Diasporan Bong Citizens Hold Annual Convention -To Explore Innovative Solutions for Development

Bong County Citizens across the United States and other parts of the world are gathering in the State of Rhode Island, 2nd Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910, for the annual conference of the United Bong County Association in the Americas (UBCAA). The UBCAA convention is an annual business meeting of citizens, former residents of Bong County, residing in the diaspora, Bong County leaders, and other stakeholders.

This year’s Conference will be the forum for presentations, deliberations, and strategic planning meetings, conducted by more than 30 experts, community leaders, and other stakeholders. The Conference participants will explore innovative solutions and sustainable development plans in dealing with issues related to education, agriculture, health, budgetary and fiscal management system, the role of the media in community development, and the critical issues facing women/girls, disadvantaged youth, and the disabled community.

“UBCAA National Presiden66ot Caimon Joe Kollie has described this year’s convention as a remarkable beginning in rebranding the UBCAA as a vibrant community based organization. The UBCAA has made tremendous strides in achieving a lot both in the diaspora and at home since our ascendency to the leadership in July 2021. Here in the United States, we have setup a robust outreach mechanism to connect with all Bong County citizens in an effort to expand the UBCAA membership and reconcile the community in building a vibrant organization with a core purpose to everyone. We have expanded the technical working committees including, education, health, social welfare, youth, women, elders, the advisory council, a website to enhance the effective communication of UBCAA’s activities and special operations amongst others.

Back home in Bong within one year period, my leadership has developed the UBCAA Liberia Programs, established a fully functional office with a community resource center, a community farm, donations to institutions and persons living with disabilities and established collaborative partnership with stakeholders amongst others”. Mr. Caimon Joe Kollie explained.

Mr. Caimon Joe Kollie said the UBCAA Liberia Program is responsible for developing and managing all UBCAA programs, projects, and activities in Liberia. “Bong County, like other counties in Liberia, is faced with so many challenges including, but not limited to, the lack of access to quality education, especially for girls, the lack of incentives for farming and food production, and the lack of sustainable development programs for the vulnerable populations. The UBCAA Liberia Program is working through local, national, and international collaborative partnerships to help address some of the critical needs facing communities in Bong County”. He explained that the prospects for the UBCAA are significant and more will be achieved with the collective efforts of all Bong County citizens and UBCAA partners.

Schedule Activities of the 2022 UBCAA National Convention, Providence, RI, July 22nd – 24th, 2022

Day One:  Meet & Greet (Friday, July 22, 2022, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM)

  • Arrival: Meet and greet & Registration:

Day Two: Business Meetings (Saturday, July 23, 2022, 8 AM-3 PM)

  • Registration/Breakfast —- 8:00am-9:00am ……All Delegates
  • Invocation……Madam Sylvia Flomo, National Chaplain

Convention Protocols (9am – 9:30)

Convention calls to order & Ground Rules ……………Caimon Joe Kollie (Presiding Officer)   

Welcome Remarks…………………………Mr. Willis Dunbar (Host President, Kukatonor of RI)

Setting up of working committees ……………………. Presiding officer

Roll Calls ……………………………………… Mr. Rufus Kwennah, General Secretary

Reading of the Minutes of 2021 UBCAA Convention……Mr. Rufus Kwennah, Gen. Secretary

Convention Presentations (10am -11:30am)

First Presentation: Topic: Reconciliation (10am -10:30am)

  1. Presenter: Dr. Amos M.D. Sirleaf (Ph.D.) African Studies/Conflict Resolution International Relations at Howard University
  • Presenter: Rev. Dr. Moses Suah-Dennis- Sr. Pastor, Faith-Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pa, USA

Second Presentation: Topic: Community Investment (10:30am -11am)

  1. Presenter: …………Leo Nupolu Johnson (Founder, KUWO Leadership Academy; Executive Director, Empowerment Squared; & President, Liberian Association of Canada

Group Presentations (11 am – 11:30 am)

