Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Spectacular Tegloma Convention

Tegloma Missouri President
Gerald Brewah
The 2013 Tegloma Mini-Convention held this year in Saint Louis, Missouri will be a tough one to beat. Tegloma Missouri Chapter is the penultimate member of the Tegloma Federation, having being inaugurated as a chapter barely three years ago. So when they volunteered to host the Tegloma International Mini-Convention; congregate, lodge and feed members of Tegloma world wide, consisting of 24 chapters in USA, UK, Canada, Gambia and Sierra Leone, many members of the Tegloma federation were skeptical about their ability to successfully conduct the event, but they did it and in doing so they exceeded all expectations by far.

Tegloma Missouri Chapter under the leadership of Chapter Chief Gerald Brewah from Sierra Leone and Chapter Board Chairman Rev. Dr. John Loum from the Gambia with immense assistance from the members of their chapter manifested to the whole world that organizational membership is not about quantity, but essentially about quality.
Key Note Speaker Professor
Martin Niboh

From the moment we entered Missouri driving for 9 hours straight over the 561 miles from Minneapolis to Saint Louis with 4 members of our 15 member Minnesota delegation, we received the best hospitality that I have ever experienced in a Tegloma event, bar none. There was a party to welcome us both at the welcome center and at the hotel.

At the hotel was waiting some of the freshest and best Sierra Leone "Tolla" I have tasted for a very long time.
Reading Declaration of Tegloma Day sent
by Saint Louis, Missouri Mayor

We arrived in Saint Louis at 3.30pm and as we had a board meeting on the same day at 5.00pm,  I rushed to the Board Chairman Abu Bhonapha and his wife Angela and we proceeded to complete our arrangements and get our meeting supplies, as I am the Board Secretary General of the Tegloma International Federation. We rushed straight to the meeting hall at Timothy Lutheran Church Saint Louis that was already decorated and ready for the board meeting. There was already enough Sierra Leonean food in the hall to feed a battalion of hungry refugees.
Federation Secretary General
Jeneba Bangura

The Board meeting may have started on Sierra Leone time, due to the late arrival of some delegates whose flights were not on schedule, but once it got underway the meeting was very constructive. The theme was how to make the organization more cost effective, how to expand the fundraising base, and how to more effectively conduct and communicate the philanthropic activities of the organization in Sierra Leone and the Diaspora. Rev. John Loum, the Head of the fundraising committee discussed the ways in which his committee was utilizing the talents of fundraising experts to increase the financial base of Tegloma. Sheila, a member of the fundraising committee with extensive experience in nonprofit fundraising addressed the meeting on streamlining fundraising activities.

The Board Secretary General Sheku M.M.A.U.Y. Sheriff as Chairman of the Constitution Committee discussed ways in which the constitution was being reviewed to make Tegloma more inclusive and diverse and also reflect the fact that it was now a registered tax exempt nonprofit and therefore had to bring its operations in line with the laws governing nonprofit operations in the United States. Sheku also briefed the delegates on the ideas of the Land Committee led by Cillaty Daboh which was charged with brainstorming ideas on how to effectively utilize the 5 acres of Tegloma real estate in Bo Sierra Leone. Many other items were discussed in the board meeting.
Federation  Board Chairman
Abu Bhonopha
Administration Executive

Saturday was the main convention conducted by Tegloma Administration Chairman Alfred Jamiru and Secretary General Jeneba Bangura. The Key Note Speaker was Professor Martin Niboh from Cameroon who is the founder, President and volunteer of the Torchbearer Foundation for Missions, Reconciliation and development, ( http://www.thetorchbearer.org ) a faith based nonprofit that aims to use Christian philanthropic principles to achieve social and economic transformation in Africa. The Theme of the Key note address was "Cultural Awareness in a Diverse Community." Professor Niboh encouraged Tegloma members to encourage diversity and to focus on effecting positive and lasting change within African communities. He stressed that though some people may have negative opinions about Tegloma, but it was the good works of the organization that would ultimately bring people around. He enocouraged unity among Tegloma members stating that crocodiles never attacks people travelling in groups. He ended his keynote address with the following wise statement, "if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. There were many other discussions during the day long meeting which I won't delve into.
Cross Section of Delegates

The meeting ended with the declaration of candidates for federation elections to be held on Labor Day weekend in Minneapolis Minnesota. Andrew Banya of Tegloma Chicago and Patrick Gbaya of Tegloma Dallas will contest for the position of Assistant Secretary General. The big battle for Federation Chairman will be a tense affair between Mustapha Sheriff, former President of the Chicago Chapter and Mrs. Julia Hawa Conteh, outgoing President of Tegloma New York New Jersey. Amos Allie of Tegloma Indiana was the lone candidate for Federation Secretary General, Theresa Kebbie of Tegloma Minnesota for Asst Financial Secretary, Deborah Bockarie of Tegloma Northern Carolina for Treasurer.
Minnesota Delegates

The day ended with a $30.00 per ticket ball that was well attended  and full of Sierra Leone and Liberian cultural displays.
Mrs Deborah Bockarie Incoming Treasurer
Mariama Bhonapha Incoming Soc Secretary

More Culture
Money Team Dauda and Myambe
Incoming Vice Chair Eddie Williams
Federation Chair Candidate
Mustapha Sheriff
Federation Chair Candidate Julia Hawa Conteh
Incoming Sec Gen Amos Allie
Incoming Asst. Fin. Sec Theresa Kebbie
Asst Sec Gen Candidate Andrew Banya
Tegloma New York/New Jersey
Asst Sec Gen Candidate Patrick Gbaya
Sheku Sheriff 9 Hour Drive
Cultural Display

2 comments:

Moses Baryoh, Indiana said...

Great job Sheku. Perhabs from now on we need to make it a personal crusade to tell our story rather than leaving it to others to tell it for us

Sheku Sheriff said...

Definitely Chief Baryoh. It is time we write our own songs. Let us tell the world what we are doing