Sunday, October 29, 2006

Liberian Students Association formed in the U.S.

Liberian Students Association formed in the U.S.

After months of intense “behind the scene” struggles, the Liberian Students association in America (LIBSAA) has finally obtain its legal status to operate as a none-for-profit organization (501C) in the U.S.
Liberia has a history of a long standing relationship with the people of America which dates back to decades of years ago. Peoples of the two nations have interchanged trade, education, culture and other vital services that promotes human and infrastructure developments. There are many Liberians who have traveled in and out of the United States in search of academics, economics, social and political opportunities. This immigration and tourism has been highlighted by the fourteen year bloody civil war, which devastated all modern facilities and infrastructures including educational and healthcare delivery mechanism; widely sweeping away every dependable human and material resources available at the time (Brain-drained).

The civil crisis which briefly ended 1997 by an Abuja Accord, setting a democratically elected government in place, recommenced 1998 just after the national presidential elections, this influenced a mass migration of Liberians out of the country to other parts of the world including the United States, adding a significant number (approximately 150,000 more people) to the population of Liberians who have earlier come to reside here (U.S.) in search of better and greater life opportunities.

Regardless of how we, “the Liberian Student Population in the USA” got here, we have greatly engaged ourselves in the pursuit of higher education and other scholarly activities at various institutions of learning in and around this resourceful country (USA). In our individual efforts to develop our minds and contribute to the future development of our nation and its people, we must continue to focus on excellent scholarly performance and activities and organize ourselves in such that we will create a legacy that will collectively represent us as Liberian Students after we have achieved our goals and gone.

Considering the above mentioned circumstances and the fact that we as a people hailed from such impoverished region of the world;

Firmly believing that genuine need for unity amongst us (Liberians residing in the United States of America) is greatly required to foster human and material resource development here and abroad;

Capitalizing on the achievements unity has brought to people from different regions of the world residing here in the USA and determined to emulate such shining examples for the empowerment of ourselves, Liberian Students in the United States of America;

Now, therefore, it is deemed necessary to form an association of Liberian students in universities and colleges in the United States of America to be called “Liberian Students Association in America" (LIBSAA), with the mandate and responsibilities to constitute the below guidelines as guidance to the implementation of the association’s programs.

Aims and Objectives:
To promote and develop the welfare of all Liberians who are current and perspective students in universities, colleges and all academics institutions around the country; and to promote acquaintance among us (Liberian Students) through academics, economics, and social-cultural activities; holding the following objectives:

· to establish a data bank that contains positive information on the names, addresses and telephone numbers and every available contacts of all Liberian Students in academic institutions within the USA, who are members and affiliates of this association;
· to promote the exchange of ideas, technical experience and information relating to scholarships, employments and training opportunities amongst members and mobilized resources to provide materials and financial assistance where needed for the development and education of our members;

· to develop and implement recreational and social activities that encourages frequent acquaintance, association and communication amongst our members;

· to provide guidance and directions for Liberian students graduating from high schools and other secondary education setting with ambition for university and college enrollment by assisting such student (s) with university and college orientation, where needed; and

· to mentor and provide psycho-social and counseling supports for members desiring such services.

Our Mission:
To build a family relationship that would promote an endless quest for education and academic development; and promote the Liberian cultural values while encouraging cooperation, participation, sharing and caring amongst all Liberian Students in the USA .

Principles:
In fostering the quest of our (LIBSAA’s) mission and objectives, LIBSAA shall hold the following principles as her guidance:

Sincerity:
Remaining sincere in all that we do for and on behalf of our members, association, community and most of all our country Liberia, from the depth of our hearts;

Equity:
Promoting moral and social equality amongst all Liberian Students in the USA regardless of color, condition or creed.

Courage:
We shall be courageous in our strive for education, focus and steadfast in every step this process requires;

Activities:


1) Networking amongst members (information gathering and sharing)
2) Recreational programs ( annual festivity )
3) Advocacy and Capacity building
4) Care and Counseling Support Services

Board members

1. Dr. Sakui Malakpa
2. Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley
3. Mr. Moses Saygbe
4. Mr. Vafolay M Tulay
5. Mr. Alvin Teage Jalloh, Esq.

The association hosted its first officials and Board members teleconference meeting on October 28, 2006 at 7:00 pm eastern time. In his opening remarks, the organizing chairman, Mr. Paul K Kennedy formally presented the organization to the Board members and urged them to serve as the organization’s back bones and principal architects. His remarks were followed by introduction of officials and Board members. In her introductory remarks, Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley “who is an assistant professor of English at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, U.S.” Congratulated the architects of the association and pledge her fullest support to the association. She also cautioned Liberian Students to take advantage of the many educational opportunities and add educational values to themselves whilst in the U.S.
Mr. Vafolay Tulay introduced himself and pledged his support to the association. He emphasized the need to create enough awareness and network Liberian Students in order to achieve the association’s goals. Mr. Tulay volunteer to design the association’s website at absolutely no cost to the association.
Dr. Malakpa “who has been one of the organizing architects of LIBSAA” congratulated the hard working organizing officials and promised to answer every working calls of the association at any time. Dr. Malakpa is a 21 year veteran Liberian professor presently teaching at the Toledo University in Ohio, U.S.A.
Another Board member “Mr. Moses Saygbe” cautioned the association to broaden the membership of the association to encourage other students who were born in the U.S. but are of Liberian descends. He said a good number of students who are of Liberian descend but does not know much about Liberia could also be very instrumental in achieving the association’s goals.
On his part, Clr. Alvin Teage Jalloh, Esq, expressed his willingness to render any needed legal assistance to the association. He urged the association to engage in educational activities and to design programs that will help cautiontise other Liberian youths that are not in school.
LIBSAA is urging all Liberian students to rally around the newly formed association in order to achieve its goals.
For more information about the association, call:
1. Sam K Zinnah………..302 241 1442
2. Paul K. Kennedy……..301 755 3008
3. Fallah Porter………….630 863 5923 or email LIBSAA at lib_students@yahoo.com


Written by:
Sam K Zinnah and Paul K Kennedy

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