General Meeting Minutes - Sunday, October 6, 2013
General Meeting Minutes
Participants via Skype and local access code:
Alh. Saibo Drammeh
Alh. Sellou Jallow
Secretary - Amadou Basiru Jallow
Cherno Sadu Jallow
Chairman - Momodou B. Krubally
Mamadou Alieu Bah
Date & Time: 10/06/13 @ 17:00 GMT
· Welcome and opening prayers
· Financial Update
· Ramadan Project
· Membership Drive
. Next Project Proposal(s)
· Open Discussion/round table
· Next Executive and General Meeting
Welcome and opening prayers:
The meeting was opened with a prayer by Mr. Mamadou Salieu Jallow.
The financial update was related by Mr. Mamadou Salieu Jallow, the Chief Financial Officer as follows: U.S account has a balance of $3798.43; U.K account £220; the E.U account €161; and the Gambia account D31, 301.50. Note: these balances do not include the Ramadan project left-over. The Ramadan Project left-over include: D11, 598 in the Gambia account; $70 in the U.S account; and €40 in the E.U account.
Mr. Kawsu Sillah, the association’s Project Manager reported that the implementation of the Ramadan Project went smoothly. The folks on the ground worked together as a team. He also reported that the funding was disbursed on time and the cooks did a great job preparing the food.
When asked by Mr. Farage how successful was the project and whether all the two mosques benefitted; Mr. Sillah responded that both mosques benefitted and the turnout was great. Overall, he said the project was implemented successfully and benefitted the needy it was intended for.
Mr. Joof asked whether the News Media was invited because he did not read about the project online from any news outlet. Mr. Sillah confirmed that several News outlets were invited, though not all attended. Mr. Sillah went on to say that both the Observer and the Foroyaa reporters in Basse did write articles about the project. However, he noted, he was only aware of the Foroyaa hardcopy publication and wasn’t able to find the online version. For the Observer, he said he is not sure the article was published. Mr. Joof suggested for future projects that he try and reach out to more media outlets to increase the chances of media coverage.
Mr. Ousainou Touray asked how much was spent on the Ramadan Project. Mr. Mamadou Salieu Jallow, the Chief Financial Officer responded that just a little under D90, 000 was spent.
Mr. Sulayman Jallow reported that on one of his phone conversations with his father, they briefly discussed the Ramadan Project. His father told him that the project was well implemented and that many people benefitted from it. He thanked everyone who made this project a success.
Many participants also expressed their sincere appreciation for the successful implementation of the project.
For the membership drive, Mr. MB Krubally asked the participants for suggestion on how to increase the membership count.
Mr. Alhagie Sey suggested that we look into offering Family Packages where a household can pay an agreed sum, for example, say D200 for the rest of 2013. According to him, this can also be implemented next year to encourage more families to participate. Another suggestion he made was for the association to buy advertisement from the local radio stations in town to promote the association on the ground. Similarly, Mr. Sulayman Jallow suggested that the already paid members look into their own families and encourage their siblings to join the association.
Mr. Sillah expressed his challenge of getting the folks on the ground to join. He stated that the folks on the ground often express their willingness to join the association, but sadly, they have not fulfilled that promise yet. A similar sentiment was expressed by Ms. Maimuna Sey.
Mr. Joof, Alh. Saibo and Alh. Sellu all encourage Mr. Sillah to continue the efforts to get the folks on the ground to join. They all related their individual experiences on this front. It is never easy, they said, but we have to continue to remind them about the association’s undertakings and its usefulness to the community. Mr. Joof went on to announce that two of his good friends have recently sent in their memberships fees. He said it was not easy to convince them. However, it was possible after several reminder calls and sharing the association’s projects- past, present, and future.
Alh. Saibo encouraged everyone to keep up the good job. He promised that someday, in the near future, we would not be running after people to join us but the opposite instead. Alh. Sellu promised to beef up the membership drive upon his return to the Gambia with the help of other Basse brothers in the Kumbos.
Mr. Ousman Kamara warned about attaching too much significance on membership. He said that membership fees alone cannot sustain this association. And, the association has to embark on fundraising activities. He highlighted that since its inception, FoB has not organized a fundraising event on the ground. Fundraising is the key to sustaining the association, he said. Mr. Joof also suggested associating individual project fundraising drives with annual membership fees. He gave example of the Ramadan Project. According to him many have donated more than the annual membership fee towards the Ramadan Project yet they have not directly paid their membership fees. In the future such donations should be credited towards the membership as well. That is, once a donor donates an amount equal to or more than the annual membership fees for his/her particular jurisdiction towards any project, the person will be considered a paid member. Of course, this is a suggestion that the leadership needs to look into.
Mr. Farage promised to influence more people to join by 2014. He said that he just does not want to pay the membership fees for uncommitted folks.
Next Project(s) Selection:
The next project selected is the Library/Computer Center Project. Although some raised concern about the location (Koba Kunda Primary School), the majority agreed to move ahead with Koba Kunda while we work on finding an ideal location. Understandably, this project has been on the pipeline from the inception of the association, but the circumstances have not allowed its implementation yet. However, now seems the most opportune time to tackle this project since the association has about thirty (30) computers on their way to the Gambia.
Mr. Joof and Alh. Saibo both emphasized the need to start somewhere even though that might not be the most ideal place while we continue to work towards what we want. Otherwise, they warned, we will continue to put this project off indefinitely. Other places suggested included the Basse Youth Center and the Regional Education Office. However, it is unlikely that any of these places would be acquired in time to implement this project.
Mr. Farage acknowledged the need to move ahead with the Library/Computer Center project immediately but also emphasized the need for the association to establish an office on the ground as soon as possible. He said this should be done before the end of the year if possible otherwise early next year.
Open Discussion/round table:
Alh. Sidibeh suggested that we should start a fundraising drive to buy a generator and microphone set for the Basse Central Mosque that is currently being rebuilt.
Mr. Joof thanked the attendees and encouraged everyone to support one another in our individual engagements. Similarly, Mr. Amadou Basiru Jallow thanked the attendees and encouraged the folks on the ground to continue the efforts. According to him, while the burden of success or failure of the association lies on everyone’s hands, the bigger burden lies heavily on their shoulders. Mr. MB Krubally echoed similar sentiments.
Next Executive and General Meetings:
The next executive and general meetings will be scheduled. A communication will be sent out as soon as the details are finalized.
The meeting was closed with a prayer by Alh. Saibo Drammeh. The meeting lasted about 2 hours.