Jarra Society Leader Preaches Unity

image-eb41d775699ef486fec1c09c64173edca6f4f8da9018b02f74aea8164a63d0c1-V_20150607013850785The Chairman of Jarra Organisation for Cooperation and Development (JOCAD) has exhorted people to support his organisation whose ultimate goal is to help those in need – both home and abroad.

“Our organisation was established by a group of people who are deeply concerned about the plight of their people,” Fanding Fofana told Kairo News.

“We don’t want to wait until we face challenges and start to act when it will be too late,” Chairman Fofana said, expressing delight to lead an organisation full of determined, able and sincere people. “Being a leader does not mean others do not have a voice. I want everyone to voice out their opinion which will help us achieve our collective interest.”

New York city is the home of JOCAD where the executive members are based. But Mr. Fofana said this does not prevent Gambians anywhere from attaining membership. “The organisation is open to all, we solicit support – in cash or kind – from everyone.,” he said, stressing the need for unity among members. “That is our strength because through unity we will remain unbeaten.”

JOCAD came into existence in May 2012 after its idea was conceived by Seijor Saidykhan, the current Social Secretary. His belief in the power to get organise and help people of Jarra pushed him to sell the idea to in New York. The lofty idea was soon endorsed. “The organisation has since recorded impressive progress,” Mr. Saidykhan said, appealing to Jarra natives to strive hard to support JOCAD. “Our collective efforts counts a lot.”

The organisation’s Executive Director is proud that JOCAD blends both traditional and modern structures.

“It is purely apolitical, and that the chairmanship is based on age and nothing else,” Manding Darboe said. “We are following the footsteps of our tradition; this is how our villages are traditionally run. Fafanding’s age qualifies him to lead us. He replaced Kawsu Kanyie who returned home. Fafanding remains our leader until he is not living or returns home.”

Mr. Darboe said his executive has worked hard to offset challenges arising from internal conflicts. “That is why we have decentralised positions and made sure politics does not divide us. We have also been fostering understanding and unity among us,” Darboe said. He wants the organisation to acquire enough funds to effectively implement its goals.

JOCAD’s Secretary General was grateful to Kairo Radio for the airtime. “Getting exposure on the radio can be counted among our biggest victories, for this has given us the opportunity to sell the organisation and its aims and goals. We are really delighted and would therefore call on Gambians, particularly Jarankas, to respond to our call,” Bakary Darboe said. “We want them to join us so that together we can address the needs of our people. It’s all about empowering ourselves.”

Also talking to Kairo Radio was the President of the Women’s wing. Isatou Darboe hailed the organisation’s efforts. “This is like a jihad,” she said, calling on people to be part of a group committed to helping the needy people.

Jarra Organisation for Development and Cooperation is organising a fundraising dinner in Bravo Market in Bronx, New York this Saturday. The proceeds will help the people back home. “We invite the public to show up for the program and see how we run our organisation,” Manding Darboe wrapped up.



  1. Lafia Touray la Manju

    This jarra association should help unite the people of jarra and LRR against Jammeh and in support of UDP. There is no bigger problem in Jarra than the menance of APRC politics. Stop shying from politics my brothers and sort this problem out. Lesson should be learnt from the fate that befalled Baba Kajally Jobe in APRC politics.

  2. Yankuba Jobe

    Great initiative! May the Almighty Allah guide and bless the organization and those initiators. Personally, I see this organization as an eye opener for all the Jarrankas in Diaspora.

  3. Alimatou Sarr

    We are so consumed in politics that we tend to ignore the plight of our people. Lafia respect the people who are united in their belief to empower their economically challenged people. By the way 501 (C) organisations are legally apolitical.

  4. Kajali Kanyie

    What a great organisation! I admire a people committed to helpin

  5. All communities need to toe along this Jarra line. Am deeply impressed. Keep it up good people of Jarra.

  6. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Alimatou, I have no disregard for these people. I only gave an opinion given what I know about Jarra. They can decide whether to accept my opinion as an advise or reject it as not of their concern. That is a matter for them. I just hope they do exactly what I have said above or something close to it.


