CB annual assembly 2021 on 24 November at 17.00 – 20.00 – Meeting chair: Nyeleti Sue Angel Nkuna. Meeting secretary: Garba Diallo.
The meeting started with a Crossing Borders song composed by singer, songwriter, and actor Pernille Tolou Isedora Johansson. That uplifting song was followed by a warm welcome remark by CB Executive Board Chair Vibeke Quaade, who highlighted the big strides CB has made in the past 4 years in human and financial resources, a number of projects, partnerships, and global outreach. She thanked the CB team for making this progress possible. After Vibeke, it was the tour of CB Director Garba Diallo to welcome and ask each person to say her/his name and citizenship. With 60 participants, some 40 nationalities from all over the world were represented.
This was yet a testimony that CB is walking to the talks of global connectedness in practice. As in the principle of Ubuntu, we are of one another and are united in our humanity and diverse in our cultures, opinions, and perspectives. Garba also made it clear that like everyone else, CB has been affected by the Corona pandemic, but fortunately, we were able to look at the bright side of the lockdown by seizing the opportunities provided by the various online platforms to continue our activities to reach out to benefit more people in more countries.
The next speaker was Dr. Hamed Samay, who was recently rescued from Afghanistan. Dr. Hamed presented the idea of launching a Crossing Borders Program for Afghanistan whose purpose is to help educate young Afghans in Critical Thinking, Creativity, Cooperative and Communication skills. Dr. Hamed asserted that young Afghans have and are using their voices both inside and outside of Afghanistan, what they need are loudspeakers from the international community to amply those voices, that are defying the Taleban rule. The meeting unanimously approved the idea of starting the Afghanistan program in Crossing Borders.
The next point was the presentation of the plan to merge 100% for Children organisation with Crossing Borders. The plan was jointly presented by CB Director Garba Diallo and 100% for Children Director Camilla Legendre. The purpose of the merger is to pool our resources together to make a bigger and more sustainable impact both in Denmark abroad. The meeting supported to plan.
The next item was a very interactive speed dating report by Crossing Borders Program Coordinators: Tatjana Stefanovic, Omar Al Sayed, Aisha Tambajang, and Emma Hyland. Each program had a stand with digital and print materials, stories from the fields about the many projects
we implement in Denmark, Europe, Africa, and the Caucasus. The attendees were divided into four groups and each group visited a stand, heard presentations, and asked questions, made comments, and took materials about the different projects.
These vivid presentations were followed by presentations by our partners from Ukraine about the Kyiv Democracy Hub and our Zambian partners about the Anchoring SDGS Model in Civil Society in Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia consortium. Their presentations included videos and testimonies. Our Ukraine project was represented by the director of Klitschko Foundation Angelina Osadcha and project manager Vasiliy Teremta while our Africa consortium was represented by the Director of Circus Zambia Charlotte Groen.
The next point was a powerful intersectional Poetry by Atiyo Muse from Djibouti. People were very moved by the power of Atiyo’s slam poems.
Now it was CB Director’s turn again to present the Annual financial update for 2021, budget forecast, and membership for 2022. For financial update, although we are doing fine for this year and hope to build on the small surplus from 2020. Garba added that CB is still heavily dependent on project funding, which is true for all Danish NGOs. He added that this year, we expanded our strategic partnerships with more universities and are in the process of diversifying our financial sources. These efforts refer especially to scaling up of our Food for Thought, School Services, Consultancy offerings, membership recruitments, fusion with 100% for Children, and the launch of the Afghanistan program. Please, details in the executive summary about the foreseen strategic priorities for 2022.
Garba’s report was followed by a secret election of new board members for which each candidate had one minute to present themselves, their vision for CB, and what they intend to contribute to CB. Four candidates were up for elections and two were up for re-election. New candidates were Erik Grootveld, Mignote Mesfin, Nyeleti Sue Angel Nkuna and Phaedria St. Haire while the two for re- elections were Vibeke Quaade and Helene Guldberg. The results of the elections were as follows: Mignote Mesfin, Nyeleti Sue Angel Nkuna, Phaedria St. Haire, and Vibeke Quaade were elected to the CB Executive Board while Helene Guldberg and Erik Grootveld were elected substitutes.
Now people were ready for a special dinner prepared by Eden Girma from Eritrea, Soria from Afghanistan, and Yasmine from Pakistan, plus special ginger and hibiscus drinks prepared by Aisha Tambajang from Gambia and carrot cakes by Catherine Namuswe from Uganda. While having delicious dinner, the attendees mingled and networked late into the night.