Table of contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction———————————————————————————-page 2-3
2.1: Scholarship team—————————————————————————————-Page 3
Chapter 2.2 Recruitment process and conditions————————————————– Page 3-4
Chapter 2.3: Medical Students: ————————————————————————-Page 4
Chapter 2.4: Other Professional students————————————————————-Page 4-5
Chapter 2.5: Summary ————————————————————————————-Page 5-6
Chapter 3.0: The Sponsorship program: ————————————————————– Page 6-7
Chapter 4.0: International Scholarship opportunity ———————————————– Page 7
Chapter 5.0 Conclusion————————————————————————————- Page 7-8
Affirmation statement and names and signatures of members who prepared this report page—8
Chapter 1: Introduction:
This document is the comprehensive report of the Education Committee of the Federation of Liberian Mandingo Associations in the United States of America (FELMAUSA). The report contains the following segments: Table of content, Introduction, Scholarship Team, Recruitment Process and Conditions, Information about students in Medical and other professional areas of studies. The report also contains FELMAUSA’s new initiative in sponsoring students to pursue Master’s to PhD programs in Petroleum Engineering and Geo-Science at the African University of Science and Technology(AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria.
Following our appointment by the leadership of Hon. President Sekou M. Kenneh in December of 2015, and our subsequent confirmation by the Board of Directors in January 2016, our Committee established an ambitious educational agenda known as Vision 2026. Vision 2026 also referred to by us as Community Empowerment Through Strategic Learning is the crux of FELMAUSA Education Program.
To achieve our goal of keeping this agenda for now and for the years ahead, our Committee began a very robust, aggressive, and unprecedented fund-raising activity never before seen in the history of our organization. We are happy to report that our fund raising campaign continues to see stronger successes. This Committee has raised more funding than any other Committee in FELMAUSA’s 10-year history. As of this reporting period, the Education Committee is happy to report that we have raised over $20,000(twenty thousand U.S. dollars). For details and disclosure on the exact amount collected, please contact the Executive Leadership through the Treasurer and Financial Secretary’s offices.
In 2014, the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone were tragically struck by the deadly Ebola Virus. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s report of 2016, a little over 11,000 citizens from the three countries lost their lives as a result of this epidemic. It took nearly two years for the three countries and their counterparts around the world to bring the situation under control.
On January 15, 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its annual report on the Ebola Virus. WHO reported that the following reasons were responsible for the rapid spread of the disease:
The Education Committee’s policy documented created in 02/06/16 was greatly influenced by the World Health Organization’s assessment of the condition of the healthcare delivery system in Liberia. We identified the following field of studies in our policy document:
By the year 2026, we expect 50 students in the following professional areas of studies to graduate through our educational assistance program:
Chapter 2: Scholarship Team, Recruitment Process and Conditions:
2.1: Scholarship Team:
While the fundraising was ongoing, our Committee communicated with the Executive Leadership to set up a team of qualified and respected members of our community back home in Liberia to spearhead the scholarship and other educational activities Liberia. Hon. Mohamed Richmond Konneh, the first president of our federation emerged as the head, while former Vice President and current Assistant Minister for Logistics Services at the Ministry of State and Presidential Affairs Hon. Mohammed S. kromah became his assistant. Mr. Phamolie Kromah, former SG of FELMAUSA emerged was chosen as the Director of Scholarship, while Mr. Gassimu Kabba, a current senior student at the A..M Dogleti School of Medicine and also a long-time member of the Education team of Liberia became the SG of the team.
Chapter 2.2 Recruitment Process and Conditions:
To respect the continuity tenets of governing and not to also dash the hope of our own brothers and sisters, the leadership of President Sekou Morris Kenneh instructed the Education Committee(EC) to first consider students who were selected by his predecessor. President Kenneh asked the Committee to assess if the students previously selected met any of the criteria mentioned in the 2016 education policy of FELMAUSA. The Education Committee with the approval of the Executive Leadership and the Board of Directors, provided the following working guidelines to the Scholarship Team in Monrovia:
(A) Start a new vetting process of all (then) current and future beneficiaries to see if they meet the criteria for the next semester.
(B) Those who will not meet the criteria should be dropped or made to provide relevant document/s for consideration or reconsideration.
(D) Medical students at the AM Dogliotti College of Medicine in Liberia do not pay tuitions. Therefore, money given to them by FELMAUSA is in the form of financial aid to help cover living expenses during the course of their studies. Medical students are required to prove that they are in school by providing relevant documents in keeping with the goals of FELMAUSA and its education policy.
(E) For those whose tuitions will be paid in part or in full, the balances should be used for books and transportation. At the end, all beneficiaries will be made to sign for the full amount verifying that the full amount was exhausted for their benefits in pursuit of their educational goals.
(F) Kindly use their (team) own discretion/s to achieve what is best for our people.
