FRIENDS OF NIGERIA
In it’s fourth year, Friends of Nigeria continued to implement its five goals:
1. to educate the American public about Nigeria,
2. to promote policies consistent with the Peace Corps experience,
3. to be the alumni association for Nigeria Peace Corps Volunteers,
4. to promote continued service to the Nigerian people,
5. to keep members informed about events in Nigeria.
· The editorship of the Friends of Nigeria newsletter passed from Tony Zurlo to Marge Shannon Snoeren. The quarterly newsletter included a total of 68 pages and was distributed to over 1200 readers. The newsletter continues to include feature articles, guest columns, opinion pieces, news from Nigeria, an arts column, letters to the editor, member updates, and Souvenirs, a series of reminiscences
· All Friends of Nigeria members received the 1999 Friends of Nigeria Directory edited by membership chair Peter Hansen. The directory included current addresses for about 1350 Nigeria RPCVs, the names of over 80 deceased Nigeria RPCVs, and a list of over six hundred “lost” Nigeria RPCVs.
· The social highlight of the year was a party organized by board member John Romano in August at the biennial NPCA conference at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN at the NPCA. About fifty people eagerly consumed Nigerian food prepared by Queen Obasi and her family (Ibos who live in St. Paul). Friends of Nigeria member George Kanzler provided Star beer and palm wine. The dinner commenced with the blessing of the kola nut, and was followed by the telling of recollections by all Nigeria RPCVs present.
· Through a special arrangement with Oxford University Press, board member Bob Cohen headed up the sale of Wole Soyinka’s latest book (The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness) to Friends of Nigeria members at a reduced rate.
· Greg Jones and his sons continued to maintain the Friends of Nigeria website that includes our mission statement, selections from our newsletter, and an online Friends of Nigeria directory. The website is currently being renovated.
· A scholarship committee, headed by Al Hannans, held monthly meetings. The goal of the committee is to establish a fund to provide scholarships for Nigerian girls to attend high school in Nigeria.
· Other works in progress include a Friends of Nigeria listserv and a possible charter flight to Nigeria.
· The Friends of Nigeria board of directors met in January, March, and November, via conference calls, and in August at the biennial NPCA conference at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.