Medical Supplies Presentation Report (January, 2012)
As mandated by the Executive, I hereby report to you, the general membership, on our recent undertakings (read: medical supplies presentation) in Basse. I write this report on behalf of my colleague Alh Saibo Drammeh and all those who took part in the ceremony in Basse.
May I first of all thank Alh Saibo Drammeh and his family for the relentless efforts made towards collecting the donated medical supplies all the way from the donors premises in Germany to our hometown of Basse. The efforts came with tremendous amounts of monetary, time, and physical labor costs not forgetting the use of his personal resources to make things happen. It took Mr. Drammeh over 48 Hours to drive, pick up, load and store the materials pending shipment from Germany. I will let you imagine how tough it was for him to complete the other leg of the journey from the Kombos to Basse in URR knowing the bad conditions of the roads, among other constraints. We say a BIG Thank You to Alh Saibo Drammeh and his family, and by extension, the entire Basse Association community for funding the delivery of the supplies.
His efforts in coordinating the delivery of the materials were unique and exceptional. We must express our appreciation for the efforts made on the ground by Dawda Sankareh and his AD-HOG Committee members for a well coordinated and publicized delivery. I must express a special thank you to Modou Kuto Jaiteh, Michael Secka and other Executive AD-HOG Committee members. I would, on my own behalf, cherish the good luck in partly witnessing the occasion.
This event has really demonstrated to the people of Basse and its surroundings the Basse Association's commitment towards the well-being of its people. The day’s event started much earlier with Alh Saibo Drammeh and his entourage coming from the town of Bagadagi to Basse. Around 3.00 PM on Saturday January 7th 2012, the AD-HOG Committee members mobilized the community with Kankurangs and other traditional dancers at the Koba Kunda ‘Tabo’ tree just by the primary school. The drumming and dancing went on as Mr. Drammeh's entourage was being awaited. On arrival, the drummers and Kankurangs took the lead, leading the delegation on foot into the town of Basse. Right after the Kankurangs, came Michael Secka’s SUV, then Mr. Drammeh’s delegation. The drumming and dancing attracted more people onto the health center's grounds where a high level delegation from a cross section of the community had been waiting for the arrival of the crew.
The delegation was received by the Governor of URR, Alh Omar Khan, Deputy Governor of URR, Momodou S. Jallow, the Chief of the region, Alh Hammeh Minteh Krubally, the Alkalo of Basse, Alh Cherno Nasiru Barry, Lady councilor of Basse, Aja Mariama Jaw, Women’s group led by Soma Jallow, The Regional Director of Health, Mr. Baba Jeng and many other personalities. After a while, the dancing and chanting came to a halt. One Mr. Keita, who was secretary to the AD-HOG committee, chaired the gathering and started inviting delegates to deliver their speeches after the gathering was opened by a prayer by Alh Cherno Nasiru Barry who is also an Imam at the Basse Central Mosque.
Speech after speech expressed appreciation for what the Basse Association Inc. (BA) had been doing for the community. All speakers prayed for the Association and all its members. The Governor delivered the final speech and the supplies were then delivered to the Regional Director of Health, Mr. Baba Jeng who spoke on the health center's needs and constraints and promised that the materials would be put into good use.
The AD-HOG Committee with Alh Saibo Drammeh(who is Chief Fundraising Officer) had planned on conducting a fundraiser on the next day Sunday January 8th 2012, but its plans were halted by a couple of bereavements in town. The fundraiser was going to be in the form of a Kankurang dance from Koba Kunda into Basse while seeking donations and further sensitizing the community about the Basse Associations Inc (BA).
In an effort to sensitize and inform the community about the ongoing events, GRTS - Basse patronized the Association by giving it a 30-minute air time that evening from 8:30 PM to 9:00 PM. The Association then selected a four-man panel, namely Michael H Secka, Alh Saibo Drammeh, Wuyeh Yorro Sanyang and Momodou Kuto Jaiteh to take part on its behalf. The panel discussions started with the studio operator’s introduction of the panel and why we were there and then threw the word to Alh Saibo Drammeh. In Mandinka, Mr. Drammeh did an excellent job in introducing the Association, outlining its aims and objectives in creating a difference in the Greater Basse area. Michael H Secka took over and spoke in Fula and expressed how much the efforts were appreciated and urged and called on all community members to join by registering and becoming part of the Association. Wuyeh Yorro Sanyang took over from Michael and also spoke in Fula; he thanked the former speakers and then urged the community members to see and take the Association as their own. He stressed that whatever the Association was engaged in or was seeking to do, was for the betterment of the Greater Basse area. He reiterated on Michael's appeal for people to be part and parcel of the Association. He urged people not to see the Association as a Diaspora thing, but should take the initiative in building and strengthening the Association's structures on the ground to enhance its activities. Modou Kuto took over from Wuyeh and also spoke in Mandinka. At this point, the phone lines were opened for listeners to call in questions and/or make any contributions. Modou Kuto, like the other speakers, made a wonderful deliberation to the audience and encouraged them to help better their own community. A number of phone calls came through but due to technical difficulties, they could not be connected on air. The panel discussions emerged to be very informative to the community. This is something that needs to be constantly explored by and for the folks on the ground.
On Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, a town hall meeting was organized at the Community Center by the AD-HOG Committee during which important issues affecting their operations and needs were discussed. More people enrolled and paid their membership dues and many more volunteered to join and help with the responsibilities of the AD-HOG committee. Some of the concerns centered on perceptions about the Association being a Diaspora thing, and on the lack of appropriate technology for folks to participate fully in the Association's activities such as teleconferences, website reading, etc. Some other concerns as to how to involve the surrounding villages were raised. Suggestions were made to the AD-HOG committee to try and meet more frequently in order to address these concerns and come with suggestions that could be forwarded to the current executive to see how their concerns could be addressed. Dawda Sankareh urged those needing Internet assistance to frequently come to the Red Cross headquarters to use its Internet facilities for free. The next meeting of the AD-HOG committee was scheduled so that they could further discuss affairs on the ground. The meeting closed with a prayer. Detailed minutes of the meeting can be obtained from the Secretary of the AD-HOG Committee.
On Sunday, January 15th, 2012, Filly Sabally, Yorro Sanyang and Alh Saibo Drammeh met at Mr. Drammeh’s residence to review the tapes and pictures on the medical supplies presentation to determine what to do. Mr. Hassan Touray was unable to attend due to other commitments. Yorro promised to work on the tape to see what to do with it for easy transmission to the Diaspora audience. He has been unable to get it to the Diaspora.
Please find attached some pictures taken during the visit.
Wuyeh Yorro Sanyang
For: the Executive, Basse Association, Inc.