A Brief history....
The association came into existence with the reunion of some patriotic citizens and descendants of the township of Basse (The Gambia) in Cologne, Germany on July 4th, 2009. Upon crossing paths on this very day at this particular city, they easily reconnected with the help of a strong bond they had once formed during their youthful days at their cherished humble beginnings. Before this particular day, on different visits, on different occassions, back to their hometown, these individuals did noticed the rapid deteriorating conditions of most of the insfrastructure they've once had the privilege to use during their childhood days. As such, patriotic, determined, and dedicated, they deemed it necessary to reconnect and ultimately form a bond once more to meaningfully give back to their hometown. They realize that, no matter how little, a collective contribution could make a significant difference in the livelihood of the community back home. In light of such, as a start, they immediately pin-pointed numerous projects to dedicate their sponsorship towards contributing to the betterment of the township.
Among the areas of development that came into plan:
- Renovation of the central mosque
- Rehabilitation and painting of the cemetery's fence.
- Provision of antibiotics, mosquito nets, and beddings to the Health center.
- Provision of Computers and books to equip schools.
- Awards & sponsorship for needy students.
To ensure continuous sponsorship of the various projects, funds are derived mostly from membership dues. Every now and then, depending on the timing, location, and if necessary, fundraising activities will be conducted to supplement funds.
Methods of implementing such projects:
Each January, members would vote, based on priorities, which projects to embark on for or during the course of the year. And then, during or by December of the same year, chosen members would physically deliver directly any and all materials gathered for this cause to be witness by citizens and residents of the township.
This association is in no way politically, tribally, and/or monetarily motivated. It is established just for the sake of giving back to the community of Basse.
A little about the Township of Basse....
Located approximately 370km from the capital, Banjul, in the Upper River Region of The Gambia, Basse is considered to be the second capital and second largest town (population 183,000) in the country for that matter. It is the major trading centre for the upper reaches of the river Gambia and liveliest of the upriver towns. There is a high degree of immigration from Senegal, Guinea, and other neigbouring West African countries. Thus, the town comprises of a vibrant mix of linguistic diversity with different languages often spoken such as Fula, Mandinka, Wolof, Sarehuleh, English, French, and Arabic.
Things to do:
There exists plenty of historical architecture to see all around town. One of the old warehouses, built during the colonial era, has been converted into a museum, cultural centre, bookshop and restaurant called Traditions. There’s some high quality stuff on offer, and one can even see the artists at work.
Severals of the surrounding villages also hold a weekly 'lumo' (market), with traders and shoppers coming from all over The Gambia to take part. The most interesting sections of town are the water-front and the market.
Soccer tournaments known as "Nawettans" are held during the summer, which tend to lively up the town as many youths and adults grace the ocassion.
As the biggest and most populous town in the area, numerous banks, NGOs, government agencies and offices are purposely located here to service the whole upper region.