General Meeting Minutes - Sunday, April 21, 2013
Participants via Skype and local access code:
Alh. Saibo Drammeh
Alh. Sellou Jallow
Secretary - Amadou Basiru Jallow
Chairman - Momodou B. Krubally
Wuyeh Yorro Sanyang
Date & Time: 4/21/13 @ 17:00 GMT
· Welcome and opening prayers
· Financial Update
· Basse Visit Update
· Basse Marathon Update
· 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. Wuyeh Yorro Sanyang while Mr. MB Krubally chaired it.
The financial update for the U.S. A was presented by Mr. MB Krubally. He related that the U.S.A account has a balance of $3,521.05. The balance for the U.K account was related via e-mail by Mr. Momodou Jang Jalloh of Scotland to be £180. The Holland account was confirmed to have a balance of €122 by Alh. Sellou Jallow. That is €3 less than the previous balance due to the monthly recurring fee of €3. Mr. Ousainou Krubally confirmed having a balance of €100 in his possession. The €70 came from Alh. Saibo Drammeh while the €30 is Mr. Krubally’s membership dues. Although Mr. Krubally had promised to transfer this amount into the Holland account at the last executive meeting, he has not been able to fulfill it yet.
For the account in the Gambia, Mr. Filly Sabally was not present to give account balance.
Basse Visit Update:
If you recall at the last executive meeting, it was agreed that Alh. Saibo, Alh. Sellou, Maimuna and the rest of the executives on the ground were charged with the responsibility of ensuring a prompt and smooth transition from Mr. Dawda Sankareh to Mr. Kawsu Sillah. To that effect, it was reported that the members from the kombos made arrangements with those in Basse for a set date to visit. The visit to Basse was made. However, Alh. Sellou reported that they arrived in Basse only to realize that things did not go according to plan with respect to the transition from Mr. Sankareh and Mr. Sillah. Mr. Sankareh was not available. They proceeded with the rest of the things on their agenda such as the town hall meeting, etc.
With regard to the transition from Mr. Sankareh, the executives on the ground had been communicating with one another. And, for some reason, Mr. Sillah was tasked with writing a letter to Mr. Sankareh (per e-mail correspondences of the executives on the ground – Mr. Sankareh was the one who requested an official letter from Friends of Basse be addressed to him in order to handover to Mr. Sillah). Mr. Sillah wrote a rough draft and sent it to Mr. MB krubally, Mr. Amadou B. Jallow, Alh. Sellou Jallow and Ms. Maimuna Sey. The President, Vice President and Secretary General were suppose to sign the said letter to Mr. Sankareh.
For transparency purposes, Mr. Amadou Basiru Jallow was asked to read out the contents of the letter aloud for all the general meeting attendees to hear. The following is the unedited version of the rough draft:
Friends of Basse Association
The Outgoing Project Manager
Saturday, March 30, 2013
This is to inform you that you are kindly requested to hand over the following to the newly elected Project Manager Mr. Kawsu Sillah latest Friday 10th May 2013.
- D7, 000 Balance of the FoB Mosque Project
- D9,000 Balance of the FoB sponsored football tournament that was suspended for an official reason
- Record of the membership dues from 2009 to 2012
- Receipt of payment and details of students sponsored by FoB
- Modou Barrow’s membership contribution that was paid to you by his brother Fanding Barrow
The FoB is grateful for all your efforts for the past years and looking forward for your continued support and services.
Momodou B. Krubally
Amadou B. Jallow
Mr. Amadou Basiru Jallow when further to explain that he had responded to Mr. Sillah’s e-mail referenced above the night before – the same night he received the e-mail. His unedited e-mail response is also reproduced below:
Thank you, Kawsu. I am sure we will be able to get this taking care of as early as tomorrow after the general meeting. I think couple of years ago, FoB sent Dawda a digital camera to document FoB activities on the ground. What happened to it? It is not on the list of items on the letter. I think it is important to add a phrase or sentence such as "and all properties of Friends of Basse entrusted to you."
Once again, thank you so much for all you are doing.
Amadou B. Jallow
Upon reading the above information, Mr. Ousainou Krubally, the Sports and Cultural Officer, disagreed with the D9, 000 balance of the FoB sponsored football tournament. He said that the balance may in fact be less than D9, 000 giving the amount that was handed to Mr. Sankareh for the tournament and the expenses that were incurred before the tournament was suspended.
Mr. Ousainou Krubally went on to express his dissatisfaction about the things happening on the ground in Basse. He said that the people in Basse were dividing themselves into sections or subgroups. They were entrusting themselves to individuals instead of the association as a whole. He said some people on the ground in Basse were waiting for him to give them the green light to go ahead and pay their membership dues. This should not be happening, he said.
Mr. Sarjo Jallow cautioned the attendees saying that “challenges will come up. Let’s try to take it easy. And, make sure the transition goes smoothly.”
