Kombo Sillah Association welcomes new Board of Trustees
New Trustees of Kombo Sillah Association elected unopposed at the Friday 3rd August AGM
Kombo Sillah Association UK on Friday, elected new trustees to serve on the board at an Annual General Members meeting held in Bristol. Ismaila Bill Sanyang was elected unopposed as Chairman of Kombo Sillah Association where he succeed Buba Kasong Barrow who led the UK based registered Charity for the past eighteen months. Mr Sanyang will lead a team of newly elected Trustees for the next 12 months to steer the affairs of the Association. The team includes Mr Buba Cox Touray as Finance Director, Mrs Kaddy Jabang as Funding Director, Mr Lamin Jammeh as General Secretary, Ousman Indiana Touray as Public Relations Officer. They will be assisted by Ismaila K Touray as deputy Finance Director, Mrs Aminata Barrow as Funding Assistant, Mr Lamin M Manjang as assistant Secretary, and Mr Ousman Barrow as assistant Public Relations Officer. The election of the trustees was preceded by remarks, activity and financial reports by outgoing Chairman, General Secretary and Director of Finance respectively. On his opening remarks, Chairman Buba Barrow thanked KSA membership for the support given to him and his team during the period under review. He assured the gathering that he was privileged to have served the organisation and thanked his fellow trustees for a great job. He underscored the challenges they face but “through the support of the entire membership, we leave the readership with the organisation in a much better state.” he indicated. “The road has been bumpy at times, but our resolve meant we see things through as a leaders” Mr Barrow called on more people to embrace the Kombo Sillah Association as it is open to everyone from the age of 18, regardless or race, colour, gender or nationality. On the gains and activities of Kombo Sillah Association in the past 36 months, Secretary General Lamin Touray gave an overview of the projects that the association initiated and supported. SG Touray informed the meeting that as part of the objects of the charity, KSA has held conference on FGM and children's safeguarding to provide awareness on this very important aspect to our members and the wider community. Mr Touray indicated a women's drop in session in Bristol facilitated by Tuti Touray Janneh in a learner-based led program of training for girls and women was also set up and has benefited some of our members. “Kombo Sillah Association was the only Gambian Association in the UK to have been chosen by the Commonwealth Human Rights Iniative (CHRI) London office to discuss the Gambia's readmission to the Commonwealth. The meeting which was held in Birmingham, discussed a wide range of rights issues under former president Yaya Jammeh and what obtains now under president Adama Barrow. Three commissioners then travelled to the Gambia in October for a week's working visit to assess the country’s readmission bid into the commonwealth.” The association has also strengthened relations with the Marlborough Brandt Group (MBG) and are working on areas of collaboration for mutual benefit of the two organisation, and by extension The Gambia, Mr Touray disclosed. He further informed the meeting that a working group has been set up comprising of KSA representatives, Dr Nick Maurice of MBG, Gunjur Development Association (GDA) to work on identify barriers to formulate policies that will facilitate the export of Gambian mangoes into the UK market through the Fair Trade initiative. Momar Mass Taal of Tropingo Foods has shown interest and readiness to invest in a mango processing plant in Gunjur for export into the UK and other European markets. Continuing on the projects, SG informed the members of the successful fundraising activities including the 2016 UK Tour of Kora maestro Jaliba Kutayeh, 1st Edition of the Cultural Weekend where much needed funds were raised to support the charitable objects of the association, both in the UK and in The Gambia. He disclosed that the Maternity Ward of Gunjur health centre as transformed from a donation made my KSA in the sum of D100,000. Likewise, KSA has contributed and supported members that faced difficulties here in the UK and has also supported and contributed in repatriation efforts of deceased Gambians for a decent and dignified funeral. The Secretary General concluded by thanking the general membership and urge them to come on board to be part of the journey and also assured members that KSA now stands better than it was a few years ago. On his part, Finance Director Bakary Touray gave a summary of the financial activities of the association for period 31st July 2018 from 18th February 2017. Mr Touray disclosed and assured the members that the annual membership subscription payment has been the main source of income for the period under review and all funds generated through this are ring-fenced for the intended benefit of members. He disclosed that income from annual membership fees alone stood at £9575 as at July 2018. His words: “In light of the need to fulfil our objectives and our resolve to put KSA on a strong financial position, the charity organised a very successful Cultural Weekend fundraising in 2017 as well as inviting Jaliba Kuyateh and Kumareh Band to the UK in 2016 for series of concerts.” Mr Touray informed the meeting that KSA has also supported our partners in their development activities by contributing financially to their good causes thereby making a difference in society in line with the association’s objectives and values. In the same vein, the association has helped coordinate successful fundraising campaigns for families who have lost loved ones, and in repatriating the body for burial. Mr Touray concluded by thanking the membership of their unwavering support without which all of these achievements would not have been possible. He assured the membership that KSA now stands on stronger financial footing than it ever were and that there are robust systems in place to further strengthen the institutional and financial capacity of the association. There are 200 registered members of the association and that number is set to grow and urge the members to rally behind the incoming trustees to move the association to the next level. The AGM was followed by a night of cultural activities.