I know you are going to be very pleased when you read the report in this newsletter on the progress LEAP has made this summer. We are all indebted to people such as Stephanie Vickers, Pat Reilly, Joan Hamilton, Beth Holtam, Dick Stuempges, and many others who have provided the vision and the backbone for this multi-year effort. It should be noted this effort has been supported by substantial donors because of its sound design and viability. With the morphing just a few weeks ago of the FOL America-based Liberian Education Assistance Program into the Monrovia-based Liberian Educators for Action and Peace, a significant goal has been reached. With this change FOL changes its role to one that is more advisory but also includes being the future fiscal agent for outside donors to this new Liberian-based NGO. We are very appreciative to all FOL members and donors who believed in our vision of sustainable development and capacity building since LEAP was envisioned in a November 1998 trip to Liberia. The new Liberian LEAP Board of Directors officers: Ernest Shaw, Theo Frankyu, Emma Tokpa, and Mary Molubah and their full Board, all LEAP-trained teachers and co-trainers, will truly take this program to new heights to benefit more and more K-3 Liberian children. What a wonderful effort!
As a voluntary nongovernmental organization effort, FOL relies on the support of many across the US and the Atlantic to further its goals. We are all volunteers and we have actually changed dramatically as an organization because many of us perform our responsibilities electronically from our homes while the organization is headquartered in Washington, DC. As Chair of the Board of Trustees, I work out of South Carolina and our current Executive Officers include:
Yes, we need more people to step up to sustain our continuing efforts to better fulfill our mission. Each of you has time and talent that can benefit Liberia again through FOL! We need your help! We’re an organization that has not grown in recent years because many, especially Americans, have lost touch with Liberia since its civil wars. Our active FOL volunteer base is getting smaller. We need you now to step forward to help - to give back one more time! We need people to help formulate advocacy position statements and programs, to develop volunteers, to take part in current projects, to solicit funds, to write grants, to develop new initiatives! It’s not as hard as it sounds. Most of our work can now be accomplished from your desktop computer in your den at home. Think about it, please. Just contact Stephanie Vickers or me and I bet we can design a commitment that will make you feel good as you do good!
Let me remind you also that FOL has also changed the way it manages its relationships with you, our members. The Board adopted a new process for membership of now soliciting a one-time minimum membership fee of $40 in order for a member to be officially placed on our roster. Subsequent to this initial fee, members will be notified once a year to make a donation (within your means) that supports our initiatives. Members can use the Holiday Appeal letter that will be mailed with the US Postal Service as a “dues date” reminder. Of course, new people may officially become members at any time through your generous donations. When the appeal comes, we are hopeful all of you reading this newsletter will donate as much as you can afford to help FOL help Liberians rebuild their country and their lives.
FOL is indebted to many fine people (only some of whom are mentioned above) who continue to give of their time and talent. Please forgive me for not being able to mention you all. We are forever grateful to everyone!
All for now,
American Airways dependent, Roberts Field, 1961-69