Minutes of the August 16th, 2009 Conference Call.
Date: August 16, 2009
Time: 3-5:45 pm (Eastern time USA)
Chairman: MB Krubally
Secretary: Cherno B. Jallow
Cherno B. Jallow
Mamadou Sellou Jallow
MB opened the meeting with a formal introduction of Wuyeh Sanyang to the association. Wuyeh spoke of his delight about the steps that the organization was taking. He said he was impressed with the website and the ideas and comments therein. He revealed that he hadn't had the time to read through all the comments but he was impressed with the richness of the dialogue. He expressed gratitude to Pa Joof on the website, MB on his initiatives. He, however, lamented that there were some Basserians who do not have access to the internet in order to familiarize themselves with the website. He wondered if other avenues of communication outreach could be looked into so many more Basserians all over the world could be brought into the fold. Wuyeh asked for more brainstorming especially on ways of reaching to more Basse folks who haven't had any knowledge about the existence of the BA. MB suggested having a membership page on the website for reasons of accessibility and quantification. We would know who is who and who are active in the society, he said.
Wuyeh was asked by Cherno B. Jallow to give an overview of the current status of another Basse organization (The Basse Welfare Association) newly rebuilt in the Kombos. He reminded the audience that this organization in the Kombos was spearheaded by a well-known Basserian in Talingding, Mawdo Sowe, before his untimely demise recently. He spoke highly of Mawdo and of his contributions to Basse causes. He reported preliminary efforts by the BWA to reach out to some Basse elders in the Kombos. A sub-committee was able to meet with former vice-president Alhaji Assan Musa Camara, Alhaji Hamidou Jallow, Alhaji Ousainou Jallow. Both Alhaji MC Cham and Alhaji Omar Sey weren't available.
Pa Joof asked Wuyeh if the Basse Welfare Association was the same as the Basse Youth Association, newly formed in Basse. Wuyeh said it could be a different name, another organization. He stressed that the BWA was formed in the Kombos. Basserians in the Kombos have been establishing organizations in the Kombos since 1967, he reported. Pa promised to get in touch with both organizations to have some familiarity with their programs.
Ous Krubally asked about the ramifications of the Basse Association (Global) affiliating with the home-grown ones. The possibility of collaborations in the future was discussed. Sellou said he was skeptical. He was concerned about politics. He stressed that the Basse Association should first work its way of its initial phase. "Let's think about how to get our organization off the ground first," he suggested. Bakary also was skeptical, citing the concerns of political interference, adding, however, that we could still work with them although with certain limitations. Cherno said it was too premature to talk about affiliating with the home groups since the BA was still functionally inadequate. But Pa thought it was still good to talk about the prospects of affiliations so the BA would be in the position to answer questions from the public about matters of partnership should it become necessary.
Cherno gave a recap on the steering committee. He declined to be part of this committee, citing potential conflicts of interest. He said he didn't want his connections with the Gambian press to have any negative impact on the BA. He recued himself from the steering committee and nominated MB in his place. It was a unanimous decision to have MB come on board. He accepted the responsibility and vowed to work hard with the rest of the committee to help move the agenda of the BA until such a time that an executive was officially nominated and elected into office.
Sellou reported to the meeting that both Dawda Sankareh in Basse and Mamadou Salieu Jallow in England had agreed to represent the BA in their respective areas. MB suggested Wuyeh Sanyang be a part of the steering committee. It was unanimously agreed. MB was to contact Wuyeh to seek his formal acceptance or on the contrary.
As per the meeting, the following made up the Steering Committee: MB Krubally, Pa Joof, Bakary Jallow, Wuyeh Sanyang (prospectively) (all in the US); Ousainou Krubally (Germany), Mamadou Sellou Jallow (Holland), Mamadou Salieu Jallow (England); Dawda Sankareh (Basse) and Filly Sabally (the Greater Banjul Area). It was agreed with minimal dissent to have a press release sent out with a view towards reaching a broader Basse audience and tapping any benefits that might come out of such publicity. Pa Joof was tasked to write this press release and circulate it to the members for review and approval.
Both Ous Krubally and Sellou reported that some Basse folks in England were having difficulty paying their dues because of the high transfer fees from England to the US or to the Euro Zone. MB initially suggested having the UK folks wire money to Sellou for a deposit into the Association's account in Holland, but later amended it to having the UK folks wire their monies to Mamadou Salieu's account on behalf of the Association. It was unanimously accepted.
Cherno thought there should be a monthly membership fee of $10.00 or a one time-payment of $120 depending on the member's financial situation. Sellou lamented that it might be time-consuming and inconvenient for some Basserians in Europe to keep up with the monthly payment; they could run into arrears, he warned. But Bakary thought that a $10 monthly fee would sound better to some Basserian students. Paying $120 in one full swoop might be too hard for them, he said. Pa suggested maintaining the $40 fee for this year until next year when the bye-laws would have been ratified and would have stipulated a monthly fee therein. His suggestion was unanimously accepted.
Pa reported that Filly Sabally, the BA's point man in the Kombos, had opened an account for the BA with the Access Bank.
Pa said he was still working on the bye-laws. Time constraints were keeping him from completing the draft. He handed over all the obligations pertaining to the bye-laws drafting to MB, who will work with Haruna Farage, Cherno and others to finish up the draft and submit it to the general membership.
Both Bakary and Pa suggested having clauses in the bye-laws stipulating consequences for embezzlement and non-payment of dues.
Pa revealed that he had only paid $10 as domain fees for the website. But he warned about additional costs if the website was to carry more features, say, pictures. He and Cherno were to get together and work on the website to fine-tune it for the membership and the general audience. Cherno suggested opening the website to more informational purposes about Basserians and their town, and to update the site as regularly as possible. He thought if the site was carrying some regular, interesting material, it would attract greater attention to both the site and the Association as a whole. Ousainou agreed but wanted a slow, incremental progress. As the site looks now, it is ok, he said.
MB appealed for more efforts to reach out to folks. Call them twice or more if you have to, he suggested. He said what mattered was commitment even if it was just a few members. He asked for more dedication and support from the membership.