The name of the association is Villa Karon ystävät ry (Friends of Villa Karo), and it is based in Helsinki.
The purpose of the association is to improve the knowledge West Africa amongst Finnish artists, researchers and cultural influencers and to increase cultural exchange and interaction between Finland and West Africa.
To fulfill this purpose, the association gives scholarships and workspaces to artists, researchers and cultural specialists and organizes cultural activities.
To support its activities, the association seeks to obtain financial and material support from both public and private sources.
Someone who supports the purpose of the association can become an ordinary member.
An educational institution, community or organization that wants to participate in the association’s activities can be accepted as a community member of the association.
Ordinary members, community members and alumni members are approved by the association’s governing board.
Every ordinary member, community member, honorary member and the honorary chairperson has one vote.
A person who has provided significant work or support for the association’s activities can be invited to become an honorary chairman or honorary member at the association’s meetings, subject to the board’s approval.
Members have the right to resign from the association by notifying the chairperson of the board or the executive director of the association in writing.
The board can dismiss a member if the member has failed to pay the membership fee, has otherwise failed to fulfill the obligations committed to by joining the association, has significantly hindered the association by their conduct inside or outside the association, or no longer fulfills the membership conditions stated in the association’s rules.
The price of the joining and annual membership fees for ordinary members, community members and alumni members will be decided at the annual meeting. The honorary chairman and honorary members are not obliged to pay membership fees.
The association’s affairs are handled by the board. 4-6 board members and a maximum of 2 alternate members are elected at the annual meeting. The board decides amongst itself a chairperson, vice-chairperson and any other possible positions. The same person can be a part of the board for a maximum of 8 consecutive years.
The board’s term of office is the period between annual meetings.
The board meets at the invitation of the chairperson or, in their absence, the vice-chairperson, when either they deem it necessary or at least half of the board members request it.
The board has the ability to make decisions when half of its members and the chairperson and/or the vice-chairperson is present. Votes are decided by absolute majority. In the event of a tie the chairman’s vote will decide aside from in elections, where a lottery will be held.
The name of the association may be written by the chaiperson, vice-chairperson, secretary or treasurer of the board, any two of these together, or a person who has been granted the righto to do so separately by the board.
The association’s fiscal period is one calendar year.
The financial statements, along with any other necessary documents and the board’s annual report, must be given to the auditors no later than three weeks before the annual meeting. The auditors must give their written statement to the board no later than two weeks before the annual meeting.
The board must convene the association’s meetings by email at least seven days in advance of the meeting.
The association’s annual meeting is held every year on a date determined by the board in January-May.
An extraordinary meeting is held when the association’s meeting so decides, when the board deems it necessary or when at least one-tenth (1/10) of the association’s voting members request it in writing from the board for specific matter. The meeting must be held within thirty days of submission of the request.
Meetings of the association may also be attended by post or by means of a telecommunications connection or other technical aid, if the board of directors or the association’s meeting so decides.
Unless otherwise specified in the rules, decisions made during association meetings shall be those supported by more than half of the votes cast. In the event of a tie, the vote of the meeting’s chairman will decide except in the case of elections, where a lottery will be held.
The annual meeting will include the following sections:
1. Opening of the meeting
2. The choosing of the meeting’s chairperson, secretary, two minute-takers and if necessary two vote counters.
3. Confirmation of the legality and sufficient attendance of the meeting.
4. Approval of the meeting agenda.
5. Presentation of financial statements, annual report and auditor’s statements..
6. Decision on the confirmation of the financial statements and the granting of discharge from liability of the board of directors and other responsible parties.
7. Estimation of the action plan, income and expenditure and confirmation of the joining and membership fee.
8. Election of the chairperson of the board and other board members.
9. Selection of one or two auditors and their deputy auditors.
10. Discussion of other matters mentioned in the meeting.
If a member wants to discussed an issue at the annual meeting, she must notify the board of directors in writing in good time so that the matter can be included in the meeting notice.
The decision to change rules or dissolve the association must be made by a majority of at least three quarters (3/4) of the votes cast at the association’s meeting. The meeting invitation must mention the changing of rules or dissolution of the association.
In the event of the dissolution of the association, the association’s funds will be used to promote the purpose of the association in a manner determined during the meeting where the dissolution was decided upon. When the association is liquidated, its assets will be used for the same purpose.