FRIENDS OF NIGERIA
2002 Annual Report
Friends of Nigeria continues 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.
· Following publication of the Winter 2002 issue of our newsletter, editor Marge Shannon Snoeren handed the reins to Andy Philpot who was responsible for the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2002 issues. The four issues included a total of 64 pages, although two of them were mailed in brightly colored wrappers that served as a membership renewal/new member solicitation. The newsletter mailing list grew to 1461 addressees. The newsletter includes feature articles, guest columns, opinion pieces, news from Nigeria, book reviews, letters to the editor, and member updates.
· The highlight of the year was our 40+1 Nigeria Day Dinner in Washington, DC, Friday, June 21, 2002, with 180 attendees. Related events included Nigeria updates, panel discussions, and much socializing.
· Considerable improvements were made on the Friends of Nigeria website <friendsofnigeria.org> by C. Leigh Gerber with the assistance of Greg Jones. The website now includes selected articles from all past newsletters, as well as our mission statement, announcements, links to websites of relevance to Nigeria, photos from the 40+1 Nigeria Day Dinner, and directories of located, deceased, and “lost” Nigeria RPCVs and staff.
· Board member David Strain supervised the sales of two David Schickele films now available on video – “Give Me a Riddle” and “Bushman.” Both films were filmed in Nigeria. Schickele was a Nigeria RPCV who died recently.
· For fiscal year 2001-2002, FON selected Ashoka as the non-profit for which it would raise funds. A total of $7,000.00 was raised and sent to Ashoka.
· The Friends of Nigeria board of directors conducted most of its business by email, but did meet via conference call, January 13, 2003, and in Washington, DC, during the 40+1 festivities, June 21, 2002. Current board members are: Greg Zell, president; Frieda Fairburn, vice president; Peter Hansen, treasurer and membership chair; Ken Sale, secretary; Andy Philpot, newsletter editor; Virginia DeLancey (newly elected); Mike Goodkind; David Strain; and Jane Toby.
· The Friends of Nigeria advocacy effort in 2002 was primarily informational, focusing primarily on two issues – Sharia Law, and more prominently, the Peace Corps Charter for the 21st Century. FON's advocacy role included both newsletter and email communication, as well as coordination among FON, NPCA and local constituencies, in an effort to build support for the legislation. Board member Mike Goodkind led our advocacy effort.