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Minute November 09, 2013

MINUTE: NAFA Monthly Board Meeting

Date: November 9th, 2013 3:30 PM to 5:15 PM

 

Attendants:

1.      Purna Shrestha

2.      Ayodhya Batajoo

3.      Himal Regmi

4.      Narendra Thapa

5.      Surendra Prajapati

6.      Abiskar Bharati

 

Agenda:

1.      Dashian Feedback

2.      NAFA Scholarship wrap up

3.      Sahitya Sanjh Status

4.      Kakshya Status

5.      International Fest- Febraury 2014

6.      Treasurers Report

7.      Gift Wrap Christmas Fundraiser

8.      Potential Board Member

 

Discussion:


1.      Dashian Feedback

      There was a good response on Dashain Program, overall. Cultural dances were great, and the participation (kids to adult) were superb. It is advised to have good quality music for cultural dances. Good quality music will provide a better presentation of already fantastic dance performances. It is also advised to be prepared with the music well ahead of time.  Looking for the music in the internet in the stage (last minute) can end up in chaos. There were couple other issues that we should learn from.

There were 6-8 guys (NAFA non-member) who came as a guest of a NAFA member who did not RSVP, and had not paid for the event either. When asked they refused to pay. There seem to be some sort of miscommunication. At the end, there was some payment but not necessarily according to the rate we fixed. Next time, we should be clear to our members that it is the NAFA member’s responsibility to make their guests aware about the rules and rates that NAFA has fixed. One of them wanted to speak in the program as well. In such cases, the program controller should take in-charge; and make the decision wisely. Just sudden changes to program agenda for unknown guests should be carefully evaluated. In this case, we did not allow any of them to speak at the stage as they were already trouble enough.

The other issue was on sound system. First of all, the Eagle Heights Hall is not the best for surround sound. It is very hard to hear in the back, and it volume is increased; it will be just too loud at the front. Another reason is that people who chose to stay in the back just want to talk and socialize than necessarily to enjoy the program, while they don’t realize that their talks are actually disturbing the event itself. If we turn the lights off the lights in the back, it might encourage people to come close to the stage and perhaps be quiet and enjoy the show.  If lighting cannot be managed well, we can bring external flash lights just to light up the stage and turn of the hall lights. Is NAFA ready to spend money on external lights? It is up for discussion.  Or the other option is to try out or seek for a better event hall. Further discussion is required to decide if we should make the same hall work as per our plan or to seek for a better hall.

The food was great. No complaints were received. There were two more items for the dinner, and two more items for the snacks. One problem was that the kids’ foods were consumed by adults since they were served in the same table.  In future, separate table arrangement should be done so that kids can enjoy food specifically prepared for them. The caterer should also be made aware of that. It also seemed that the price was not exactly fixed for catering before the event. It would be wise to have a final quote based on number of people ahead of time. It was not really an issue this year, but it could be in future.

2.      NAFA Scholarship wrap up     

The scholarship event was completed successfully. Surendra handed the printed documents regarding the scholarship to Purna Shrestha for NAFA records. There was also discussion about how to make the scholarship better in the future; how to involve NAFA kids more in the community; how to encourage them to volunteer. This part is up for further discussion in upcoming meeting. Surendra proposed to make a scholarship questionnaire to those who had already received the scholarships in the past. For example: how important was for them to get the scholarship? Was the value of scholarship more important or the amount of money that was given to them? How did the scholarship make a positive impact to their life? Do they have any plans to give back to the NAFA community in any way – by volunteering or participating in fundraising? Would they want the scholarship program to continue in the future? Is there something they would want to see change in the scholarship program? Would they think the scholarship money will make more impact in people in Nepal than for themselves? NAFA board is encouraged to provide more possible Questionnaire for the Scholarship Program Assessment. Surendra also needs the lists of Scholarship winners since the Program started. The Scholarship Assessment Questionnaire can be finalized in the next meeting and the Board can decide how to continue with the assessment.

3.      Sahitya Sanjh Status

Abiskar updated the board on the Sahitya Sanjh. Everything is in control. The food management for the program is all set. There was some confusion but not anymore as Mirch Masala is sponsoring tea, Sael (roti) and samosa. They will be formally thanked in the program. Govinda Giri “Prerana” has confirmed his visit to Madison for the program at his own expense. There are 11 poems by adult and 12 poems by children for the competition. In addition, there are6 non-competition poems registered. The prize money for both of the section adds up to $585 for which we have $500 sponsored that leaves $85 for NAFA to cover. No one objected for spending $85 from NAFA funds for the prize. Board also decided that a token of love should be presented to the chief guest; however we did not discuss financial part for that.

4.      Kakshya Status

Kashya is going well. The participation from the kids is consistent. It was closed for three weeks but it has continued again. Kids are progressing well. They are interested and enthusiastic. However, the program is lacking volunteers. We need to make a push on the volunteering part. Perhaps, how should we encourage young people to volunteer? Currently, Kakshya is limited to education only. Cultural and religious part of it is not included. Should we? It can be discussed in further meetings after also having a gathering with family of Kakshya kids. A meeting should also be held with the parents of Kakshya kids regarding financing Kakshya in future; and it can be scheduled after the week of Sahitya Sanjh.  Space has also been an issue for Kakshya. We need two rooms that could hold 15-20 people each. Surendra will research on UW Campus if classroom can be made available for Kakshya; and it will have to go through NSA as a joint program of NSA and NAFA.

5.      International Fest- Febraury 2014

Ayodhya Batajoo has agreed to coordinate the International Fest event. He will find out when we should reply to their invitation letter for participation. Are we selling food again at the fest next year? Since earlier this year was a success, the board thinks it would be a good idea to try to do it again. However, there is an issue for food insurance which is very expensive. But, can it be coordinated through Mirch Masala? Can we partner with Mirch Masala in this fundraiser? Should we make momo again? (YES). Ayodhya Batajoo will discuss on these regards and come up with a proposal in upcoming meeting/meetings.

6.      Treasurers Report

Treasurer’s report was emailed to all board members. It is clear and there is no confusion. Some receipts from Dashain Program still need to be received and sorted out. That will happen by next board meeting.

7.      Gift Wrap Christmas Fundraiser

For Gift wrap event, the coordinator Archana (Malla) Shrestha will send the letter accepting the gift wrap agreement to the organizers. December 22nd is the gift wrap day from 9 am to 9 pm. We need a minimum of 8 people in a shift; a total of 38 volunteers needed for this fundraising event. A “Google signup sheet” will be created soon.

8.      Potential Board Member

Board Member status: we currently only have 10 people on the board; 6 vacancies. Yespal Subedi resigned and is accepted.  Paul Benjamin is willing to help which we appreciate, however it will be not very practical for him to drive up from Janesville for meeting every time. So, board will not invite him to be a board member at this time. The current board is interested to bring more members on the board though. So, let’s all keep out eyes open.

9.      Next meeting is scheduled to be held on December 14th 2013.

Minute Prepared By : Surendra Prajapati