2010: OPWA President’s Report
Fellow Prince Waleans, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to welcome you to the 22nd Annual Thanksgiving service of the Old Prince Waleans Association (OPWA), Washington DC Area Chapter. OPWA is part of a global alumni organization of the Prince of Wales School, which includes the Old Prince Waleans Association of the UK and Ireland, and the Associations of New Jersey, Georgia, and Southern Â California.
All of these organizations are held together by a common bond and commitment, which is a commitment to supporting the traditions of academic and sporting excellence of the Prince of Wales School. Even with the present day challenges, we all have an unwavering commitment to provide the next generation of Prince Waleans with the tools they need to compete in the global workplace. In this age of transparency, I will also like to take this opportunity to updateÂ our members and supporters of the activities of the organization over the last 12 months.
Friends,Â in the formal membership front we increased our formal membership base from 22 in 2008 to 31 in 2009, representing a 41% year-to-year increase. In terms of revenue we raised $15,295 in 2009, and $14,011 in 2008, a 9.2% increase in constant dollar terms. With regards Â to improving connectivity with the other chapters, OPWA participated in the Â August 2009 Global Conference, hosted by the Southern California Chapter. At that conference a Global Leadership Committee (GLC) was formed by all the representative chapters. The GLC is comprised of all the Presidents of the various chapters, and its primary mandate is to ensure the coordination of fund raising efforts and projects to avoid duplication, and to improve the overall capacity of the Global alumni organization. OPWA, I am glad to report,has participated in all GLC meetings and all sub-committee meetings to date.
In 2009, OPWA granted scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each to the two students from the Prince of Wales School who won a very competitive process, and were selected to attend the prestigious African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. One of the students has been granted a scholarship and has gained acceptance to 5 universities in theÂ United States including Cornell University in Syracuse New York. The OPWA plans Â to invite him to the DC area when he travels to New York City to attend Â interviews in the next couple of weeks. The other student from POW at the ALA was also elected as the President of the Media Team, and we hope that he too will Â be granted a scholarship to continue his university education in the United States.Â Both students have performed exceptionally well and we are very proud of their achievements.Â
OPWA continues to support the Revolving Fund, which is a fund that was set up by the Global Alumni Organization that allows teachers to be paid their monthly wages when the government is delayed in doing so. Â Last July, OPWA was at the forefront to ensure that 25 new teachers who wereÂ not yet confirmed by the Ministry of Education were paid from the RevolvingÂ Fund, and averted a strike action from those affected teachers. This year OPWA isÂ in the process of granting scholarships to 3 students starting from theÂ academic year 2009.
Finally,Â the most challenging project that is currently underway is to repair the buildings of the school, which are currently in a state of disrepair and which are in desperate need of refurbishment. The Â Global Alumni Organization has hired a structural engineer to perform a comprehensive assessment of all of the buildings, so that we can get a final estimate of how much will be needed to refurbish the buildings and simultaneously Â restore water supply to all of the buildings. This project will run into hundreds of thousands of dollars so we appreciate every help we can get, once it is officially launched. OPWA is also fully committed to participating in the on-going dialogue with stakeholders and promoting the idea of a part-privatization of the Prince of Wales School.- AmaraOmar Kuyateh, President OPWA , Washington Metropolitan Area
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