  7. I think the message of uniting should apply to all regions and not only Jarra,

    Lafia raised an important idea that can be used as a tool that the diaspora has failed to employ so far. It is my belief that we tend to shy from involving in politics at the detriment of Gambia. Something simple as telling our families not to welcome , stand on the side of the road or attend APRC functions will send a message.

    It is high time we stand of something and use every tool we have to fight this PIG masquerading as a president.

    The Diaspora has not began to tap the arsenal of weapons it can use against this Pig.

    Don’t you think if we unite and give Gambians an alternative to APRC they will listen, how can we expect someone not to toe the APRC line if we do not benefit them in any form.

    I don’t know the agenda of the Jarra association but lets say for argument sake if they choose to send tractors, hospital equipment, taxis and other materials that will enable Jarrankas to be self sufficient they would be more open to standing against APRC.

    What we have failed to do is give Gambians an alternative and we expect them to stand and fight while they have no legs. The PIG controls everything.

    It is hard to be a FORROO on an empty stomach. Poverty is a tool that dictators use to remain in power.

    Cutting the crap and uniting will be the first step, lets stop fighting the old wars that our parents fought pre-independence and choose and elect to be one nation, one people instead of grouping into useless factions that could not dislodge an uneducated pig.

  8. Alimatou Sarr

    Once an organisation secures 501 (3) it illegal to engage in politics because taxpayer dollars cannot go into partisan politics. I hope am clear this time around politics-obsessed Lafia La Manju.

  9. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Politics obsessed lafia, hahaha! That one is spot on but do you what motivates me?? Love for Gambia and her people.

    I don’t know what 50 (3) means. So no; you are not yet clear to me. Maybe we are speaking from a different angles.


  10. Paul , I think you hit the nail on the head . Gambian people are not united to fight a cause which is common interest of Gambia . The lack of unity or division pre- date to the criminal regime we currently have . It started during the JAWARA’s regime when sectionalism And regionalism were at the early stages. This is why we still have so many different groups , each focusing on their localities , region , village or town . It is not a bad idea for communities to form group to support their people but what is lacking in all the groupings is the strong sense of nationalism . Our main difference between Gambia and Senegal is strong sense of nationalism . The root cause of lack of nationalism was derived from failure of the first regime to inculcate in educational system or national psychic the idea of nationalism. This has huge ramifications on national politics as we speak. Because we failed to look beyond our individual localities , communities , village , tribe or family in order to focus on national identity , issues or problems . This lack of nationalism is another factor that dictator Jammeh is able to exploit to abuse and entrenched himself in power . Individualism or lack of nationalism breeds all form of evil government abuses in terms of systemic violations of rights , freedom, and safety of citizens. This is why Jammeh continue to arrest individuals and detained them indefinitely without any collective action from population. The mindset that If my family is not affected , I don’t care what my neighbor is going through is our main problem . At the end we are all victim. This does apply to every one including Jammeh’s biggest supporters as we have seem for past two decades.

  11. Alimatou, if I were you I wouldn’t be bothered whatever comment they posted on this article, it is unfortunate that, the Gambians are desperately confused, not able to differentiate between our common objectives as Gambians and the Regional responsibility. Every Region in the Gambia should set-up a strong organization with sufficient budget to respond any natural disaster caused by the nature. I am proud of your Jarra Kaffo, and wish this Jarra Kaffo a successful future.