(G) The team was also instructed to ask each of the potential beneficiaries to write a two-paragraph essay with paragraph one stating who is the applicant and paragraph two stating why he or she should be considered for the scholarship opportunity.
Chapter 2.3: Medical Students:
After a thorough recruitment process, the team presented our committee with the list of 17 (Seventeen) potential beneficiaries to be further vetted by providing all of the documentations to prove that they were active students or at the verge of matriculating at any university for studies. Our committee submitted a budget of $ 4,000 (four thousand) united states dollars which was approved by the board of directors for the seventeen students with $ 3,900 (three thousand nine hundred) united states dollars going for tuition, while $ 100 (one hundred) united states dollars going to cover administrative fees.
The money was wired into the Bank of America account of Hon. Mohammed S. Kromah who later ensured that it reached the team in Liberia.
Note: One Dr. Assata Komara who graduated last year as the first Female Liberian Mandingo to have graduated from the Medical School of the University of Liberia was among the 6 students. Our team is forever proud to have assisted in the making of this history.
A total of $ 1,500 (one thousand five hundred) united states dollars was spent on the medical students.
Chapter 2.4: Other Professional students:
Of the seventeen (17) originally vetted students, six (6) were medical students and the rest were supposed to be students from the other professional fields as mentioned earlier. However, only eight (8) could further authenticate or prove that they were active students or met the criteria stipulated in the policy document and additional instructions given to the committee.
An adequate disclosure of how much each and every student received and their respective fields of studies is also attached on the summary sheet in the other professional students’ folder.
Chapter 2.5: Summary:
Therefore, the total number of active students is 14 including Doctor Assata Komara who graduated at the end of 2016. Below is a full disclosure of how many students were recruited within each discipline:
Exhibit 1.0: Medical Students:
|Name||Institution/ID#||Area of study||Amount received|
|Assata Komara||UL-ID#: 64424||General Medicine||$250.00|
|Gassimu Kaba||“ ID#: 34934||“||$250.00|
|Varmuyan Kromah||” ID#: 43742||“||$250.00|
|Mamoud A. Dukuly||“ ID#: 45305||“||$250.00|
|Maakah K. Kanneh||“ ID#: 44061||“||$250.00|
|Sekou B. Dukuly||“ ID#: 42953||School of Pharmacy||$250.00|
Exhibit2.0: Other Professional students:
|Name||Institution/ID#||Area of study||Amount received|
|Fomba A.M. Swaray||UL-ID#: 26571||Law||$300.00|
|Mohammed F. Nyei||UL-ID#: 33866||Law||$300.00|
|Mariyam S. Kamara||UMU-ID#: 17181||Biology and Chemistry||$200.00|
|Mohammed S.K. Jabateh||UL-ID#: 62824||Biology and Chemistry||$200.00|
|Abu Sheriff||UL-ID#: 73900||Mass Communications||$200.00|
|Lasana S. Fofana||UL-ID#: 48206||Civil Engineering||$200.00|
|Malofo Kamara||LDC-ID#: 307||Nursing||$200.00|
|Masiame Cisse||UMU-ID#: 12517||Management||$200.00|
Note: LDC stands for Lberia Dujar College
UMU stands for United Methodist University
UL Stands for University of Liberia
Note: Moving forward, student Masiame Cisse has been disqualified and has since been asked to repay the full amount spent on her schooling. She was originally studying Mass Communications at the United Methodist University (UMU) and had verified that earlier to the team in Monrovia. The team having interacted with her on many occasions, didn’t do further scrutiny as they thought that they have done all of the verifications. Therefore, student Masiame knowingly and cleverly depended on the previous vetting processes and dubbed the team of the fund by changing her major without informing the team.
Upon receiving the documents, we immediately contacted the team and they summoned Masiame who admitted that she was desperate for the money and didn’t want to drop out of school after changing her major just about the same time the payment was ongoing.
A total of $1,800 (one thousand eight hundred) United state dollars was used on other professional students. The total amount of cash spent thus far out of the initial $4,000 (four thousand) United states dollars is $1,500 for medical students plus $ 1,800 for other professional students, totaling $3,300 (three thousand three hundred) united states dollars. This left the Committee with the balance of $700 (seven hundred) United States dollars as it did not make mention of any administrative expense. However, we technically have a balance of $600 (six hundred) dollars should they come up with any administrative expenses.
With the hope that we might retain all of our current 5 medical students except for Masiame, we might need to recruit one more student to fill the vacancy created by Doctor Assata Komara and to keep the cost of the medical students at $1,500 (One thousand five hundred) united states dollars.
We might also need to recruit more students, however keeping our budget at $5000 or below for a sustainable program. That list might come up very soon as recruitment is already ongoing.
Chapter 3: The Sponsorship program:
Under the sponsorship program, an individual or organization may sponsor one or more students through FELMAUSA. The sponsoring individual or organization will set their criteria for how they want the sponsorship to be administered.