Mr. Wuyeh Yorro Sanyang, a senior advisor to the association asked the attendees to reflect on the way the association has been operating. He said that Mr. Ousainou Krubally as the Sports and Cultural Officer should step in and straighten the balance on the football tournament with Mr. Sankareh. With regard to the mosque project balance, he said that Mr. Sankareh is the only one in position to know the exact amount since he was the only one entrusted to manage the project. He went further to say that questions about membership funds should not be directed to Mr. Sankareh since he was not the one collecting it. And, the individuals that are been listened to, should make it a responsibility to straightens this issue. He advised that “Basse is bigger than each and every one of us. People will talk. Basse is a town of gossip. Let’s join hands and move the association forward.”
Alhagie Sidibeh echoed Mr. Sanyang’s words. He said that Basse has been in such a situation for a long time. Disagreement has been in Basse for quite a while. However, our efforts are helping the people in Basse and that’s what we should focus on.
Mr. Sidibeh went further to urge the members of the association through the executives to take responsibility of the Basse Youth Center from the Basse Area Council. We can renovate it and rent it out to others who want to use it. We can also use it to organize activities for the community. He went further to say that Volunteering is a new word in town. However, it has to happen.
Alh. Sellou sensing misunderstanding from earlier speakers, stepped in. He said that there is no enmity between Mr. Sankareh and Mr. Sillah. You cannot control the rumor machine in Basse, he said. To facilitate the transition, he suggested that Mr. Sankareh be asked to present everything in his possession belonging to Friends of Basse to Mr. Sillah. He can document everything he gave to Mr. Sillah for his records and protection.
Mr. Sulayman Jallow questioned whether the constitution specifies how transitions should be handled? He said individuals should not dictate how transitions should be done. Mr. Amadou Basiru Jallow responded yes to the above question.
Mr. Sainey Jabbi jumped in and said that there is no time to waste on the transition. The process has to be expedited.
Mr. MB Krubally, the president of the association and chair of the meeting announced that the meeting is record for those who came in late. This was in response to Mr. Alpha Gassama’s question about what had been talked about so far. Mr. MB Krubally went on to ask Mr. Ousainou Krubally to take on the responsibility of overseeing the transition. But Mr. Ousainou Krubally declined and said that he will only take responsibility for the sporting sector. Mr. MB Krubally warned that no one should be under the impression that there is misunderstanding going on. He said that he will take responsibility of following up on the transition. Alh. Sellou offered to relieve Mr. Ousainou krubally from the responsibility of the transition.
Mr. Bubacarr Jallow echoed the same sentiment as Mr. Sulayman Jallow did earlier.
Basse Marathon Update:
When questioned about the status of the Basse Marathon, Alh. Saibo Drammeh said that they had a discussion on this issue at the town hall meeting they had in Basse. He said it appeared that the people on the ground think that organizing a wrestling fund raising event will be more profitable than the marathon. However, he said the marathon can be done at a later date and start will the wrestling instead. Alh. Sellou, a member of the group that visited Basse echoed the same thing Alh. Saibo Drammeh said.
Mr. Ousainou Krubally said that wrestling will not be profitable since it has to take place in an open ground. He suggested organizing a Football match between a team from the Kombos and Basse Eleven. This he said is the quickest way to raise funds in Basse for the short term.
Alh. Sidibeh also discouraged the idea of wrestling fund raiser. He said the event will be costly since everything will have to be imported. He proposed organizing a fund raising event with Jaliba Kuyateh. He stressed that the best musician to call is Jaliba Kuyateh since he is liked by all generations. Mr. Ousainou Krubally quickly interjected that Jaliba Kuyateh is expensive to book. But Mr. Sidibeh countered his argument saying that Jaliba will understand that we are a nonprofit association geared towards community development. He also suggested that coming up with proposals to be submitted to the U.S Embassy in the Gambia. The U.S Embassy in the Gambia has programs geared toward youth development. Another fund raising avenue Mr. Sidibeh suggested is organizing “SETSETAL” events in Basse. He said the members on the ground in Basse can go around the town collecting garbage and seeking donation.
Mr. Bubacarr Jallow suggested holding both events. That is the Football match and the night activity such as the Jaliba Kuyateh Mr. Sidibeh suggested. They both can be organized on the same day or on different days.
Mr. Ousman Kamara also discouraged the idea of the wrestling fund raiser saying that it will be costly. Instead, he suggested inviting a musician in Basse to help the association to raise funds in the short term.
Mr. Sarjo Jallow as a former community development agent recognized the association as an auspicious organization. He said that any fund raising project the association embarks on should be profitable.
Mr. Sainey Jabbi said that the association should look into starting a computer center (Employment Center) in Basse to enable the youths be more marketable. The computer center will be a place for the youths to go and create their resumes or curriculum vitae among other things. He suggested that Ten (10) people donate $1000 each towards this project. He promised to be one of the donors towards this project.
