“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.