About Old Prince Waleans Association, USA Washington Metro Area Chapter

  • Christian Davies – President
  • Dr. Jonathan Wilson - Vice-President
  • Byron Sogie-Thomas – General Secretary
  • Denton Guy-Williams - Assistant General Secretary
  • Chrisford Dakin-Davis - Social Secretary
  • Ralph Hastings-Spaine -Assistant Social Secretary
  • Christopher Pessima - Treasurer
  • Aiah Fanday - Assistant Treasurer
  • Ralph Hastings-Spaine – Chaplain
  • Alpha Saidu Bangura - Chaplain

The Old Prince Waleans Association (U.S.A.), Inc. (OPWA), was established in 1987 by a group of former students of the Prince of Wales School (POW) residing in the United States of America. These princewaleans recognized the need for substantial financial and material support to their alma mater, and were prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the School in Sierra Leone.

Since its formation, OPWA has undertaken several fund-raising ventures. In recent years, the Association has collaborated in many endeavors with other POW alumni associations in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Sierra Leone. The funds raised by OPWA have been used towards various forms of developmental assistance to the School. Such assistance includes: awarding scholarships to deserving needy students; providing large consignments of science laboratory supplies, equipment, art education supplies, other tools and material to enhance both teaching and learning; equipping the entire school band with musical instruments; establishing a Staff Salary Revolving Fund Account in Sierra Leone to avail stopgap loan to staff whenever salary payment is grossly delayed; making funds available for awards at Prize Giving Ceremonies and end-of-year bonus incentive to staff; providing several trophies and hundreds of medals as prizes for athletic activities commemorating the School’s 80th Anniversary in 2005; furnishing computers and peripherals along with a sophisticated equipment for harnessing solar energy for the Information Technology Center; and also a high quality fax machine to facilitate communication between the School and external entities. Consideration of proposals focusing on providing assistance to the Prince of Wales School is a constant and welcomed exercise for OPWA.

The Old Prince Waleans Association (U.S.A.), Inc. (OPWA) is a 401(c)(3) charitable, not for profit, entity. Donation to OPWA is for a worthy cause and tax deductible. Membership dues and donations could be made online at www.opwa-usa.org or by check mailed to OPWA, P.O. Box 3072, Silver Spring, Maryland 20918.

List of Achievements and Projects Completed by the Global Associations

The Washington DC area chapter of the OPWA is part of a global alumni organization of the Prince of Wales School, which includes the Old Prince Waleans Association of UK and Ireland, Associations of New Jersey, Georgia, and California). 
The following is a list of achievements and projects completed by these global Associations over the past decade:

  • We raised $14,000 in three months from Prince Waleans to purchase and ship 1,000 chairs to the school to ease the chronic shortage of chairs for the pupils.
  • We provided the school with a dozen desktop computers in 1999 enabling them to start the first secondary school computer laboratory in Freetown.

  • We were the first Association to set up a teacher’s revolving fund that allowed teachers of the school to be paid their monthly wages when the government was delayed in doing so.  

  • We developed the “Family Fun Day” at the end of summer in the Washington Metro Area, which now encompasses several other Alumni Associations and Sierra Leonean organizations. m We have provided over 30 boxes of scientific equipment, primarily for the Chemistry, Biology and Physics laboratories in the last three years.

  • Responding to an appeal by the Principal of the School, we submitted a petition with over 400 signatures of past Prince Waleans to the Minister of Education to reverse the “School of Excellence designation that had been assigned to the school by the previous government’s Minister of Education, that required the Junior Secondary School sector of the school to be phased out. In fact the school had already phased out forms 1 and 2. 

  • We provide both teaching and non-teaching staff with a Christmas bonus. 

  • We annually provide deserving students with full scholarships for Tuition, books and clothing.

  • This petition in concert with the efforts by the Board of Governors of the school resulted in the Minister of Education reversing this designation and the school resorting to a full Junior and Senior Secondary as other schools. m We raised $60,000 within a year, primarily from Prince Waleans to finance, install and commission a solar powered computer center at the school, including twenty-four (24) laptop computers.

  • The school has already recently received over 400 textbooks as reference texts in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Science. We anticipate that these texts will provide the students additional reference material to aid them in these core science subjects for which the school has already been recognized for.

  • On the occasion of the school’s 80th Anniversary, the Associations collectively provided replacement trophies and medals for the annual inter-house sports day, and provided each pupil, teacher and past pupil who attended the thanksgiving Service with a commemorative pen.

We continue to work assiduously in our commitment to provide the next generation of Sierra Leonean leaders, technologists and academics the tools to compete in the global workplace as well as ensuring that we contribute to the communities of the Diaspora.

For more information about the OPWA Washington DC area Chapter please contact Omar Kuyateh at[email protected], Syl Newstead at [email protected], Desmond Strasser-King at [email protected] com, or Ahmed Tejan-Koroma at [email protected].

  1. The Bereavement Policy of OPWA is triggered upon the death of an active member (OPWA established criteria for "active"), or a close relative (limited category or type of "closeness") of an active member.
  2. The Bereavement Policy of OPWA mandates the use of ceremonial uniform on occasion of the death of an active member of OPWA, NOT of an active member's relative, regardless of the category or type of closeness.
  3. The Bereavement Policy of OPWA encourages the display of school color items (necktie, coat badge, hat band, etc.) to demonstrate support by the association in a unified fashion on occasion of the death of a close relative (where applicable) of an active member,.
  4. Whenever the Bereavement Policy of OPWA is triggered, the member who is the object of the policy is insulated from discussions in connection with implementation of the policy (email distribution must be adjusted and readjusted accordingly for the specific purpose), except only to the extent that s/he (the bereaved) is consulted by the social secretariat for information about funeral arrangements for the information of opwacore and, as a courtesy, for opwawash.
  5. The Bereavement Policy of OPWA calls for voluntary contribution (without a cap or ceiling) by members into a pool in the custody of the Treasurer who will ultimately deposit the total sum contributed into the association's bank account to be converted into association bank check that will comprise the unified gesture/kasankay by OPWA enclosed in a sympathy card for presentation to the bereaved member either at the repast, if any, or during a bereavement visit by OPWA to the member at her/his residence. The policy prohibits the expending of association's funds.

Policies and guidelines are of course subject to change or elimination at the discretion of the enacting entity. However, except and until such action is properly and officially initiated, existing policies and guidelines must serve their intended purpose.

Old Prince Waleans Association 
Washington Metropolitan Chapter