About Us/New Developments
Taking it up a notch or two
A new logo. A clothing line. Friends of Basse is gearing up
By Momodou Billo Krubally
Since its inception in 2009, Friends of Basse (FoB) has come a long way. What began as a simple reunion among childhood friends in Colonge, Germany, has now turned into a well-known, recognized and one of the most effective associations in the history of Basse and The Gambia at large.
From the start, FoB’s goal was to make a difference in the township of Basse. We began by putting in place a steering committee that was immediately replaced by our first executive in 2010. Following the establishment of an executive, we immediately began the task at hand. A list of projects was put in place and work began immediately.
Two years ago, FoB helped rehabilitate the Basse Central mosque with repairs to its structures. (The old mosque was recently brought down; a new one is being erected on the same grounds thanks largely to private sponsorship in Basse.) But the ablution center, built by FoB, remains in place. Last year, for the first time, FoB with the support of its members, launched a “Ramadan Project”. During the month of Ramadan, Iftar (dinner) was provided every Friday at the two mosques in Basse. Additionally, dinner was provided on the “Night of Power” and sugar was distributed to the satellite villages.
In the health sector, FoB continues to partner with the Basse Health Center. Sometime ago, FoB sent supplies of towels, linen, ropes, beds, mattresses and medicines. Just recently, FoB was able to donate an ultrasonic scanning machine worth over two million dalasis to the Center.
In the education sector, FoB has helped local students with scholarships and is currently in the process of building a library and a media center for the township of Basse at Koba Kunda Primary School. All of these projects are to be funded entirely through membership fees and donations from members and friends of Basse.
In the area of sports, FoB continues to be a key player. In 2010, we sponsored the Super Cup Tournament in town. Several football paraphernalia in the form of jerseys, footballs, nets, have been donated over the year. FoB continues to seek ways of reviving Basse football to its glorious past.
In 2011, FoB conducted a very successful town hall meeting in Basse. The meeting involved several of the executive committee meeting with the folks in town. It was a candid conversation about: what the organization stands for, issues affecting the town and ways of improving the community. FoB believes that to continue being a successful community organization, it has to keep engaging the people both old and young. Open channels of communication, through its website, mailing list, people-to-people dialogue, remain in place.
How We Did It
From the onset, we set the standards of respect, friendship and the understanding that what we were taking on was a difficult task only attainable if we work as a team; a collective effort. It will be fair to say that it was not an easy task but we kept on. We depended upon one another, empowered the people we wanted to help and continuously reached out to every one. The key to our success is to never stop trying and to listen to our members and with the understanding that moving forward requires personal sacrifices and the need for members to dig deep into their pockets to help finance some of the projects.
FoB Logo: FoB would like to unveil its new logo. After five years in operation, FoB is revving up its operations. The executive is hereby informing members and friends of Basse that we have a new logo, designed by the global group Fuel My Brand. The logo consists of a young plant shielded by a pair of hands. The symbolism is inescapable: we are about developing and nurturing the concept of collective endeavors for a better community. Our motto continues to be a message of collective effort for we believe that “Collectively, We Can Make a Difference” in Basse.
Pay Pal Account: In our continuous effort to listen to the membership and making things easy for them, we have now added a new form of membership payments and donation. Members can now pay their dues or donate via Paypal on our website or directly by looking up “Friends Of Basse” on Paypal. With Paypal, one can pay their dues irrespective of location.
Members can still pay their dues or donate by walking into a Bank of America in the United States and depositing funds into our account or by simply calling an executive member to help. Members in other regions, Europe and The Gambia, can also pay their dues into the respective accounts and/or contact their local representative.
Clothing Line: Members and friends of Basse can now own a t-shirt memorabilia. We have launched a t-shirt with the logo of the organization emblazoned on it. We are diversifying our revenue-generating capacities. Our t-shirts can be purchased directly by calling any of the executive members or via our website at www.mybasse.org. We will be unveiling more products on our website in the near future.
Washington, DC, Reunion: Friends of Basse will be meeting this weekend, April 4-6, 2014 in Washington, DC, to coincide with the naming ceremony for the triplets of our webmaster and content manager Pa M. L. Joof and wife Fatou Sowe-Joof. The reunion offers a rare opportuity for members and friends of Basse to congregate and get to know one another. Issues of importance about FoB and about making the organization more impactful in Basse will be discussed during the reunion. Last year, our colleagues in Europe had a successful reunion in Germany. In the near future, a reunion in Basse will be launched. It will be the ultimate of all reunions.
Five years into the making, we believe that the route to success is through innovation and continuously communicating with the membership. We are a member-driven and a bottom-up decision-making association. We value all opinions and solicit your feedback. We encourage Basseans and friends of Basse to join us in this tireless effort of community building. We believe that “Collectively We Can Make a Difference.”
Momodou Billo Krubally, an Associate Editor of this website, is the President of Friends of Basse. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA, with his wife Salimatou Jallow-Krubally and kids.