FAWEGAM 8th General Assembly

The Forum for African Women Educationalists The Gambia (FAWEGAM) Chapter held its 8th General Assembly (GA) meeting at the TANGO Conference Hall, Fajara M. Section on Wednesday, the 21st of January, 2015. The GA meeting, according to the Chapter’s constitution, is a prerequisite of electing a new Board of Directors, which is done every three years. The meeting serves as a platform, which gives the members of FAWEGAM an opportunity to review the activities of the Secretariat. It also serves as a platform where members of the Chapter renew their commitments and elect leaders. Additionally, it serves as a platform where the Board, Secretariat and members in general choose a new sense of direction. Hence, it creates an avenue where the members hold the Board of Directors together with the Secretariat accountable. This year’s GA meeting was attended by members of the Chapter from the different regions of the country.

Venue: TANGO Conference Hall, Fajara M. Section.

Objective

The overall objective of the 8th GA meeting was to review the activities the secretariat embarked on during the past three years and their outcomes, provide a forum to discuss FAWEGAM’s sustainability including its need for funding opportunities, review its governance structure to grow within the current economic environment, discuss member participation, the election of the Board of Directors and choosing a new sense of direction for the Chapter.

New Board elected at the General Assembly:

  • Haddy Sosseh Saidy, Principal of Sukuta Junior Secondary School; Public Relations Officer.
  • Isatou A. Jallow Bojang, Head Mistress of Bundung Lower Basic School; Treasurer.
  • Binta Jammeh Sidibe, Executive Director Women’s Bureau; Vice-Chairperson.
  • Beatrice A. Mboge, Director Cooperate Services, The Gambia Chamber of Commerce; Chairperson.
  • Neneh Cham, President Female Lawyers Association Gambia (FLAG); Legal Advisor.

New Chairperson’s Remarks – Mrs. Beatrice A. Mboge

The newly elected chairperson began by thanking and praising the attendees for their contributions in the making of history. According to Beatrice, “FAWEGAM have made history because it was able to have a very professional meeting this time around. This GA meeting is the best.” She then reminded her audience who were raptly listening to her that time is money and the year 2015 is the right time for FAWEGAM members to renew their commitment. She urged members to take ownership of FAWEGAM before turning to address the secretariat.

In addressing the Secretariat, Beatrice commended the coordinator and her team for their relentless efforts in making sure that the Secretariat serves its purpose and highlighted how she wants them to do a little more to transform the FAWEGAM Chapter into an epitome. According to her, it is innate in people for them to want to see the outcome of the efforts they put into something. “When FAWE members pay their dues, they would want to know where it is going,” says the new chairperson. Since they pay their dues to the Secretariat, the onus is on the coordinator and her team to make sure that they keep the members abreast of its activities.

Moreover, she urged the Secretariat to speed up the process of updating FAWEGAM’s website and open a Facebook page to reach out to its tech savvy members. She promised that the new board will work in tandem with the Secretariat, which will endeavour and come up with an electronic bulletin to ease the dissemination of information, sensitize its members, create alliances, and give regular updates to its members. She again reiterated her desire to make FAWEGAM the best. “We want to raise the bar high and this is our promise to you,” says the new chairperson.

Finally, she once again commended the wonderful job the coordinator and her team are doing and urged them to keep it up. She was however quick to extend the commendation to all members of FAWEGAM. According to her, the Secretariat got the positive image because of the good job the FAWEGAM members are doing. She reminded all that the coordinator of FAWEGAM was invited by the presidency to accompany the President of the country on a state visit abroad because it recognizes the work of FAWEGAM. She said being recognized by the presidency is something that should keep FAWEGAM on its toes. She ended her remarks with, “We are turning a new leaf today. We will take FAWEGAM high.” and then opened the floor for a short discussion before the closure of the 8th GA.

Discussion and closure of the 8th GA

During the short discussion leading to the closure of the 8th GA, the attendees proposed that the membership dues be increased to D600 per annum – D50 a month per person. The attendees voted and the majority agreed on the D50 a month. Thirty-nine (39) people voted yes. That marked the end of the 8th GA of FAWEGAM.

Achievements

The achievements of the 8th GA were as follows;

  1. The most professional GA meeting in the history of FAWEGAM was held.
  2. A new Board of Directors was elected.
  3. New means of generating income were devised.
  4. New means of reaching out to the members of FAWEGAM were devised.
  5. A school pledged to open its doors for any girl whose aggregate falls within the range of 6 – 18.
  6. The amount of membership dues was increased from D100 to D600 per annum.

Conclusion/Recommendation

The 8th GA meeting of FAWEGAM was held at the TANGO Conference Hall, Fajara M. Section on Wednesday, the 21st of January, 2015. This GA meeting drew attendees from all regions of the country who discussed issues ranging from reviewing the Chapter’s constitution to erecting a structure at the FAWEGAM Chapter’s site. It witnessed the election of a new Board of Directors, which is tasked with steering the affairs of the Chapter for the next three years. The 8th GA also witnessed the pledging of the Principal of Muslim Senior Secondary School to open its doors for any girl whose aggregate falls within the range of 6 – 18. It also witnessed the increment of the amount of membership dues paid annually and many more.

The new Board, together with the attendees agreed upon a series of means which they will apply to ease the work of the Secretariat, which will make it more effective and consequently lead to the uplifting of the status of the Chapter – a new sense of direction was chosen. Moreover, a recommendation to extend the membership of the Chapter to include men who will be working with women in the pursuance of the Chapter’s objectives was made by Dr. Buruma Jammeh of MoBSE. It was also recommended that the dues of the teachers be deducted directly from source. For this to happen, it was pointed out that the teachers will have to write to MoBSE to authorize such.