General Meeting Minutes - Sunday, May 18, 2014
Participants via Skype and local access code:
Alh. Saibo Drammeh
Secretary - Amadou Basiru Jallow
Cherno Baba Jallow
Chairman - Momodou B. Krubally
Mamadou Salieu Jallow
Date & Time: 05/18/14 @ 17:00 GMT
· Welcome and opening prayers
· Library Project
· Ramadan Project
· Open Discussion/round table
· Next Executive and General Meeting
Welcome and opening prayers:
The meeting was opened with a prayer by Alh. Saibo Drammeh.
Many views were expressed as to the way forward for the Resource Center (Library Project). Currently, we have books and computers on the ground. A building was allocated to FoB by Koba Kunda Primary School on the school grounds to renovate and use. The estimated amount to renovate the building is D150, 000. However, many have raised concern about the lack of operational details between the school and FoB. As such, some are suggesting that the association solicit a piece of land from the authorities in Basse that will be its own. Initial consultation with Mr. Omar Ceesay suggested that the Basse Youth Center is out-of-reach. Some participants suggested that the computers be sold and save the funds in the FoB account to be used for a future Library Project. Others have suggested donating them to either individual students or schools. However, the majority consensus is to move ahead with the project now even if that means renting a place in town. The issue will be further discussed at the next executive meeting.
NOTE: The idea of the Library Project was clarified. The new name suggested to replace the Library Project is “Resource Center”. The “Resource Center” will take the form of the “American Corner” in the Gambia. It will be a place where people go to read, use the internet, mingle, and do other social activities.
The 2014 Ramadan Project was also discussed. One of the main concerns raised about the project was the issue of publicity. According to some of the participants, many people in Basse did not know about the project implementation last year, and thus did not attend. This year, the leadership plans to address this issue by sponsoring radio advertisements. Some participants have warned against publicizing it a lot to avoid higher turnout than we can cater for. However, the consensus was that publicizing it was the best way to go. This will ensure that the neediest members of the community know about it and are likely to show up and benefit from it. Some people believe that if more people turnout than we can cater for, it will possibly encourage more donations from the people on the ground in the future. It was agreed that the implementation process remain the same as was done last year despite suggestion from others to distribute sugar alone. To the implementation process change, a member responded “why change a winning team”.
Another concern raised was the issue of having all the funds in the same bank account. Mr. MB Krubally responded that all funds are carefully tracked and tabulated in spreadsheet documents as they come in. Therefore, Ramadan Project funds are not confused with the membership or Library project funds. However, he was open to the suggestion of opening another account and transferring the Ramadan Project funds into it as they come in. This will be discussed at the next executive meeting.
Mr. Assan Jaiteh suggested that we bolster up our efforts in reaching out to the business community on the ground for donation. He went further to say that the business people on the ground should be encouraged to donate their Zakat money to the mosques or FoB.
Mr. MB Krubally reported that the association has so far made a profit of about $500 from the T-Shirts. Also, he said that about forty (40) t-shirts are on the way to the Gambia. It was agreed that the t-shirts be sold at the price of D50 each. The association has plans to send some t-shirts to Germany. Mr. Assan Jaiteh suggested that some be sent to the United Kingdom as well. He said that because the Summer Jam in Germany will coincide with the Ramadan, it is highly likely that many will not attend included himself. The t-shirt prices for Europe and the U.K have not been established yet.
Participants were encouraged to use PayPal to pay their membership fees or donations. They can also use other forms of payments if necessary such as deposited the funds directly in the FoB accounts or giving it to an executive member in their area.
Open Discussion/round table:
The issue of booking Jaliba Kuyateh to play in Basse was raised. There are still plans to book Jaliba Kuyateh to play in Basse. Mr. Kuyateh is scheduled to play in Michigan in September of this year. The FoB representatives’ in-charge of booking Mr. Kuyateh will finalize the details with him at that time.
A brief discussion of a possibility of securing an Emergency Room for the Basse Health Center was discussed. The details of this issue will be discussed later.
Mr. Cherno Baba Jallow suggested that we look into fulfilling the Tree Planting exercise discussed in previous meetings. This idea was echoed by Mr. Bakary Jallow.
Mr. Hassan Touray suggested that we look into ways to optimize our processes. He said that optimizing our processes will ensure that members who pay their membership fees reflect on the list as quickly as possible. Mr. Amadou B. Jallow echoed similar sentiments. He suggested that we have to recognize FoB as an association and standardize our processes. To this issue, Mr. MB Krubally said that participation is the key to attain these goals.
Also, Mr. Joof suggested that encouraging members of the association who are willing to sponsor students in Basse to come forward. He suggested that these members can be allowed to make payment in monthly installments or allow the association to deduct from them at any agreed time frame.
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. Cherno Baba Jallow. The meeting lasted about 2 hours.