The Editor of The Alkamba Times (TAT) was among over dozen Gambians in Seattle awarded by the Washington West African Centre (WWAC) for volunteering at the centre.
The Centre’s CEO, Pa Ousman Joof described the awardees as “pillars of WWAC” at a low-key ceremony over the weekend at the Center’s Lynwood office. Mr. Joof gave a historical account of how the name WWAC came about.
“We started by only serving the Gambians at but because Gambia is in West Africa and by default, we live and work with people from other West African countries, we decided to change the name to the Washington West African Center,” he narrated.
He welcomed the guests and thanked them for standing by him since the start of his journey of connecting West Africans in Washington with local resources and bridge the gap between them and the wider community.
He individually recognized the efforts and contributions of all the “WWAC pillars” starting with Mr. Bakary Sanneh, who he said provides bookkeeping services to WWAC and “dawah” for the grandmas over the years.
Receiving his award, Mr. Bakary Sanneh, a certified Chartered Accountant whose firm BBEK provides book keeping services to WWAC, encouraged Mr Pa Ousman Joof to continue the hard-work.
“If you continue what you are doing, this thing will go to a level that you did not even expect. That dedication and commitment that I have seen in you, is what has brought you to this day today. And we hope that you continue that spirit of helping, the spirit of moving this Association to another level. We will continue to support you,” Sanneh concluded.
Aja Suntu Camara, the Vice President of the Seattle Gambian Grandmas Association, was also recognised for her efforts.
Pa Ousman explained how Aja Suntu mobilizes the grandmas and contributes her own resources to see that the grandmas stay under one umbrella.
She commended the Centre for rewarding and touching the lives of our lovely grandmas by bringing them together during the Back-to-School and Grandmas Appreciation Day.
She said: “Some of the grandmas have been here for about 10 years but we didn’t know each other. We only met at naming ceremonies where we just greeted each other and everyone went their ways and that’s it. What Pa Ousman did for us, we will just leave him with God. At this moment, all the grandmas are under one umbrella. We know each other, we share ideas, we visit each other and we interact. All that is the work of Pa Ousman.”
From the partners, Pa Ousman Joof jumped straight to recognize the WWAC volunteers starting with Alkamba Times Editor Sainey MK Marenah, one of the newest but committed volunteers of the Centre.
Reacting to his Award, Marenah said: “I just want to express my profound thanks and appreciation to you for rewarding my small efforts towards your organization. I know it was
very tough; there were times you would call and tell me look, tomorrow we are going to this event at 7am so make sure you don’t come late. I remember during the Tobaski we kept crossing from one venue to another and it was all in the rain, with your team of dedicated staff. I want say thank you for rewarding me with this certificate. I think you are doing very well and I am saying keep it up. Thank you very much.”
The following people were recognized by the Centre and given certificates of appreciation.
Mariama Batchilly, Ousainou Dampha and his wife Mam Rohey Darboe, Fatoumatta Joma Camara, Ebrima Wadda, Jainaba Darboe, Isatou Baldeh, Demba Baldeh, Fatoumatta Ceesay, Fatima Jabbie, Isatou Drammeh, Ida Saye, Aboubacarr Jawara, Kanimang Touray, Jali Madi Jobarteh, Nancy Saho, Fatoumatta Saho, Fatou Dibba, Mama Saho Saine, among others.