.0
AMENDMENT
The Constitution or Byelaws may be amended by the following procedures:

34.1 The Executive Council shall circulate the proposed amendment(s) to all members not less than
fourteen days prior to the date of the general meeting at which the proposed amendment shall be
discussed and voted on.
34.2 For the amendment(s) to be approved, it shall require two/thirds majority of the members present
at a general meeting.

ARTICLE 35.0
RULES AND REGULATIONS

35.1 The General Assembly shall enact byelaws that shall constitute the modus operandi of the
Association. These are subject to amendment through the additions of new byelaws or the deletion of
obsolete ones from time to time as dictated by the perceived needs of the General Assembly.
35.2 The rules and regulations shall be referred to herein as the Codes of Conduct or Byelaws.

ARTICLE 36.0
INTERPRETATION

The interpretation of this Document rests with the Executive Council of the Association and such other
person or body of persons as may be assigned by the Executive Council.

S.A.L.N.A.M’S

BYE-LAWS / CODES OF CONDUCT

1.0 GENERAL:

1.1 Article 35 of the Constitution empowers the General Assembly to enact by-laws, provided that
such by-laws are not in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution.
1.2 Members shall be encouraged to attend meetings and to participate in all the activities of the
Association.
1.3 Members shall seek permission from and address the Chair when speaking at every meeting.
1.4 The Association’s letterhead and other stationeries shall be used solely for the business of the
Association.
1.5 Members shall, directly or indirectly, refrain from sectionalism, tribalism and such other divisive
tendencies that may have negative impact on the cohesiveness of our community.

1.6 The Executive Council shall suspend any member whose behaviour proves inimical to the
smooth-running of the Association and conduct of meetings, directly or indirectly.
2.0 MEMBERSHIP DUES
2.1 Each adult 18+ or associate member shall pay a monthly subscription of $10.00.
2.2 All membership dues shall be paid to the Financial Secretary or to his / her appointee.
2.3 The Financial Secretary shall issue receipts for such dues within a reasonable period not
exceeding two weeks.

3.0 REGISTRATION FEE
3.1 There shall be a non-refundable registration fee of $10.00 for all new members.

4.0 DISSOLUTION OF S.A.L.N.A.M
4.1 A motion calling for the dissolution of the Association shall be followed by a 75% vote, in favour of
such motion, of members present at a General Assembly meeting.
4.2 A motion calling for dissolution of S.A.L.N.A.M must include how the distribution of the
Association’s assets and liabilities shall be addressed.
4.3 After dissolution, the assets of the Association shall be settled in respect of liabilities. In the
absence of any liability, the Association’s assets shall be passed on to an acceptable charitable
organization.
5.0 RECOGNITION
5.1 Members and non-members who have provided outstanding services to the Sierra Leone
Community and to humanitarian efforts shall be recognized accordingly.
6.0 EXPENDITURE/DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
6.1 All disbursements of the Association shall be made by cheque.
6.2 The Executive Committee shall be allowed to spend sums up to but not exceeding two hundred
($200.00) dollars without prior approval of the General Assembly.

6.3 In consultation with the Financial Secretary, the President or any of the chairpersons of Standing
Committees may incur expenses not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) on behalf of the Association.
6.4 Monies spent on behalf of the Association shall not be refunded without the presentation of
supporting documents.
6.5 The Secretary General shall have petty cash not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) to spend
in the execution of his/her duties at any one time.
6.6 Petty cash shall be replenished upon the presentation of supporting documents and receipts to the
Financial Secretary.
6.7 Any variation on the petty cash amount shall require prior approval by the Executive Council.

7.0 ACQUISITION OF CAPITAL ASSETS
7.1 Purchases of capital assets shall require the approval of the General Assembly.
7.2 In extraordinary situations, the purchase of capital assets by the signing authorities shall be allowed
provided the sum involved does not exceed six hundred ($600.00) dollars. Anything beyond $600 shall
be approved by the General Assembly.
7.3 Upon the purchase of capital assets, the Executive Council shall notify the General Assembly within
twenty (20) business days.
7.4 Prior to taking office, the Financial Secretary, in consultation with the Fundraising Committee, shall
compile and maintain a record of all capital assets of the Association and their purchase prices.
7.5 Such records shall be made available to all members of the Association within a one-month period.

APPROVAL

This Document was approved as the Constitution of the Sierra Leone Nationals’ Association of Manitoba
(S.A.L.N.A.M.) at a General Assembly meeting held on the………..day of……………….in the year 2010.
The following drafters signed for and on behalf of S.A.L.N.A.M.