The much anticipated Ahaspora premier Town Hall meeting finally came off on the 26th of November 2017. The young professionals’ group executives were eager to meet to hear the concerns of members and foster meaningful conversations and gather opinions on how, together the organization can be most effective to all.
The interactive meeting brought together 20 amazing members in person, and several others joining virtually through Facebook Live. After a round of introductions , the executives presented and discussed results from a short survey that was sent to members a month prior, to seek their input on how the Ahaspora is run. They then took Town Hall attendees through the background of Ahaspora, the benefits of being a part of the Ahaspora group which includes the value of very resourceful listserv, Ahaspora website and social media platforms; as well as Ahaspora programs such as the Ahaspora Action Forum, mentoring opportunities, monthly Happy Hours, and other community outreach and networking events.
Participants got the opportunity to ask questions after the briefing; most of the discussion centered around the recently introduced membership dues of GHS 150 per annum. On the discussion on dues, one Ahasporan stated, “As an Ahasporan committing your time, treasure or talent to the group should be your goal”. The meeting supported this view and agreed that the dues were necessary and should be supported, that only dedicated dues-paying members should benefit from the group, and that in the future there could be opportunity for a tiered approach although that would require additional administrative tracking. It was also agreed that the start date for all dues payments should take effect on January 1, 2018.
Saving the best for last, the evening crescendo was the highly anticipated sneak peek of The Ahaspora App. Yes! Ahaspora looks forward to launching an app in January 2018. The app is structured to help respond to most of the community’s requests such as having a profile page so community members can get to know each other, reduce number of emails received in a day, and make the jobs portal and recommendations list more accessible to members. Other features will be the opportunity to post events and more. The App will be improved over time based on member feedback. Full access to the App would only be for paying members, while a possible trial period will exist for non-paying members to have a feel for what is possible for a short period of time.
Ahaspora’s key goal is to provide a strong support system to returnees, alongside opportunities to give back. The October 2017 Town Hall was exciting and a great forum for open and honest feedback as a community, rekindled member commitments, evaluated how far Ahaspora has come and provided a clear picture of what we are set to achieve in the year to come. We hope more members will sign on to organize and/or partner, as well as attend organized events and activities. Here’s to a fulfilling 2018!
Author:: Felicia Arthur