Mr. Haruna Farage highlighted that we should not underrate ourselves; we are and NGO. He said that we must dream big and approach the world and see the outcomes. He continued on to say that we must be seen to be serious. And, we must popularize ourselves in the news media in the Gambia. We can approach the U.S embassy to sponsor some of our projects. He gave an example of thinking about setting street taps for the community of Basse, among other things.
Mr. MB Krubally said that we have to change our culture of lack of participation. He encourages everyone to think about Friends of Basse and communicate our individual ideas via e-mail and the association’s website.
Mr. Sarjo Jallow echoed Mr. Farage’s comment on thinking big. He said that the executives should think about ten (10) or five (5) years development plan. To that Mr. Ousainou Krubally responded we have a long term development plan that can fall in that category. That is the Koba Kunda library project and the Computer Center project.
Mr. Amadou Basiru Jallow said that in order to identify the right donors, we must identify specific project(s) to embark on one at a time. He warned that we cannot go out approaching donors with generalized project plans.
Mr. Wuyeh Sanyang said that the above mentioned ideas are all very ideal and possible. He stressed that each structure of the association has to be giving its responsibilities and the means to effectively carry out those responsibilities.
With regard to the membership drive, Mr. MB Krubally said that we have been doing a great job on this front. However, he asked the meeting attendees to suggest things to do to get more people onboard; to make it easy for them to pay their dues.
Mr. Bubacarr Jallow express that he has been having difficulty paying his dues since he moved to Belgium from Germany. Some suggested having him use Western Union, while others suggested transferring his money into one of FoB accounts. Mr. MB Krubally seized the opportunity to inform everyone that FoB has bank accounts in The Gambia, Holland, and U.S.A. He suggested that anyone who wants to pay their dues can reach out to an executive member in his/her particular jurisdiction for bank account details.
Mr. Sainey Jabbi said that we have a lot of Basseans in Germany. He suggested that the members of the association in that area reach out to them. But Mr. Bubacarr Jallow responded that Mr. Ousainou Krubally, the Sports and Cultural Officer, has been reaching out to some of these members. He suggested that the Summer Jam is a great time to meet with some of the Basseans in Germany.
Mr. Bakary Jallow suggested that the association engage in a project to encourage more people. He said that a project can serve as a catalyst for more people to join. “If people can feel the momentum, they will be motivated to join.” However, when asked by Mr. MB Krubally whether he had any project in mind? He responded no. And, he suggested we can brainstorm.
Mr. Sainey Jabbi asked whether FoB has a branch office in Basse. To this question, MB Krubally responded no. Mr. Jabbi suggested that a branch office is a key and should be prioritized.
Mr. Bubacarr Jallow concurred with Mr. Jabbi. He said an office is a focal point and a good idea. He suggested that talking about a project to embark on; this should be a No. 1 priority. He went further to say that renovating the Basse Youth Center is also a good idea.
To the issue of the FoB branch office in Basse, Mr. Farage said that the association needs one. That’s should be a priority. It can serve as a recruiting point for the association on the ground.
Alh. Sellou said is about time for the association to start looking past the immediate town of Basse and try to engage the surrounding towns and villages. He said this will encourage organizations or government representative like the U.S. Embassy to support the association. And, show the people of Basse that they have an opportunity they fail to take advantage of. He said that the association has done a lot since its inception. However, he highlighted that the Basse Health Center project is the most successful. He went further to say that we should reach out the Fula community (DENTAL) and encourage their participation. And, he and other executive members in the Kombos were in the process of organizing a Basse reunion in the Kombos.
Mr. MB Krubally reminded the attendees that the association is at its prime and we should seize the moment. He warned, otherwise we will regret it. H e said it will require everyone contributing more than the basic annual membership contribution to help the association attain its goal. He encourages everyone to make it a responsibility to reach out to others and help the association reach its goals.
Next Project Proposal(s):
The next project proposal(s) was not discussed.
Open Discussion/round table:
Mr. Sainey Jabbi promise to reach out to the Basseans he knows in Finland and elsewhere.
Alh. Sellou suggested that we identify a project we can engage in.
Mr. Bakary Jallow agreed with the suggested FoB branch office in Basse. However, he cautioned that the budget for the office include payment for the individual (s) in the office.
Mr. Sarjo Jallow thanked everyone who attended the meeting. He said he was more impressed with FoB than ever.
Mr. Amadou Basiru Jallow agreed with Bakary’s suggestion. He said paying the responsible party in the office will make it more effective.
Mr. Ousman Kamara warns that the executive take extra caution with the employment for the FoB branch office in Basse; noting that executive members cannot be paid. With the issue of payment for the party who will be responsible for the office in Basse, Mr. Farage, the constitutional consultant said that the office was for officials. The office should be under the responsibility of the officials on the ground. They can open the office whenever they have the chance.
Mr. Sulayman Jallow reiterated his earlier statement that whatever the constitution said has to be followed.
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 Mr. Sulayman Jallow. The meeting lasted a little over 2 hours.