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An association of Nigeria Peace Corps alumni and other friends of Nigeria who support the interests of the Nigerian people.

Friends of Nigeria
Highlights

2017-18

Board of Directors

Officers:    Jim Clark, Vice President

Warren Keller, Treasurer
Peter Hansen, Newsletter Editor
Mike Goodkind, Secretary
Barbara Bush, Membership Chair
Board Members

Mimi Budd, Virginia DeLancey, Clemmie Gilpin, Ned Greeley, David Koren, David Strain, Peter Stolzman, Greg Zell

We really do need a new Membership Chair


Additional Roles on Offer

Newsletter Obituary Editor

Newsletter Layout Specialist
Invalid Email Researcher
Periodic Website Maintenance

Follow up of USPS notifications of address changes, unable to deliver


Keeping FON a vibrant organization requires a range of leadership or administrative tasks.  We can use your efforts, regardless of your skills


Projects in Nigeria

A banner year for supporting projects in Nigeria

African Community Health Initiative

American University of Nigeria Feed & Read

Fantsuam housing reconstruction

EngenderHealth

DOVENET

Women Make Movies

Open Doors for Special Learners

We have all been gone from Nigeria for 50+ years, yet we are still able to find very worthy causes


Supporting Projects in Nigeria
A Growing Function for FON


Record Fund Raising


A Different View



How do we find these Projects?

For several years, VSO was our local Peace Corps substitute

VSO went dark on us 3 years ago

VSO recommended Fantsuam, who have been reliable, responsive

Lynn Olson introduced Queen Obasi, who runs ACHI

Yola Alumni advocated for AUN + its projects

Ned Greeley & Mimi Budd are advocates for Maternal Health, Fistula prevention

Members recommended Open Doors for Special Learners, Mediwat


Infinite needs.  We must be careful about the organizations we support



“Regular” FON Activities

Quarterly Newsletter

Thank you Peter Hansen + Newsletter volunteers

Authors, contributors

Membership Care & Feeding

Renewal reminders, follow-up, harassment

Tracking of email, address changes

Annual appeals for renewals, donations

Website Care & Feeding

Internal Information posted for Board Discussions

Nigeria News to Member Only Forum

Member database continually changing

Email Blasts


Goal: Vibrant FON

Alumni Organization
VFW-like camaraderie

Projects maintain link back to Nigeria, spirit of service

Meetings, Newsletter keep us informed, exposed to opinions

Website + WikiFON repositories of our info, stories, pictures

Resource to help contact friends from 50 years ago


Narrative to go with the above presentation:

[I apologize for not being at last year’s meeting in Denver.  I was pretty well down for the count as a result of Whipple surgery to address an ampullary adenoma.  That’s a 9-hour surgery where they remove parts or all of 5 organs from your stomach.  Luckily the adenoma was benign.  Had it not caused trouble and drawn attention to itself early, it would have become cancerous, and I probably would not be here.  But enough about me.]

In my absence, Vice President Jim Clark did a great job.  It pays to have a strong supporting cast.  Speaking of which, at last year’s meeting you elected two new board members, keeping the board membership at 14.  During this year, 2 board members resigned when they realized they were unable to devote sufficient time and attention to their duties as FON board members -- Peter Stolzman in May and Barbara Bush in July.  This is not our biennial meeting where we elect board members, so you don’t get to vote on who will replace them.  But all the officers and current board members should be button-holing all of you to determine what role you would like to play in the organization.  Barbara’s job as Membership Chair is especially important to fill, but there are other more administrative roles if you are unable to step up to that position.  Obituary Editor for the Newsletter, Newsletter Layout Editor, invalid email researcher for the website, or investigating ‘unable to deliver’ notices from the newsletter mailings are just some of the jobs on offer.  [Notice that many of them involve people falling off the radar.  Maybe that has something to do with how old we all are now.]

In spite of how old, crotchety, incompetent, [and maybe incontinent] we have become, we have had a banner year in terms of projects we have supported in Nigeria.  You might think that a group of people who have been away from Nigeria for 50 years or so would have difficulty identifying worthy projects in Nigeria to support.  Particularly after our main source of projects, the Nigeria VSO, went dark on us.  But the 2 new board members you elected last year, Mimi Budd and Ned Greeley, went on a crusade to identify groups supporting maternal health, fistula prevention, and family planning.  They formed a committee with Mike Goodkind and David Strain, and succeeded in making several levels of contact to groups addressing these issues, seeking specific ways Friends of Nigeria could help out.  They will report on their process, the results, feedback from our efforts, and new groups they are considering later this morning.

We also have an inventory of groups we have supported in the past that we believe are continuing to provide needed services to Nigeria.  We were going to hear later this morning from Queen Obasi, who runs the African Community Health Initiative.  For the 6th year we are providing money for ACHI to purchase medicines and supplies for a community health clinic in Amakohia, Iwo State, in the Southeast of Nigeria.  But Queen is undergoing a biopsy this morning for suspected cancer, so we will hear from Lynn Olsen, who introduced Queen to FON.  We have long supported the Fantsuam Foundation, a group based in Kafanchan, Kaduna State in the Middle Belt of Nigeria.  Originally our support helped them provide micro loans to local female entrepreneurs.  But post-election violence in 2011 and herder-farmer clashes recently have changed their focus.  My wife and I visited them in 2008, and we were both very impressed with their leaders, John Dada and Kazanka Comfort.  FON has also supported the AUN Feed and Read program for several years now.  There have been leadership changes at AUN since we heard from their president at our meeting in Washington, but the program lives on and the need is ever greater.

This year, thanks to Alan Frishman, a fellow Group 22 member who will speak to us this afternoon, we have a new organization we can support.  The Mediwat Computer School in Kano.  Run by a former student of Alan’s, it provides computer training to young people who cannot afford to pay private school tuition fees to get such education.  Our contribution will cover the cost of an array of solar panels and a bank of batteries.  That system will take the place of a diesel generator that makes up for the lack of reliable power from NEPA (Never Expect Power Always).  Fantsuam has such a solar array setup, and we put the two organizations in touch with each other to compare notes.

All of these organizations always have needs that exceed the funds we have available to donate to them.  FON traditionally sends out a fund raising letter in November to get in line for your end-of-year contributions.  This year we emphasized the maternal health / Fistula direction in the letter.  I also polled the board, twisting some arms to get pledges ahead of that campaign.  So we were able to specify how the board had stepped up in the letter.  The net result was the best results we have ever had.  More than twice the contributions made in our prior high water year, 2011.  Thank you all, very much.  We still have more needs to fill than money, but we have been able to provide far more this past year than any time in the past.  Thanks again.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that FON’s standard activities go on very well.  The newsletter is a source of information and inspiration.  Thank you Peter Hansen for spearheading that effort.  Peter has also filled in as the Obituary Editor after there were no volunteers to take on that role.  If you feel your arm about to be wrenched out of its socket, that may be the reason.  The treasury operation has been ably passed from Peter Hansen to Warren Keller, as you will see in the financial reports.  We have Board meetings by teleconference about quarterly, featuring lively conversations about the issues at hand.  You have a good group providing leadership to this organization.  Please consider joining them in some capacity.  There is nobody other than us to fill these roles.


Friends of Nigeria is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. 
Email:  fonigeria@gmail.com President phone: 978-562-3613

Mailing address: Friends of Nigeria, c/o Warren Keller, PO Box 8032, Berkeley, CA 94707

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