5th Annual Congress of the North American chapter of the Alumni Association of Peki College of Education, 2019
The Old Govconians Association of North America (OGANA) is the North American chapter of the alumni association of Peki College of Education (formerly known as Government College— “GOVCO,” for short) in the Volta Region of Ghana. OGANA was formed and registered as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization in the United States to help promote Peki College of Education’s educational goals.
OGANA invites all graduates of the College who reside in the United States, Canada, Mexico, or the island states of the Caribbean to join its cause in support of their alma mater.
How We Got Here: A Brief History of OGANA
The idea to establish the North American branch of the alumni association of Peki College of Education was first mooted in May 2014. In a conversation about what they could do to honor their alma mater during the College’s 60th anniversary celebrations, a group of former graduates who were residing in the United States levied themselves, purchased, and donated a diverse set of sporting equipment and trophies to the College to encourage inter-house athletic competition.
Encouraged by that collective demonstration of love for their alma mater, the group decided to take the initiative further. They reached out to other graduates in their respective social networks, got a few more interested in the idea, and through a series of conference calls, they agreed to form a branch of their alumni association in the United States, with the aim to:
• enlarge the acquaintances among fellow graduates and bring them into relations of shared understanding and helpfulness;
• promote opportunities for members and help maintain connections to their alma mater;
• serve as a collective voice of former graduates in promoting the educational goals of Peki College of Education and its community;
• cooperate with other organizations and groups in public service to promote education.
As graduates of the college affectionately refer to themselves as “Old Govconians,” and to their parent alumni association as “Old Govconians Association” (OGA), the group decided to name their organization the “Old Govconians Association of North America” (OGANA) because they envisioned a growing membership across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the West Indies.
In August 2014, a three-member committee was appointed to draft the association’s constitution and bylaws, which were adopted in March 2015, setting the stage for the election of the founding officers. Eight of the members—some of whom met in person for the first time—inaugurated the association on August 7, 2015, in Manhattan in New York City. They came from far and near states, including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia. It was an extraordinary evening, with the promise of a new dawn for an association.
The eight fellows were joined the following day by other OGANA members and relatives to celebrate the inauguration of the association. They toured the City’s buzzing Financial District, visiting such iconic sites as Wall Street and the fully reconstructed World Trade Center.
OGANA inaugural meeting was held at 310 West 38th Street in the Fashion District New York City. From left: Samuel Awumey (’98), Vanessa Mensah-Adu (’94), Dr. James Amemasor (’91), Stella D. Quist (’91), Bright Fleku (’93), Raymond Asigbee (’94), Clara Dakudedzi (Mrs. Clara King ’93), Philip Elike (’96).
A section of the fellows at OGANA inaugural meeting.
A section of OGANA members and relatives touring NYC Financial District, August 8, 2015 OGANA Since Its Inception
Since its inception, OGANA has embarked on several development projects aimed at meeting its goals and objectives. They include donations of sporting equipment and trophies to Peki College of Education. OGANA also purchased and installed a commercial dough kneading machine that has greatly eased the tasks of preparing food for the student body.
OGANA presented sports trophies and equipment to GOVCO in 2015
Ms. Stella Quist (1991 graduate) presenting a set of sporting equipment to GOVCO, 2016
OGANA also instituted a scholarship scheme to help the brilliant but needy students of Peki College of Education’s Demonstration Junior High School pursue their academic dreams.
Mr. Bright Fleku (1993 graduate) presenting awards to GOVCO Demonstration JHS students, 2017
Mr. Cornelius Ackumey (1986 graduate, blue shirt, middle) presenting commercial dough kneading machine, 2018
In addition to undertaking development projects, OGANA finds ways to bring its members into relations of shared understanding and helpfulness. Its social media platforms, monthly meetings, welfare scheme, and annual congresses offer practical ways to deliver on its commitments. The annual congress is organized in the summer on rotational state basis.
The Second Annual Congress
The second annual congress, following the inaugural event, was held in Woodbridge, Virginia, in 2016. It brought together 26 members, their relatives, and friends of OGANA. A sightseeing lunch cruise on the Potomac River and a tour of Washington, D.C. historic landmarks and monuments crowned the three-day meeting. It was an unforgettable grouping of people with shared values.
OGANA family and friends on cruise on the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., July 2016
A section of the OGANA family enjoying a lunch cruise on the Potomac River, July 2016
A section of OGANA members and their families at the U.S. Capitol, July 2016
The Third Annual Congress
OGANA’s third annual congress was held in Atlanta, Georgia, in July 2017. It brought together several members of the association and their friends, some of whom drove over 800 miles from New York metropolitan area—a clear demonstration of commitment and love for OGANA and alma mater! As part of congress tradition, the group toured some of the major tourist sites in the city, including the Georgia Aquarium, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park, and the world’s headquarters of CNN, where they got an up-close look at global news in the making.
Renting a vacation home to themselves made this congress very engaging; it afforded the group an opportunity to interact on a level they never had before. They entertained themselves to a variety of musical forms, including traditional Ghanaian music such as Borborbor and Kpanlogo. It was a terrific gathering, with renewed commitment to the goals and aspirations of the association.