  12. Yankuba Jobe , I think it is nice to have open discussion on any topic. I think it was great suggestion for jarrankas or any region to mobilize themselves and unite to fight dictatorship. Number one reason this association was formed is to help economically challenged individual as indicated by sister sarr . Who created the worst economic situation for jarrankas or any Gambian for that matter ? The answer is , the dictatorial and autocratic regime in The Gambia . I am younger than you but I was told that some 30 years ago most rural people have sufficient food to feed their families all year around which is now impossible . So our government carry most of the blame for current economic hardship because they don’t put in place right agricultural policies that would help sustainable agricultural productivity in order to feed the population. This result to increase poverty , unemployment of youths , backway menace , poor health and other negative consequences . So the main problem is the government and I think mr touray is very right to encourage jarrankas to embark on supporting opposition to get rid of current problem . Our every day life is impacted by decision made by politicians , so it is ignorance to suggest that we shouldn’t discuss politics . Politics is integral part of our lives. No matter how much money or help you provide to Jarrankas or any regions , if we continue to have the same dictator managing our lives in The Gambia , things will get worst . As situation get worst , this jarankas association will help more people who desperately need help because of bad economic policies and criminal activities of this regime . So jarra association should shift their priority or strategize ways to contribute to removal of current government . That should be the top priority and any other alternative is like borrowing from Paul to pay john .
    Let’s us engage in politics because it is part and parcel of our lives .

  13. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Yakuba Jobe, don’t be offended. This Jarra association can kill two birds with one stone. I intended no offence. Only giving an opinion. I hope it is appreciated and acted upon.

  14. Amadou Manneh

    I am the legitimate president of this ka fo because I am the oldest jaranka.

  15. Maxs?? Welcome back! I was neither advising nor was I instructing sister Alimatou not to engage with you or anyone, but the simplest English language that I have used was, [not to be bothered] about any comment being posted, regarding that particular topics. Do I make myself clear? You were told that 30 year ago most Rural Area have sufficient food to feed their families all around. False! If he/she told you those 40 years ago, I wouldn’t have disagreed much about it, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the efforts of the previous Regime, frankly speaking, it has to do with the raining seasons. I was born in the Rural Area of the Gambia and grew up there as well, and worked on the rice field with my parents.
    The reason why I said, it’s vital to have strong Regional organizations, is simply because, it might be very helpful for their community back home, or even facilitate United movement which will represent the whole country, when their executives meet and discourse way out of this national problem. The charity always begins at home. In the Gambia, we have three leadership positions in every single village.
    {1} the head of the compound
    {2} the head of the [Kaabillo]
    {3} the head of the village, known as [Alikalo]
    What is wrong about having 5 different Regional organizations [Kafos] in one country?
    Lafiya la manju?
    I am not sure, if I fully understand your comment; killing two Birds with one stone. My English level is very low, but I think, it means doing two different things successfully at the same time. Be your own Judge! And you are not offending me at all, I love to engage with the Gambia youth in all forms of discussion. Have a great day!

  16. Kalilu Kinteh

    Get out of the ring Niuminka man.

  17. Amadou let’s not fight over the leadership issue. Remember this was one of the issues that led to the collapse of 2006 coalition lol

    Maxs I cannot agree with you more.

    I buy goods and send containers every two months. I buy my goods in dollars, I lost a lot of money because of this foreign exchange stunt .

    We need to wake up and realize that Jammeh is ruining Gambia, those who don’t feel the pain today will undoubtedly feel it tomorrow

