Thank You Message from Chairman Hassan Baraka of OKSA-USA

Fellow Alumni and Alumnae,

Chairman Hassan Baraka of OKSA-USA

I am delighted to inform you that this year’s fundraising dance is another milestone for OKSA in terms of organization and the amount of money raised. It is indeed amazing how you responded to the clarion call of our financial secretary, Dr. Ibrahim Yansaneh. On behalf of the executive, I want to thank all of you for putting OKSA on this enviable position as one of the most vibrant alumni organizations in theUS. This would not have been possible without your unconditional commitment to your alma mater. It is indeed encouraging and at the same time fulfilling that the OKSA phenomenon which has gripped the   Metropolis of Washington DC,MarylandandVirginiais gaining momentum year after year.

 Fellow alums, OKSA is slowly but surely becoming a force to reckon with in terms of organization and fundraising endeavors. This is the main reason why I am beseeching the younger generation, especially the women, to redouble their participatory effort in the running of the organization. The outcome of this year’s fundraiser is ample evidence of the power of women when they put their shoulder to the wheel. The sumptuous food they prepared was commended by all those who attended the event. This was just a limited number of old girls who volunteered to prepare the food. I was deeply touched by their dedication under extraneous circumstances. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the old girls who participated especially Zainab Hassan, Ematu Kargbo, Numu Kamara and JenebaYillah who coordinated this commendable effort.

I also want to thank all those who came out of state to be part of the celebrations and those who had the genuine desire to be part of the occasion but could not do so due to circumstances beyond their control. It is share sacrifice on their part to come to the OKSA celebrations every year. They are too many to be mentioned. However, I will be remiss in my capacity as chairman if I fail to mention the admirable efforts of Saidu Dumbuya who came from Sierra Leone for the sole purpose of attending the OKSA event, using his own resources without any reimbursement from OKSAUSA. One can do nothing but marvel at such commitment. I would also like to thank Idrissa Sankoh, a friend of OKSA who did not only donate $501.00 but also volunteered to host the reunion night. This gentleman’s sense of community responsibility is simply inspirational.

For two years in a row, we have been able to meet our goals in our fundraising endeavors initiated by our tireless financial secretary. This year, our target is $20,000.00 which we will exceed by the time we have collected all the pledges made by fellow alumni and alumnae. In this regard, I want to remind all those who made pledges during our fundraising drive to honor their commitments so that we will continue our laudable efforts of constructing that magnificent edifice of a resource center.

 I always tell our numerous admirers how I am fortunate to be among a group of committed individuals whose primary focus is to help their school. This unique characteristic has helped us over the years to be a cohesive unit devoid of rancor and personal egos that have plagued   the normal functioning of most alumni organizations, social groups and political organizations.

 Fellow alums, Kolenten is blessed and if we continue to work collaboratively there is the huge potential that we will one day make Kolenten the Most recognizable secondary school in Sierra Leone just like Duke, Yale or Harvard in US. These universities have gained fame and academic glory simply through the support of alums who have made huge financial contributions to their institutions. We as Sierra Leoneans should try and nurture the culture of community awareness by giving back to the institutions that made us what we are today or simply by participating in activities that are geared toward the development of our communities.

 Since the inception of OKSA, there are a large number of alums who are in high places with plum jobs that have shied in participating in any   OKSA function. I am deeply harried by the dearth of this highly placed group of individuals in our midst especially their lack of commitment to the construction of the resource center, a subject of poignant interest. OKSA warmly embraces the participation of each and every one of us. I am therefore appealing to these fence sitters to come and join us put back Kolenten where it belongs or even put it on a new pedestal that will be the envy of other alumni organizations.

May God bless us all and may He continue to bless OKSA.

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