The Early Stages: As the number of SOBANS in the Carolinas blossomed, it became increasingly evident that a SOBA America chapter was needed. Some members had maintained their affiliations in other SOBAN chapters where they lived prior to moving to the Carolinas. The talk of a potential chapter finally became reality when the SOBA America Vice –President, Dr. Bertrand Fote who lives in the Charlotte area, rallied the “troops” and held a first meeting in July 2015.
Geography: SOBA Carolinas includes SOBANS residing in North and South Carolina. Its current membership of 18 spans four main geographic regions – The Charlotte area which has a majority of its members, The Raleigh/Durham area which is a close second, the Fayetteville area and the Charleston area. As the chapter grows, these geographic regions will change.
The main reason for dividing the chapter into geographic regions is to allow for some fairness in its operations, particularly meetings. Face-to-face meetings are rotated within the different geographic regions.
Vision: Our vision is to become the strongest and most vibrant chapter of SOBA America. We seek to promote the strong SOBAN values that we learned in our days in Sasse, such as
- Family: We encourage our members to bring their families to meetings so we can use the opportunities to bond and get to know each other. We feel strongly that our kids will benefit for getting to interact with each other.
Networking: Our membership is blessed with professional diversity. We also have a blend of senior and younger SOBANS. Such diversity provides a great opportunity for professional networking and mentorship.
- Brother’s keeper: The spirit of brotherhood that was instilled in us in Sasse College is very much alive in our chapter. Our by-laws are carefully written to allow us to be a source of support to our fellow members in good times and bad times. SOBA Carolinas member’s strong affinity for being their brother’s keeper goes way beyond the confines of our by-laws. The friendships that we nurture, facilitated by the framework that the chapter creates, makes us stronger every day.
- Giving Back: SOBA Carolinas recognizes the great gift that we all received by being privileged to be students of St. Joseph’s College, Sasse. We also understand the challenges faced by current students of Sasse. We welcome, with great pride, our responsibility, as SOBANS, to give back to our Alma Mater. We, therefore, strongly support SOBA America’s initiatives in this regard. As our chapter moves from infancy to maturity, we will begin considering specific projects that our chapter can champion.
- Community: SOBA Carolinas members have been an integral part of our community. We have been involved in different community activities to help boost the image of Cameroon, albeit, under different umbrellas. SOBANS in the Charlotte area, for example, have been heavily involved in promoting the culture of Cameroon at the annual Cameroon Community of Charlotte’s (CAMCO’s) National Day (20th May) events. They have also been involved in CAMCO’s community outreach activities such as Habitat For Humanity events. Now that we have a chapter, we look forward to continuing community involvement under the SOBAN banner, to further promote the spirit of SOBA.
Upcoming Events: SOBA Carolinas is proud to host the 2016 Mini-convention in Charlotte from November 11th to 13th. Please visit our website for details at http://www.sobacarolinas.org/