Good evening Members of the High table, Honorable Guests, Distinguished Chiefs, Sirs, Ladies, Gentlemen and Friends. It is with great pleasure that I on behalf of Ogwashi-Uku Association USA, Inc. welcome you all to our 9th Biennial National Convention, here in Atlanta, Georgia. I am very thankful to our special invitees, distinguished guests and to all present today who are kind enough to spare their valuable time to be here with us this evening.

I know that many of you have traveled from quite a distance and I’d like to acknowledge our guests from London, Nigeria and our members from Boston, Dallas, Houston, Maryland, Midwest, New York, Northern and Southern California, OASEC who have made this long trip to participate in this event. I thank our host chapter OASEC for their efforts and all the arrangements made to see that we have a successful event.

We are far away from home, people live in fear of so many things, the economic climate is so discouraging, the community that most of us grew up in is no longer what the same, things have changed and not for the better. We hope that tonight’s fundraising theme “Educating our children to secure our future” will empower us to do more to help them in achieving full potential.

This association has come a long way to get to where we are today and we are still making progress. Our members are well informed of the associations’ activities, financial reports and pertinent communications are sent out on a timely manner to all members. This administration has worked very hard to re-engage some members who for one reason or the other did not have the desire to reconnect, but to God be the glory that today they are back and fully re-engaged. In conjunction with our Educating our children to secure our future” project, this association plans to embark on another medical mission come October 2017.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank various organizations, corporate entities and individual that have supported this association in many ways. We appreciate and cherish all your contributions. I thank each of you for honoring our invitation and supporting our projects. You, our distinguished guest and our supporters will with your financial donations help us meet and fulfil our vision which would help pave the way into the future for our beneficiaries back home. You are truly our greatest asset today and tomorrow, and we could not accomplish what we do without your support. Throughout this convention, I ask you to stay engaged, keep us proactive and help us shape the future and successful implementation of Educating our children to secure our future”. My personal respect and thanks goes out to all of you.

I thank my executives, past leaders of this great association and my elders for their unequivocal support and selfless contributions to the growth of our great association. Your words of wisdom have helped to guide me and the association throughout the past two years and I am insurmountably grateful to you all. May we all value the time that we spend together; may we grasp it with both hands and make our own wonderful opportunities to carry with us in the years still to come.

To all of you, thank you for being here, welcome and enjoy the convention. Let the merriment begin.

Mary Okafor

National President