The Success of Basse Association Lies in Our Own Hands
By Amadou Basiru Jallow and M.B. Krubally
Six months ago, the thought of having a worldwide Basse association geared towards giving back to a community that has given so much to its residents (citizens and non-citizens alike) over many generations, was on the minds of many Basserians. While many of us were still battling with indecisiveness, perhaps, due to fear of failure or of basically being overwhelmed by the seeming magnitude of the project, the founders of the Basse Association, Inc. were busy laying the groundwork for a future umbrella organization for the descendants of Basse.
Today, more than ever, it seems like Basserians are now ready to tackle their problems. The heavy participation on the website and an increased membership turnout in the last four months alone, have dazzled both the founders and general membership. Maybe, even those on the sidelines. Thus, a testament to the yearning human soul for the public good. That's the way it should be. Although this success is worthy of our celebration, we do so with humility knowing that our November goal of seventy-five members couldn't be realized.
The BA has indeed gotten to a good start. The constitution that guides the day-to-day activities of the Association is in place. The BA has been registered as a not-for-profit in the United States of America and with a process in place to register it in The Netherlands and The Gambia. We continue to attract some of our hometown's brightest minds and most committed people from all around the world, and have built a platform that facilitates transparency and dialogue (the Association's activities are being regularly published on the website for all to see and critique). The BA has indeed built the foundation that has for far too long been lacking to help guide us in developing our town.
However, despite the heavy participation, why have many more Basserians still not join the BA? More baffling is the fact that many of you had in the early days of the BA and of late expressed great passion for the Association but your names are still not on the active members' list. Most, if not all of you, are well able to afford the membership fees. Therefore, we wonder what is holding you back. We sincerely hope that some people will volunteer and share their concerns on the FORUM of the BA website so that the steering committee members can address them as soon as possible.
The success of the BA lies in our own hands. It is our collective responsibility to ensure its success. No one individual can do it all alone. If everyone contributes his/her quota, the Association will attain huge success with relative ease.
What will it take to ensure BA's success? We have to develop a winning culture. That is:
- Be ready to participate, take up positions, run the day-to-day operations of the Association.
- Support our own fundraisers. For example, when we start selling BA t-shirts, we should all buy to support the cause.
- We must not be stopped because Mr. X is involved
- We must not feel like some one is going to get the credit
- We must not be suspicious of each other
- We must listen to each other and encourage each other
- When one fails or errs, we must not blame but encourage. And do so with sincerity.
- We must hold fund-raising events locally. Use our contacts to help raise funds. No amount is too small.
- We must overcome our fears of failure, arguments, family involvements, disrespect, hidden agendas, etc
- We must be willing to share our knowledge and wisdom by participating in the discussions (website and conference calls).
The development of Basse lies in our own hands. It must be clear by now that no government or outside entity will develop our town for us. The lesson to be learned has been learned. And that is, developed countries and communities are so because their own people took matters into their own hands rather than wait for their governments or outside entities to do it for them. There is a common saying that, “to get what you've never had, you must do what you've never done. Whether you think you can or cannot, you are right.”
We are confident in the success of the BA provided that all Basserians and well-wishers get off the sidelines and board the “Kabilo Bus”. We can do it. It has been done by many like the Armenians and the Jewish federation in Los Angeles, California. So, let's get enthusiastic about our Basse Association and do all we can to make it a success because WE KNOW WE CAN.
The authors welcome your comments on the FORUM.
Amadou Basiru Jallow (Cherno Mbaila) is majoring in Health Sciences Diagnostic Medical Imaging and Theraphy with a concentration in Nuclear Medicine Technology at Northern Arizona University in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. He is also a member of My Basse editorial board.
M.B. Krubally is on the Basse Association Steering Committee. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA with his wife Salimatou Krubally and three kids.