Group One Topic: Building Financial Protection, Wealth, & Critical Insurance

Presenter: David K. Manteau: Prudential Advisors: Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Presenter: Michelle Davidson, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC

Group Two: Healthcare System in Liberia: Challenges & Opportunities

Presenter: Rachel M. Garnett-Bloe Health System Training Network, Liberia

Business Meetings & Discussions

Session One (Reports): (11:30 am – 1 PM)

  • Annual UBCAA Reports: Rufus Kwenah, National Secretary, UBCAA (10 mins.)
  • Liberia Program Prospects: Philip T. Singbah, UBCAA Country Representative (5 Mins.)
  • Financial Report: Gabbo Z.M Topkpa, Sr., UBCAA Financial Secretary (10 mins.)
  • UBCAA Chapters Summary Reports (10 mins.)
  • UBCAA 2021 Financial Audit Reports (10 mins.)
  • UBCAA Board of Directors (10 mins.)

Session Two: Messages from the Bong County Leaders & Lunch (1:00 PM -1:15 PM)  

  1. Hon. Moima Briggs Mensah, Rep. Salala District #6, Bong County, the House of Representatives of Liberia & Chair, Bong County Legislative Caucus.
  2. Prince K. Moye Sr., Senator, Bong County, Republic of Liberia.
  3. Hon. Esther Y. M. Walker, Superintendent, Bong County, Liberia.

Summary Report: Bong County Social Development Funds (BCSDF) Accountability Project

  • Presenter: Mr. Moses Bailey, Project Lead Coordinator, BCSDF Accountability Project
    Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia
  • Presenter: Charles Nuwoe Kellen, Executive Director, INNOVATIVE MATRIX

Session Three: Discussions & Convention Resolutions (1:30 PM – 2:50PM)

  1. Major Items Discussions
  2. Convention Resolutions

Business Meeting Adjournment (10 Minutes)

Closing Statement & Vote of Thanks (Madam Towah Kollie-Peters (National Vice President) 

The United Bong County Association in the Americas, Incorporated (UBCAA), is a community-based non-profit membership organization that serves as an umbrella organization for citizens, residents, former residents, and friends of Bong County, residing in the Americas. The mission of the UBCAA is to promote unity and cooperation amongst members, harness resources for humanitarian programs, and advance social and cultural ties between the people of Bong County and those in the Americas for mutual benefits. Its goals set the platform for Bong County citizens, residents, former residents, and friends to discuss ideas and find solutions to issues pertinent to their common interests and a create collaborative partnerships in coordinating resources for humanitarian programs in education, health, agriculture, women and girls’ empowerment initiatives among others.

The formation of the UBCAA started in the early 1990s when citizens of Bong County traveled from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and other states to Providence, Rhode Island. They met with the vision of forming an umbrella organization that will align resources and interests and harness talents within the various Bong County communities. They set the goals to unite citizens and residents of Bong County and provide a forum where members can discuss and find solutions to matters pertinent to their communities. Rhode Island was chosen as the founding meeting place of UBCAA because it was the home of Kukatonor, a vibrant Bong County organization.

The State was also hospitable to new Liberian immigrants who had fled from the civil war in their native land. Decades later, to meet the current needs and common interests, at the 2019 UBCAA General Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, the membership of UBCAA unanimously voted on a revised constitution to transform UBCAA into a 501 C 3 non-profit organizations. The membership of UBCAA adapted its new non-profit status to attract a broader partnership in finding resources to address the critical needs facing their communities in the USA and Liberia. The list of UBCAA Presidents include: Jonathan O. David – Interim (1990), Mr. J. Bartee Tubah (1991), D. Samuel Nushann (1993), Victor Enders (1995) (Deceased), Ellen Brown – Acting President (1996), Mohamed Kromah (1998), Dennis Garsinii – Interim Chairman (2000), Dennis B. Garsinii (2001), Joe Flomo Matthew (2007), Christian K. Kolleh (2011), David Flomo (2014), Samuel M. Sondah (2017), Caimon Joe Kollie (2021-Current).

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