    We should not leave any strategy off the table

  18. Totally true that unity is our best weapon even if we differ in individul opinions.

  19. Thank you very much mr Yankuba Jobe for welcoming me again. I disagreed with you that lack of food sufficiency in rural areas for past 40 years ” has to do with poor raining season ” but nothing to do with previous regime. If you truly understand the roles of government in enhancing the living standard of citizens then you will agree with me that present and previous government all failed in their efforts to ensure that the population is able to feed itself . The situation got worst in this current dictatorial regime. Blaming food insufficiency in the country particularly in the poor rural communities on the raining season is like dictator Jammeh blaming current deteriorating economy on Ebola , poor raining season as well as western powers, forgetting that government has huge responsibility to ensure that there is high agricultural productivity. A responsible government will put in place mechanisms that will help farmers to engage in commercial agriculture or mechanization. In our case we still have outdated and prehistoric way of agriculture which result to poor productivity. If this idiotic dictator can buy a home in Maryland in USA for $3.5 millions, at the expense of Gambian people and then you still Blame raining season for poor rural jarrankas not able to feed themselves , then I think something is fundamentally wrong with our government. The Blame is squarely on the government. Imagine dictator Jammeh daughter Mariam jammeh attending a boarding school in beautiful Manhattan in New York City for annual cost of $80,000 when a poor farmer in jarra cannot afford a bag of rice , yet still you blame the raining season , I think something is fundamentally wrong . Only $3.5 millions could make huge difference to help the whole jarra to feed themselves if right approaches are taken. The problem we have is the corrupt leadership and brainless selfish narrow minded leaders. Let’s us stop blaming nature for our failures. Gambian government should blame its failure to improve the lives of citizens . Personal responsibility is what is lacking in our leadership and perhaps general population . This is why some Gambians will blame God , devil and evil spirit for their failure . Let’s us use our brain to think to improve our lives . It is laughable to see you blaming raining season for our failure to feed ourselves .
    Also there are thousands of organizations in the whole country , from every village to big city , what progress does those organizations made to help eradicate dictatorship even if some of these groups recognize the roles the dictator is playing in worsing their living standard . In fact Jammeh recognize the danger or benefit of these organizations very well and this is why he ensure that they are not powerful or their members are not powerful at all. Yankuba Jobe , your late brother was chief political strategist who was very powerful and helped to form elites association of mandinkas just to undermine the oppositions . Jammeh let him succeeded in helping the prominent members joined APRC then later on eliminated your brother. “Please don’t take my analysis personal this time”.
    Therefore , I think as mr Lafia touray implied , this jarra association should also embark on similar course to ensure that Jarra is opposition strong hold to help remove the dictatorship .

  20. Clarification:

    Maxs?? What I meant below was, from 1965 to 1974 there was enough food in the Rural Areas, simply because, they have sufficient raining season, it was not the previous Government who provided them food, it all came from their hard working. Few years later, the drought hit the sub-Africa- from there, people started depending on Government handouts, and from there, the main trouble started in the Gambia, which eventually caused the 1980 coup- Those years down the line, many Gambian youths were not quite happy with the PPP Regime, I did not mean that, it was not the responsibility of the Government to take care of day to day of their people, hopefully you may understand now. Maxs??, Do not think that, Yankuba Jobe has enough time to debate or engage unnecessarily discussion with you, you got me all wrong! I am someone, who would like to help the Gambian youths, and doing so, I am committed to engage with them in any form of discussions, but if you are not reading properly or not willing to understand the simple facts, then be your own Judge and the sky is your limit as I have told you previously, but if you want to learn something you don’t know, you need to take your time and evaluate before promptly entered in debates or discussions, this is just an advice to you, take it or leave it. You are on your own master…

    [If he/she told you those 40 years ago, I wouldn’t have disagreed much about it, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the efforts of the previous Regime, frankly speaking, it has to do with the raining seasons.]

  21. Thank you Maxs for your thoughtful analysis and also your focus on the great good because freeing Gambia from total collapse should be our ultimate endeavor anything else is foolishness and waste of time. I agree with you that a good government policy on agriculture in the 1980 has a lot to do with the high food production in the country. During that time, the PPP Government implemented the structural adjustment program which was painful in the beginning but improve the over all economy by lowing prices, encouraged foreign Domestic investments (FDI), created more jobs, increase agricultural production and created indigenous businesses. The current regime has no policy on agriculture or the overall economy per se. They are only interested in making up stories and blaming others for their predicament instead of having better policies to guide their actions.

  22. The majority of the Gambians realized that Yaya Jammeh’s 20 years of rule is total failure, no doubt about that, and I am with those who want to get rid of him by force, but the issue here is about why the Jarra Organization is important for their community and the rest of the Gambians in Diaspora, but the well known Maxs requested more attention outside the main topics, and I am voluntarily willing to listen and reply to his pledge, if the discussion may benefit the others, otherwise, is going to be like a chicken without head.. In Dutch saying [kip zoder kop]! Meaning, walk blindly or saying something that makes no sense. Be peaceful young men, life is short.