Ba Tata na Ba Iya,
I want to take a quick moment to talk about the state of OROKO-USA today. From Atlanta to Washington DC; from Boston to California; from Dallas to New York; from New Jersey to Minnesota; from Chicago to Kentucky, Oroko sons and daughters are present across the United States. When I answered the call of service and was elected President of OROKO-USA, at the 2017 Boston Convention, I made a commitment that together; we can write the next chapter of OROKO-USA history.
I believe in a future of possibility and hope for OROKO-USA. And I feel our best days lie ahead if many more Oroko people engage in the activities of the association and answer the call of service. At the level of the National Executive Committee, we have put together a dream team to move OROKO-USA forward. They are:
Iya Dr. Clementine Ebenye Nanje
Tata Mosungo Nanje
Tata Emmanuel Ikoe
Tata Etukeni Agbaw-Ebai
Assistant Secretary General
Iya Naomi Ebile
Iya Caroline Elangwe
Iya Bake Forseh
Tata Paddy Ndole
Iya Maseki Ekole
Assistant Social Secretary
Tata Victor Nanje
Public Relations Officer
Tata Adolphus Ati
Tata Solomon Basame
Tata Nambili Nomongo
Tata Ekinneh Agbaw-Ebai
In the spirit of inclusiveness, we are focused on expanding participation and exchange of ideas and to inspire the next generation of Oroko leaders, especially our young people who seem to have no cultural affiliation to Oroko, beyond accompanying their parents to Oroko events and conventions. To change this dynamic, we must engage our youths and invest in them because they are tomorrow’s leaders of OROKO-USA.
We're making major investments to strengthen our local chapters and put strong OROKO-USA pillars on the ground in all 50 states. That’s why we have created a communication platform on WhatsApp to engage all registered members of OROKO-USA and keep them informed of our plan of action and our activities going forward. I am encouraging all Oroko sons and daughters to register and be able to access information about OROKO-USA activities, including financial reports on the website; www.orokousa.org. The annual registration fee is $100.00 per member.
Efforts are already underway to align OROKO-USA to take advantage of the US tax code for non-profit organizations by securing a 501 (c) 3 status; so members and donors can itemize their deductions and sundry expenses incurred in the service of OROKO-USA. This is more than just an urgent imperative because a 501 (c) 3 status will open avenues to seek external funding and boost our fundraising capabilities for projects. To which end, I will be holding consultations with the local chapter presidents; on how to organize them into a Leadership Council, which will serve as the de facto Board of Directors of OROKO-USA, to meet the legal requirements for non-profit organizations.
Obviously, we're not going to get every Oroko son or daughter in the USA, but we miss all of the shots we don't take. So, I believe it's our job to show up and convince those who have fallen by the wayside to recommit and rededicate themselves to OROKO-USA in order to help make a difference for our people back home. To date, we have created a forum for members of the national executive of OROKO-USA as well as an Oroko Global platform where all Oroko sons and daughters at home and abroad can interface and share ideas on issues of common interests. Using interactive technology, these platforms allow for a deeper understanding of diverse points of view on issues that affect Oroko people.
This administration will be project-performance based; with a focus on low-cost, high impact social investments in key target areas that will make a visible and measurable difference in the lives of our people back home. Based on the urgent need for portable drinking water, we are already in the process of evaluating cost rundowns for a water project targeting Oroko villages in need. Once the evaluation is complete, the chapter presidents will be apprised of the costs, scope and sustainability of the project which will be carried out in different phases in selected villages across all the 10 Oroko clans.
Finally, although a non-profit and apolitical organization, OROKO-USA cannot be indifferent to the socio-economic and political developments back home that affect our people. We will strive to serve as a platform for Oroko voices that have so often been ignored or pushed to the margins. And we will articulate and defend Oroko interests; even if that entails speaking truth to power. As the goose that lays the golden eggs in Cameroon, it is unacceptable that Oroko people, especially our elected leaders have accepted the role of back-seat drivers in national politics. Now is the time to create a new Oroko identity and we need all Oroko sons and daughters to come together in support of this renaissance.
Now is the time to stand up and be counted for Oroko. This, Ba Tata na Ba Iya is my vision for the new OROKO-USA. Join us in building a stronger Oroko and help us write the next chapter in OROKO-USA history. Thank you and let's get to work.
Dr. Clementine Ebenye Nanje