The following general criteria applies:
1.FELMAUSA might do the recruitment and provide the names of candidates selected to the sponsor or sponsors.
As explained above, under the sponsorship program, a potential sponsor, donor or a humanitarian will set his or her own conditions to sponsor one or more students.
What is noteworthy is that, this program will cost FELMAUSA absolutely $0.00 (Zero) United States dollars except for administrative costs such as transfer fees for the tuition and photocopying.
Currently, a volunteer and a Physician, sister Assata Kamara of Atlanta, Georgia, has volunteered to sponsor 7 students with FELMAUSA recruiting 5, while she recruits 2. For her sponsorship of the first 5, they will all be females and must be from 8th grade up. Mrs. Kamara and her husband will sponsor the students until they graduate from high school. For the other two students, Mrs. Kamara will use her own discretions, but the payment will be made through FELMAUSA as the students will be under the FELMAUSA scholarship program.
Also, President Abraham K. Turay of LIMANY has also volunteered to sponsor a male or female student from elementary through high school. FELMAUSA is responsible to screen and select the final candidate for this sponsorship. We thank Mr. Turay for his generosity.
Chapter 4: International Scholarship opportunity:
Through partnership with our contact in Nigeria, the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Nigeria, will be offering three (3) scholarships to FELMAUSA for potential beneficiaries to study Petroleum Engineering from Masters to PhD levels. Details of this opportunity which will be awarded to competitive applicants will be available to the public soon. This will be an opened and a competitive bidding process with links to the website and on our forums and other outlets so that we can find the best candidates to represent our community. Application process and instructions will be available soon.
Our contact has also hinted that we develop our Vision 2026 Mission Statement into a ten-year strategic plan for bigger sponsorship from other organizations such as UN, UNDP, UNICEF, and so on.
It is our hope that that 10-year strategic plan will be expanded into a plan that will also benefit students living here in the United States. That will require us working with or hiring project management experts outside or within FELMAUSA.
Chapter 5: Conclusion:
We want to take this time to immensely thank President Sekou M. Kenneh and members of the National Administration, Chairman Sekou Koutoubou Fofana and members of the National Board of Directors, our chapter leaders and people of FELMAUSA for affording us the opportunity to serve in this capacity.
We also want to thank all of our valuable donors, advisors and supporters for making this program not only concrete, but reliable and sustainable. Without all of your supports, this ambitious project would not have gone anywhere.
We are cognizant of the fact that this Committee has a lot of areas to improve, particularly institutionalizing our tuition payment system. If possible, we would like to make tuition payments directly to institutions and refunds made available to students for books, transportation, etc. This will lessen the burden on our team members on the ground in Liberia and would lead to a proper record-keeping mechanism. Our team headed by Mr. Mohamed Richmond Konneh has informed us that institutionalization is not possible at this time as FELMAUSA will first have to be registered in Liberia as an institution. Once that is accomplished, a bank account would be created and monies from the Diaspora would be wired directly into that account which might be used to transfer or make payments to those institutions. This recommendation has been made to the executive leadership which is already in the process of registering our organization in Liberia. The Executive Leadership is also exploring the possibility of acquiring a parcel of land for the establishment of a vocational school in Monrovia.
It is our hope that by the time we prepare the next report, the institutionalization of the tuition payment system will be completed. This will allow us to move a step forward in enabling educational assistance program to continue to survive even when we are no longer in charge of this Committee. We are also working on reopening our previous accounts with various institutions in Liberia.
It is also our hope to present a project proposal to the leadership for the construction of a vocational training institute in Monrovia. If successfully implemented, we expect that the vocational training school will offer courses in the following fields: Masonry, Plumbing, Mechanical engineering, Computer technician, Electrical Engineering, and Drafting.
It is our hope that a vocational education will provide alternatives to our brothers and sisters who do not wish to pursue university degrees. It is our expectation that graduates will acquire the requisite skills needed to lead independent and productive lives while helping with the rebuilding process of our country.
We are also seeking to expand our vision 2026 mission statement into a 10-year strategic plan with a bi-dimensional approach for both the Diaspora and Liberia strategies. The Liberia Strategy will continue to be geared towards supporting students in Liberian schools and seeking educational opportunities for Liberian students to study abroad. Our focus now is to apply for a $100,000 (one hundred thousand) dollar grant for students in the USA. A sample of 20 to 25 students meeting the criteria, will be given $300 each for scholarship every semester.
Finally, and with regards to our Diaspora Strategy, the Committee will be soliciting assistance for the acquisition of back to school kits for Mandingo community children in from kindergarten through middle school. We hope to be sending back-to-school kits to all chapter leaders for distribution before the start of the 2017/2018 school year.
Let’s continue to make FELMAUSA better!!
Done on this 27th day of June 2017 by the following committee members:
Two (2) Committee members didn’t respond, however, the committee will reach out to them to hear from the as per their status on the team. The result of that meeting will be communicated to the leadership.