FRIENDS OF NIGERIA
2015 Annual Report
Friends of Nigeria continues to implement its Purpose, Mission, and Goals:
To be the Peace Corps Nigeria alumni association.
To promote a sense of community among Nigeria Peace Corps alumni and other friends of Nigeria, to support the interests of the Nigerian people, and to educate the public about Nigeria.
· Foster communication among our members through tools such as a newsletter, websites, and interactive listservs.
· Promote the creation of publicly accessible archives of historic photos, recordings, memorabilia and documents.
· Sponsor and promote reunions of FON members.
· Fund projects that have as their aim to make a positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.
· Promote a better understanding of Nigeria.
· The highlight of the year was the Friends of Nigeria meeting held in conjunction with the NPCA Peace Corps Connect meeting in Berkeley, California, in June. 80 members attended, and elected 2 new board members. Several members provided stories and recollections from their experiences in Nigeria. We heard talks by Dr. Michael Watts, our own Abdullahi Edward, and Dr Stevina Evuleocha on the recent election in Nigeria and the state of the country. Several of the presentations and a number of photos are available on our website, www.friendsofnigeria.org/Berkeley-Meeting.
· Under the editorships of Willard J. (Jim) Clark four issues of the Friends of Nigeria Newsletter were published during 2015 with a total of 92 pages. Printed newsletters were mailed to an average 1191 recipients, and in addition email announcements were sent to an average of 251 members who have opted to download the full-color pdf version of the newsletter from our website. The newsletter includes feature articles, guest columns, opinion pieces, news from Nigeria, book reviews, letters to the editor, member updates, and reports regarding the projects we are supporting financially. We have a drive underway to maximize the number of electronic subscriptions, as printing and mailing the newsletter are our largest expense, but so far only 17.4% of our members have subscribed electronically.
· FON’s web presence consists of:
• Our website <friendsofnigeria.org> with an RPCV/staff directory (as well as lists of “lost” and deceased RPCVs), announcements, a newsletter archive (searchable pdf versions of all FON newsletters are available), etc.
• Our wiki <www.wikifon.org> includes the original training group directories (pdf files), photos, stories, and group histories – organized by Chris Collman and Greg Jones.
· Friends of Nigeria has made great progress in migrating to a new interactive website using Wild Apricot technology. As of the end of 2015 the website and membership database were undergoing final parallel runs with the existing website and FoxPro database that were used for 20 years. [As of this writing, the website has been released, but we await the release of our spring newsletter to announce it to our membership. Then online membership renewals, online donations, online event signups, and online discussion groups will begin operation.]
· During fiscal year 2014-15 Friends of Nigeria raised $15,772 for various projects. We donated $15,440 to four organizations working in West Africa: VSO, the NPCA Ebola Relief Fund, the American University in Nigeria Foundation for Refugee Relief, and the Fantsuam Foundation.
· Friends of Nigeria has a very active online discussion group at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members frequently share interesting (or outrageous) articles on Nigeria.
· FON’s board of directors conducts most of its business by e-mail, but it met via conference call on 3 occasions.2014